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dorijan
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booting from usb sticks?

Mon May 08, 2006 2:00 am

I think it would be great thing if you could make mikrotik bootable from usb sticks...easy to replace and wery handy...
 
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stephenpatrick
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Mon May 08, 2006 2:05 am

.. Backup and Restore to USB sticks would be even more useful too ..
CableFree - Wireless Excellence - Microwave, E-band Radios, Free Space Optics, High performance Radios & Routers
http://www.cablefree.net
 
Mapik
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Mon May 08, 2006 12:03 pm

Yes, usb boot feature will be very useful... We also need it
 
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jp
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Tue May 09, 2006 2:22 pm

USB sticks are less expensive than IDE flash modules. As USB sticks usually plug in externally it would be easier for upgrades and rapid emergency computer replacements. Most computers built in the past three years support USB boot, so I don't think lack of hardware support would cause an issue. I only use new computers or reuse computers that we've upgraded after 2.5 years.
 
sten
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Tue May 09, 2006 4:59 pm

USB sticks are less expensive than IDE flash modules. As USB sticks usually plug in externally it would be easier for upgrades and rapid emergency computer replacements. Most computers built in the past three years support USB boot, so I don't think lack of hardware support would cause an issue. I only use new computers or reuse computers that we've upgraded after 2.5 years.
Not all of these support USB stick emulated as a harddrive. Some are emulated as "large" floppy drives.

USB sticks have no IDE chips meaning the kernel has to be aware that the harddrive is USB and must supply the layers that emulate IDE for USB.
Move along. Nothing to see here.
 
trx
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Sun Mar 11, 2007 8:06 am

any hope for future versions?
 
cmit
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Mon Mar 12, 2007 9:10 am

As USB sticks usually plug in externally it would be easier for upgrades and rapid emergency computer replacements.
And for someone (the cleaning team?) accidentally (or intentionally) ripe out the stick?! ...

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Christian Meis
 
nuclearcat
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Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:29 am

There is special "extender" cable for sticks. You can put stick inside computer case.
If you are maximum worried about such case - most modern motherboards have USB host pin's on motherboard, you can connect stick directly to them, inside the case.
 
cmit
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Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:55 am

I'm not worried - I keep using CFs or IDE flash disks... ;)
And having an USB stick inside a case just demands for extra mounting etc. Too much worries, if you ask me :D

Best regards,
Christian Meis
 
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normis
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Mon Mar 12, 2007 12:09 pm

There is special "extender" cable for sticks. You can put stick inside computer case.
If you are maximum worried about such case - most modern motherboards have USB host pin's on motherboard, you can connect stick directly to them, inside the case.
and what's the benefit against using other kinds of flash media? the only benefit of USB is that it's portable and easily removable, which are not actually important for RouterOS. maybe these features are even bad for RouterOS :)
 
changeip
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Mon Mar 12, 2007 5:45 pm

The major benefit I see is cost.

Yesterday I bought the following:

6x CF-IDE adapters, $19.95 each
6x CF, 512mb, $29 each
6x CF-IDE 4 pin fdd power cable, $1.99 each

~ 52 for a bootable flash card thats large and in the way in small cases.
~ 19 for a bootable USB stick thats tiny and can be stuffed anywhere.

The only downside to this is how to handle hdd licensing, since I believe a usb boot device might not present itself the same ? Maybe it does.

Sam
 
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normis
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Tue Mar 13, 2007 8:41 am

6x CF-IDE adapters, $19.95 each
6x CF, 512mb, $29 each
http://cgi.ebay.com/HQ-FEMALE-SD-CF-IDE ... dZViewItem
http://cgi.ebay.com/LEXAR-512MB-CF-Comp ... dZViewItem

Depends on where you live, at least in ebay and in our country computer stores the prices are much lower.
 
pedja
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Tue Mar 13, 2007 10:37 am

This means, MT will not have support for USB drives just because you can buy cheap CF in Latvia?
 
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normis
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Tue Mar 13, 2007 10:49 am

no this just means that I personally don't see any use in making this, which by the way is certainly not an easy task. Our developers are working on many important new features and rewriting many programs to make them faster and more stable, my personal opinion is that this is more important than USB flash drive booting. A Router is something you don't play with, what happens if somebody accidently removes your USB stick? It's not very reliable to have it hanging somewhere. Your network depends on this machine, do you want to depend on a small usb stick meant for family photos, or you want to have stable and reliable system for your company?
 
skynoc
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Tue Mar 13, 2007 3:32 pm

the aim of using a usb flash disk is to use it witha computer box because hard drive can be damaged after long time usage .
especially if the routerbox is as an access point mode

regards
 
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normis
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Tue Mar 13, 2007 3:37 pm

and why would you be convinced that flashdisks are reliable? also, there are other kinds of flash media. invest in your router, that's your networks core.
 
nuclearcat
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Tue Mar 13, 2007 4:58 pm

Normis, reasons why USB Flash much better.

