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artemk
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hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:24 am

Dear Mikrotik,

I've hit into an issue with flash size on hAP AC lite.
After installing latest firmware + wireless-rep - router can't upgrade automatically anymore, because it just can't fit next version onto flash. Only 16MBytes flash... In new routers.... WHY!?!? Does it really make router much cheaper?

Besides lower price it makes a lot of of pain now to upgrade router.
Why not to install 64Mbytes ?

RB951G had 128MB flash - and this is excellent
RB962G now have 16MB flash and this is huge step back :(

Is it possible to increase it some new hw releases?

Thanks!
Artem
 
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Fri Mar 25, 2016 9:18 am

Dear Mikrotik,

I've hit into an issue with flash size on hAP AC lite.
After installing latest firmware + wireless-rep - router can't upgrade automatically anymore, because it just can't fit next version onto flash. Only 16MBytes flash... In new routers.... WHY!?!? Does it really make router much cheaper?

Besides lower price it makes a lot of of pain now to upgrade router.
Why not to install 64Mbytes ?

RB951G had 128MB flash - and this is excellent
RB962G now have 16MB flash and this is huge step back :(

Is it possible to increase it some new hw releases?

Thanks!
Artem
Agree. RouterOS is growing, new packages appear and enough flash memory should be there ready to help.
 
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Fri Mar 25, 2016 4:36 pm

I hope that in near future, when upgrading to newer RouterOS, we won't have to decide between package A and package B, because they won't fit both. "To have IPv6 or PPP, that is the question!" ;)

Out of curiosity, how expensive is this flash? What would be the price difference between current tiny 16MB, more future-proof 32MB, nice 64MB or almost generous 128MB? Not knowing much about hardware, I can't even guess. I can just assume it's not the same kind of flash that I can buy in form of USB drive, thousand times bigger for few dolars.
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Fri Mar 25, 2016 5:58 pm

Gx2 has 512MB ??
 
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normis
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:48 pm

Upgrades don't need flash space, they happen via RAM drive. Small flash space could only affect you if you need big hotspot files, proxy or logs to persist after reboot.
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peper
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Sat Mar 26, 2016 9:28 pm

I hope that in near future, when upgrading to newer RouterOS, we won't have to decide between package A and package B, because they won't fit both. "To have IPv6 or PPP, that is the question!" ;)

Out of curiosity, how expensive is this flash? What would be the price difference between current tiny 16MB, more future-proof 32MB, nice 64MB or almost generous 128MB? Not knowing much about hardware, I can't even guess. I can just assume it's not the same kind of flash that I can buy in form of USB drive, thousand times bigger for few dolars.
Not sure which flash memory chips are used in Mtk routers (and how much they pay for it), but 128 Mbit flash chips cost about $1,5 (in volumes of thousands, http://eu.mouser.com/Semiconductors/Mem ... 5iZ1z0sr05). So using two of such you can add 32 MBytes of flash for $3. That is more than feasible in device priced above $100, but may pose a problem if trying to sell router for $22. And I understand why Hex Lite or Hex Lite Classic have 16 MB, but can't undertsand the same for hap AC.
 
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:19 am

I don't have all packages installed on my RB2011 and with one backup partition, I have used almost 32MB.

So I think the minimum should be 48MB.
 
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:17 am

Clearly, MikroTik does not want you to use advanced stuff like partitions or MetaROUTER with home devices. Which is probably ok, as most home users won't ever miss such things at all. But every time I see those menu items on my mAP, I just want to... ok, just kidding.

Anyway, even if we skip these extras, available space seems to be a little small. Default factory install on my mAP occupied 11.something MB, I assume it's same for hAPs. It does not leave much space for future new stuff. It's probably good for few years of system upgrades, but what if they wanted to add some new big killer features? I like to think they want to. :)
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AW: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:05 am

I don't buy mikrotik because I want to be able to do less stuff with the device. It's just a silly decision to limit the hardware in that way.
 
vortex
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Sun Mar 27, 2016 1:21 pm

Clearly, MikroTik does not want you to use advanced stuff like partitions or MetaROUTER with home devices. Which is probably ok, as most home users won't ever miss such things at all. But every time I see those menu items on my mAP, I just want to... ok, just kidding.

Anyway, even if we skip these extras, available space seems to be a little small. Default factory install on my mAP occupied 11.something MB, I assume it's same for hAPs. It does not leave much space for future new stuff. It's probably good for few years of system upgrades, but what if they wanted to add some new big killer features? I like to think they want to. :)
Surely a ROM backup is a basic feature.

What would be a use case for Metarouter in a small device?
 
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Sun Mar 27, 2016 1:55 pm

I guess with MetaROUTER, an ISP could assign part of the bandwidth to free WiFi.

But the user should be able to opt out.
 
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:38 pm

What would be a use case for Metarouter in a small device?
Anything you can imagine and OpenWRT can run. Most likely not on mAP, its one ethernet and one wireless interface make it a limited use device, that's unlikely to end up handling whole network on its own. But on hAP, why not? Sure, it's marketed as AP, which implies there will be other devices in network, more suitable for such things. But it's not necessarily true. For example, here the usual internet speeds are way under 100Mbit, more like in 10-40Mbit range, so hAP is perfectly capable of handling that, in fact it's almost overpowered for such task. So it will often end up as the main router and the only always on device to play with.

But for the record, I'm not pushing for bigger flash to allow home users to use MetaROUTER. It was just an example and not the best one.
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Sun Mar 27, 2016 5:14 pm

I guess with MetaROUTER, an ISP could assign part of the bandwidth to free WiFi.

But the user should be able to opt out.
Easily possible even without the metarouter.
 
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Sun Mar 27, 2016 5:39 pm

I guess with MetaROUTER, an ISP could assign part of the bandwidth to free WiFi.

But the user should be able to opt out.
Easily possible even without the metarouter.
Even allowing the user complete freedom except direct modification of the Free WiFi config?
 
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Sun Mar 27, 2016 5:42 pm

What would be a use case for Metarouter in a small device?
Anything you can imagine and OpenWRT can run. Most likely not on mAP, its one ethernet and one wireless interface make it a limited use device, that's unlikely to end up handling whole network on its own. But on hAP, why not? Sure, it's marketed as AP, which implies there will be other devices in network, more suitable for such things. But it's not necessarily true. For example, here the usual internet speeds are way under 100Mbit, more like in 10-40Mbit range, so hAP is perfectly capable of handling that, in fact it's almost overpowered for such task. So it will often end up as the main router and the only always on device to play with.

But for the record, I'm not pushing for bigger flash to allow home users to use MetaROUTER. It was just an example and not the best one.
Yes, I think the mAP devices are the only ones were less than 48MB could be acceptable. I guess wAP too. What about wired-only devices? 32MB for all of those (backup)? I guess not at least for the latter if OpenWRT is so important.
 
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:00 pm

From what you say it seems a general purpose device should have no less than 96MB.

(16 + 24) * 2 = 80
 
artemk
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Thu May 12, 2016 2:25 pm

Upgrades don't need flash space, they happen via RAM drive. Small flash space could only affect you if you need big hotspot files, proxy or logs to persist after reboot.
Normis, this statement is not correct.

Current release is located on flash and being used during bootup. There is no possibility to delete existing firmware prior downloading new.
When downloading new release - it must be downloaded to flash and router should be rebooted to install.
During bootup it will replace old firmware with new one. Old one will be automatically removed from flash.

Technically it will obviously go through RAM, but both firmware versions are stored in flash. And device must have enough flash space to store at least two versions of firmware, including all possible modules for both versions.
 
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normis
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Thu May 12, 2016 2:38 pm

Technically it will obviously go through RAM, but both firmware versions are stored in flash. .
No, that is not correct. I already described how this works, and this information is verified by the RouterOS developers.