Temperature range.
Flash)Most is -10 to +60, Extended: -40°C to +85°C
HDD)Maximum operating temperature change even is limited, and operating range 0-60C

Size of solution. Especially for Mikrotik - HDD not suitable at all, as i know modern HDD's not less than 40Gb. More space - completely useless, and you are paying for it.

Price. 80GB hdd beginning at $30, USB flash begins from $10-$5. When you deploy about 200 PPPoE's, and you save $20, it is $4000, you can invest them in something really important, than useless space.

Power requirements, maximum start current, DC about 2.8 amps, and in idle mode 8watt. While flash on write (it is peak), about 40mA. Serious reason, if you run Via CPU based low-power router, with DC-DC power supply.

Compatibility, USB stick can be plugged in any PC, and cable let to put it any hole in PC, if you need to hide it. It doesnt have limitation to angle of mount, doesn't require tight screwing to case.

Hotplug. Anybody will say - why for router? Easy - if you want to migrate to another router, you can unplug USB, while old is running, run new router from IT, and then just by one click enable/disable ports on switch, if you dont have stateless apllications and it is just router - it will run without stopping.

Availability. USB stick you can buy in any supermarket, HDD usually sold only in PC shops.

And most important reliability. Read cycles as i know almost unlimited, sure it has MTBF, but most weak point write cycles, which is not a problem for router. HDD in opposite have moving parts, and finally you will have issues with head positioning system or spindel motor, it is moving permanently, and if you will try to save it by putting sleeping mode - you will face limitation of start-stop count.

Speed. USB 2.0 Flash able to archieve 27MB/s, with truly random access, with harddrive speed on (bad scenario for HDD - random access, usually it is router boot) - 16Mb/s.

CF is not an option, it is just rare. Many of Mikrotik customers living in poor countries, with weak infrastructure, especially Middle East and African countries, and to find or ship CF solution - it is expensive and difficult question. And biggest problem not CF, it is available in shops for digital cameras and etc, the problem is CF-IDE converter. And by the way, while camera manufactures slowly moving out from CF, it is becoming more rare in shops. While USB sticks available everywhere, and last SD card what i buy for my wife(for digital camera), you can turn by another side, it has USB connector, and it will appear as USB stick. And size is extremely tiny, everybody know what is the size of SD card.
 
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jp
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Tue Mar 13, 2007 5:34 pm

I'm not worried about someone accidentally removing the USB drive. Most of my MTs are in locked cabinets, shelters, or rooms. They could actually be installed inside the computer if needed. People don't have problems with proprietary controlled-access software dongles being accidentally removed.

They are certainly less fragile than mini-pci card RF connectors like UFL; I know that is a cheapshot since MT probably has no say in connectors on radio cards.

Diverging slightly, if routerboards had USB, we could have USB usps monitored by MT, as well as perhaps USB tunneling between MTs over the network.
 
pedja
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Tue Mar 13, 2007 5:38 pm

no this just means that I personally don't see any use in making this, which by the way is certainly not an easy task.
This is what I wanted to hear at least once. it is not the first time that we hear all kind of reasons that someoption is out of question but the main one: you do not know how to do it, or it is hard task for you.

There is no other reason why USB support is not bult in, but that it is hard task for you to do. Be honest and say so. I have no problem with that you cannot do it, but I cant stand to hear false excuses and pursue of user that they do not need what they ask for.
 
nuclearcat
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Tue Mar 13, 2007 5:49 pm

Mikrotik already supporting MTD devices, which was extremely difficult task. You can just use that (MTD) layer, and convert block-device(SCSI/sda, for usb-storage) to MTD, i was doing that already on my Linux solutions.

Additionally all libata(and old IDE drivers will be deprecated) uses SCSI device layer, so i think Mikrotik must support in near future libata/scsi, which will solve all problems with SATA disks, and PATA will work as well. And maybe USB-sticks too.
 
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janisk
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Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:56 am

i think that when SATA will be fully supported then adding USB storage support would not be so hard to achieve, as they use same SCSI compatibility layer (at least in linux they do) and adding dongle support would not be that hard. but that never will be available in 2.9 just V3.0 and up

erm, sata is supported, just have to convince devs that they want do that, and that is even harder
 
nuclearcat
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Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:45 am

Well, i did that on my embedded solution long time ago. Only important question - small initramfs with klibc+simple app, which will do delay, until usb-storage become ready and mount it.
But that way maybe not useful for mikrotik...
 
jo2jo
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Sun May 13, 2007 11:15 am

right now, floppy install is not working..have a x86 box, 1 CF card...a bunch of USB sticks..


usb sticks are teh onl thing that can get me running right now.

...my 2c
:beep :beep :beep

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