1. The files are stored in RAM
2. router goes into shutdown
3. old firmware is deleted and config is saved into RAM
4. new one is copied into Flash
5. config is restored
6. Only then device proceeds with reboot

you do not need 2x the size and 16MB is enough for upgrades.
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Thu May 12, 2016 5:41 pm

So why many people me including had problems with the not enough storage error during update? Yes I am able to update all my hap lites by download and install regularly now, but each device needed to be manually reinstalled by individual packages in two steps (as I suggest) at least once.
 
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Thu May 12, 2016 6:05 pm

2x the size would be to have a fallback.
 
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normis
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Fri May 13, 2016 8:51 am

I saw some other topics, and there people had installed extra packages. The total size of the packages you are trying to install should not be bigger than the Flash. For example in another topic, the person had the other wireless packages.

If using only the bundle package, there should be no problems. If you did have problems only with the bundle, please show me how to repeat it and we will investigate.
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Sat May 14, 2016 8:06 am

Normis. The problem is opposite. The flash should not be smaller than packages need plus some extra reserve. And there should be at least 2 times more to use the partitions backup.
 
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Sat May 14, 2016 2:03 pm

Partitions are probably advanced feature and I think that most people don't use them anyway. So I can understand why MikroTik does not care about them with low end (cheap) devices. Although I wouldn't say that e.g. hAP ac is one of them.

The sad part is that just installing an extra wireless package (so nothing wrong, special or anything) is enough to move you into unsupported territory. It's also "funny" that this particular problem exists only because of bundle package (I still don't understand what was the idea behind it), because it prevents you from easily removing unneeded packages.
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Sat May 14, 2016 3:29 pm

Mikrotik could easily make a backup partition trivial to activate. Then it would not be an "advanced" feature.
 
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Sat May 14, 2016 4:12 pm

Using backup partitions is trivial already. And it is very useful for whatever device. Just remember how all of you who had bricked a device just by update were happy if the device had the second partition... And the bundle? I have been asking mikrotik to stop use bundle and install a set of individual packages right in the factory. They don't want to do it stating that bundle is easier to be handled by most of the users. I am "unbundling" every my new device to be able to use only those packages I need and spare some space.
 
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Sat May 14, 2016 5:14 pm

I know it is trivial, that's why I wrote "advanced". But there is little awareness.
 
artemk
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Mon May 23, 2016 11:30 am

I saw some other topics, and there people had installed extra packages. The total size of the packages you are trying to install should not be bigger than the Flash. For example in another topic, the person had the other wireless packages.

If using only the bundle package, there should be no problems. If you did have problems only with the bundle, please show me how to repeat it and we will investigate.
Normis, no problems with bundle (so far), but the problem is with additional packages.
So, from your response - users must not install additional packages (like wireless-rep), otherwise they will not be able to upgrade, correct?
Flash size issue is the only reason which stops me from buying RB952/RB962.
 
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normis
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Mon May 23, 2016 12:47 pm

I saw some other topics, and there people had installed extra packages. The total size of the packages you are trying to install should not be bigger than the Flash. For example in another topic, the person had the other wireless packages.

If using only the bundle package, there should be no problems. If you did have problems only with the bundle, please show me how to repeat it and we will investigate.
Normis, no problems with bundle (so far), but the problem is with additional packages.
So, from your response - users must not install additional packages (like wireless-rep), otherwise they will not be able to upgrade, correct?
Flash size issue is the only reason which stops me from buying RB952/RB962.
you can switch from using the combo package, to using only individual packages. then you can use whichever packages you want. the combo package should not be combined with the use of individual packages in any router, not just small flash devices:

1. routeros.npk = good
2. system+wireless-rep+advanced-tools+routing = good
3. routeros+wireless-rep = bad
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artemk
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Mon May 23, 2016 3:49 pm

you can switch from using the combo package, to using only individual packages. then you can use whichever packages you want. the combo package should not be combined with the use of individual packages in any router, not just small flash devices:

1. routeros.npk = good
2. system+wireless-rep+advanced-tools+routing = good
3. routeros+wireless-rep = bad
Normis,

Thanks for that workaround. I will try.
But still I really hope that you will consider to install bigger flash in new hardware.

Thanks!
Artem
 
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Mon May 23, 2016 5:20 pm

I have never read such restriction. This is the first time. It will be really better if mikrotik stops installing combo bundles and start to deliver the devices with the set of separated packages. For devices with small flash just with the essential packages installed, for those with big flash with all packages installed but only the essential to be enabled by default.
 
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Tue May 24, 2016 2:16 pm

the combo package should not be combined with the use of individual packages in any router, not just small flash devices
I have never read such restriction. This is the first time.
Precisely. This is the first time that MikroTik has publicly said this. I have, for many many years, and through many versions (3.x and up), installed the "combo" package + additional individual packages with no problems. For example, combo + ntp, for when I want to run NTP server. Or combo + ups, for monitoring a UPS.

If it "should not be combined", then the software should prevent us from doing it. but it doesn't. And it works. Clearly the NPK system was designed to *allow* for this possibility, so this seems like revisionist history.

The following is just my opinion, but I have to agree with some of the others that the 16MB of flash in the hAP AC is too small and somewhat troubling as a precedent. I can understand it for cheaper (<= USD $50) devices, but for the RB962 it does not make sense. Would it be nice to have a little extra space for extra packages, log storage, maybe even a small lightweight MetaROUTER? Sure, but that's not the real reason for my concern: as time goes on, RouterOS is just going to get bigger and bigger, like all software does. And that means that there will come a day when, for flash/space reasons, the hAP AC hardware will stop being supported by RouterOS long before it stops supporting other RouterBoards that cost half as much. The RB951Ui is priced at > 50% less than the hAP AC, and it has 8x as much flash storage! So it will continue to support versions of RouterOS with all packages years from now, long after hAP AC has had software support dropped for lack of space.

My preference and advice would be to increase the flash on the hAP AC (and similar class devices) to 128MB (or at least 64), and increase the price by $5-10. I guarantee it would sell as well as the current version, if not better.

Just my USD $0.02,

-- Nathan
 
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Tue May 24, 2016 2:29 pm

Combo package is a simple solution for when you don't know what you need. If you know precisely what you do and don't need, and when, obviously, you run out of space, because of unneeded packages inside the combo, separate packages is the way to go.

The bundle is just a convenience for situations when it works for you. Advanced users can have a cleaner system with no unused menus if they use their own set of packages. I think most people who willingly install the REP package can be called advanced users, with ability to migrate to separate packages.
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hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Tue May 24, 2016 6:31 pm

Normis. I see some slight shift in your attitude. Hope it will not stop and will continue to develop in the right way. One day you realise that unskilled people do not update at all and if they do, they just press the download and install button. It is no difference for them if there is a bundle with some enabled and disabled packages or if the packages are separate. But we more skilled who know what we need are uselessly forced to make manual downgrade or update to get rid of the combo bundle each time we get a new device.

What positive effect does it have for mikrotik company to keep this approach?

Wouldn't be easier for you what I suggested?
 
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Tue May 24, 2016 10:42 pm

Advanced users can have a cleaner system with no unused menus if they use their own set of packages.
If somebody is annoyed with menu clutter, they can disable packages without removing them (whether combo or not combo). Then when they decide later that they want those features back, they can re-enable the packages without having to take the time to seek them out, download them, and install them, because they are already installed.
I think most people who willingly install the REP package can be called advanced users, with ability to migrate to separate packages.
Maybe, but there might also be plenty of novice users who heard from these forums or from a friend that the wireless-rep package will make their device perform better. Remember that RouterBoards come preloaded with the combo package. I recommend MikroTiks even to family and friends of mine, not just coworkers or other people in this industry. And if I think there is a change in wireless-rep that fixes a problem that a novice friend of mine is having, I would much rather just tell him "download this file, upload it to your router, and reboot", instead of explain to him that actually he needs to download this entire set of new files, and then look through his config to see what features he is and isn't using, and then select the right packages from among all-packages + wireless-rep, and if he is running the latest version of the combo package then he can't actually cross-install over to the same version of the individual packages but needs to Netinstall or do a downgrade/upgrade dance, etc. You've just made the process exponentially more complicated to explain and to do.
Combo package is a simple solution for when you don't know what you need. If you know precisely what you do and don't need, and when, obviously, you run out of space, because of unneeded packages inside the combo, separate packages is the way to go.
I get what you are saying. :) But if the flash was even 32MB instead of 16 on a $100+ device, you wouldn't need to worry about running out of space.

Not all users are advanced users, and like I pointed out earlier the combo package is the one that is preloaded onto RouterBoards from the factory. Is MikroTik really publicly committing to never allowing the combo package to increase in size to the point where it does not fit on a 16MB device? That's a big promise, and one that will be hard to keep because it ties your developers' hands. It might not happen anytime soon, but eventually at some point in the future a new release of the combo package will exceed the storage capacity of these routers, and you will come to a crossroads where you will be forced to make a choice:
  1. Do nothing, and stop supporting 16MB devices altogether
  2. Do nothing, and stop supporting combo package on 16MB devices
  3. Remove packages from the combo
  4. Don't make combo packages anymore
#1 means that you drop support for RB962 before you drop support for RB951, which would be weird.
#2, #3, and #4 all mean that a 16MB device will no longer be able to use some of the packages that used to fit on the flash with older versions, so those routers actually lose features and become less useful. Just like how when RouterOS 3 came out, RouterOS stopped working well on devices with 16MB of RAM, so you had to remove packages from them that used to work fine on those same models in RouterOS 2.9, and even then it was a struggle. (The 16MB RAM boards were not that old at that point!)

(Also, removing packages from the combo package would be bad for non-advanced users, because maybe they only know how to upgrade with the combo package, and maybe they are using a feature from a package that gets removed in a later version. When they upgrade from older combo to newer combo, and the package that they are using gets removed, they will wonder why their router broke.)

In the end, it might have been easier to just spend a couple extra bucks and use a slightly larger NAND chip.

With respect,

-- Nathan

P.S. -- This situation reminds me of the Apple iPhone minimum flash size issue, which they are being roundly criticized for in the tech press, even by Apple-friendly pundits (https://daringfireball.net/2014/10/ios_8_storage_space -- from 2014!). A 16GB iPhone barely has enough space for the average user after you account for iOS (and the bottom-tier 8GB models they sold up through 2015 are even worse!), so the argument is that the lowest tier should be 32GB. I tend to agree; you can see for yourself how much iOS has grown in size over the years (and this is just the installation package file, not how much space it takes up after install): https://www.theiphonewiki.com/wiki/Firmware/iPhone
 
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Wed May 25, 2016 8:12 am

Is MikroTik really publicly committing to never allowing the combo package to increase in size to the point where it does not fit on a 16MB device?
Do you seriously suggest that our own software will one day no longer run on our own devices?
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Wed May 25, 2016 1:34 pm

Is MikroTik really publicly committing to never allowing the combo package to increase in size to the point where it does not fit on a 16MB device?
Do you seriously suggest that our own software will one day no longer run on our own devices?
Well, it has happened before (RB111, RB112, RB133C, RB150) (EDIT: actually, all of MIPSLE), so why should we expect it not to happen again? And I don't even blame you guys for that: you cannot reasonably be expected to support older devices forever. At some point, in order to allow the software to advance and reach its potential, you have to cut the cord to older devices. It is inevitable. Right? All platform owners go through this, and at some point in a product's lifecycle, it ages out of being actively supported. Apple didn't release iOS 9 for the iPhone 4, for example. There's a reason for that.

All I am saying is that with only 16MB of flash, the hAP AC will likely find itself eventually unsupported sooner than it otherwise would have been if it had been given just a little more storage to begin with. Not unlike how the 16MB RAM devices dropped out of the race sooner than any of the other RouterBoards did.

-- Nathan
 
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Wed May 25, 2016 2:41 pm

Nathan, MIPSLE works with 6.32.4. We stopped making new versions for MIPSLE boards because new features require a faster CPU. By the same logic, hAP ac should have a faster CPU now, so that our software could be run for more years without running out of CPU resources ;)
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NathanA
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Wed May 25, 2016 3:42 pm

Nathan, MIPSLE works with 6.32.4. We stopped making new versions for MIPSLE boards because new features require a faster CPU.
Right, but no new software after 6.32.4 also means no more bug fixes too. So, not supported. :)

Also, RB111/112/133C/150 were unsupported after 5.26, for lack of RAM. (And frankly, they stopped working well back at RouterOS 3, even if it was officially supported.)

Again, I'm not blaming you. RB500 series had a good long life, and its time had come.
By the same logic, hAP ac should have a faster CPU now, so that our software could be run for more years without running out of CPU resources ;)
Very true! It will still have a powerful CPU even though it has run out of space! ;)

I guess the only thing we can do now is wait and see. Time will tell. I still have concerns, but for what it is worth, I hope you guys prove me wrong.

-- Nathan
 
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:38 pm

It's actually not about flash price problem. But because of many peoples use cheap hardware to do advanced task like metarouter, MT think: how to sell expensive hardware to get more money? Errr... Lets say, if we decrease flash size just for basic task, then if you want to use advanced task then go for CRS/CCR.
 
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Sun Jul 17, 2016 5:24 am

Combo package is a simple solution for when you don't know what you need. If you know precisely what you do and don't need, and when, obviously, you run out of space, because of unneeded packages inside the combo, separate packages is the way to go.

The bundle is just a convenience for situations when it works for you. Advanced users can have a cleaner system with no unused menus if they use their own set of packages. I think most people who willingly install the REP package can be called advanced users, with ability to migrate to separate packages.
I am not an advanced user. I have had a hAP lite for 2 months. I am not a n00b with computers. I can program in Python and Java using the CLI extensively. I wanted a Mikrotik to learn more about networking.  
In fact, I had read a lot of positive reviews of Mikrotik and I am trying to get a part-time job with a WISP that uses Mikrotik. I bought a hAP lite to get to know routerOS and I wanted to try the wireless-rep package. I have done nothing except fight with the router. I have tried every wiki tutorial and googled very diligently to use wireless repeater to no avail. I think it is a bug with 6.35.2 wireless-rep. 
So I try to upgrade to 6.35.4 --> Error: not enough disk space! 
Now, as the wireless-rep package, I am forced to spend countless hours trying to find a solution that works to upgrade the darn thing. So far, I haven't found one. There are like 15 things I need to learn before I can update the darn router. 
For example, when does it execute a scheduled uninstall? What does scheduled uninstall actually mean? what are disable packages? what happens when you disable packages? can I brick this router? Should I use netinstall, winbox or the web interface? This is completely unsatisfactory. It is supremely frustrating and honestly one of the worst experiences I've had with technology.  
 
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Sun Jul 17, 2016 7:36 am

Go to package click on wireless-fp then click uninstall some thing on wireless-cm2 reboot device using system reboot command. When is go back upload wireless-rep reboot and you have enabled wireless-rep package. Warring this must be performed when you are using LAN because uninstalling wireless.
Or just wait final 6.36 version where by default wireless-fp is not included and have space for wireless-rep.

I am also working part job for couple WISP if you want to do that job, trust me this is very simple comparing what they need.


Personally I am using winbox because it is easy to monitoring different thing, also sometime using terminal some thing can do much faster then in winbox and very rarely using web or android application usually only on phone.
 
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Re: RE: Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:07 am

Combo package is a simple solution for when you don't know what you need. If you know precisely what you do and don't need, and when, obviously, you run out of space, because of unneeded packages inside the combo, separate packages is the way to go.

The bundle is just a convenience for situations when it works for you. Advanced users can have a cleaner system with no unused menus if they use their own set of packages. I think most people who willingly install the REP package can be called advanced users, with ability to migrate to separate packages.
I am not an advanced user. I have had a hAP lite for 2 months. I am not a n00b with computers. I can program in Python and Java using the CLI extensively. I wanted a Mikrotik to learn more about networking.  
In fact, I had read a lot of positive reviews of Mikrotik and I am trying to get a part-time job with a WISP that uses Mikrotik. I bought a hAP lite to get to know routerOS and I wanted to try the wireless-rep package. I have done nothing except fight with the router. I have tried every wiki tutorial and googled very diligently to use wireless repeater to no avail. I think it is a bug with 6.35.2 wireless-rep. 
So I try to upgrade to 6.35.4 --> Error: not enough disk space! 
Now, as the wireless-rep package, I am forced to spend countless hours trying to find a solution that works to upgrade the darn thing. So far, I haven't found one. There are like 15 things I need to learn before I can update the darn router. 
For example, when does it execute a scheduled uninstall? What does scheduled uninstall actually mean? what are disable packages? what happens when you disable packages? can I brick this router? Should I use netinstall, winbox or the web interface? This is completely unsatisfactory. It is supremely frustrating and honestly one of the worst experiences I've had with technology.  
Just go over and sustain. This is normal learning curve. I started with mikrotik after 20 years of experience with computers and networking and can tell you that I was not able to power it on for the very first time and was not able to log in during next hour. I started to believe that it is broken, but it wasn't. Now I can tell you there is nothing generally better you can use for its value / price combination. Give it time.
 
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Wed Jul 20, 2016 7:23 pm

It's actually not about flash price problem. But because of many peoples use cheap hardware to do advanced task like metarouter, MT think: how to sell expensive hardware to get more money? Errr... Lets say, if we decrease flash size just for basic task, then if you want to use advanced task then go for CRS/CCR.
its may had more adverse/bad impact even for "mediocre"/ordnary usage of, basically by flash wearing in Tiny storage/chips - hit barrier/resource LOT quicker, eventually bricking devices.
as for external storage for both backup - thats why A-type USB slot and/or SD card slot was VERY handy both for transfering settings, storing volatile data, conserving main flash resource or even to bring to life devices with completely ... main flash (if bootloader support that. like it does for say for some of RB2011 variants)
 
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:35 pm

What I am missing in the whole discussion is the reason / motivation of MikrotTik to stick to 16MB...

I use many RB751U's and a lot of RB951's (U/G) and have always 2 partitions in place. I tried a RB941-2nD and this is a nightmare! So I still resist to buy any of the newer models with 16MB.

I would accept the limitation on the really low priced models but cannot accept nor see any reason to stick to 16MB on models like hap, hex, wap. I do not believe that cost really matters.

So MikroTik: What is the reason - honestly ?!?
Last edited by whitbread on Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:43 pm

We switched from NAND to SPI FLASH, which have proven to be more reliable. We may use bigger size SPI FLASH in future, but since it is enough for RouterOS basic functionality, we use the best available size at the moment. 
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Re: RE: Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Thu Jul 21, 2016 4:25 pm

What I am missing in the whole discussion is the reason / motivation of MikrotTik to stick to 16GB...

I use many RB751U's and a lot of RB951's (U/G) and have always 2 partitions in place. I tried a RB941-2nD and this is a nightmare! So I still resist to buy any of the newer models with 16GB.

I would accept the limitation on the really low priced models but cannot accept nor see any reason to stick to 16GB on models like hap, hex, wap. I do not believe that cost really matters.

So MikroTik: What is the reason - honestly ?!?
I wish it was 16GB...
 
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Fri Jul 22, 2016 1:20 am

We switched from NAND to SPI FLASH, which have proven to be more reliable. We may use bigger size SPI FLASH in future, but since it is enough for RouterOS basic functionality, we use the best available size at the moment. 
This is at least an answer even though I don't like it.
I agree with you that it may be enough for basic functionality, but I am not willing to buy a hap ac for $100+ restricted to basic functionality!
Just let me know when hap ac will be available with at least 64MB or better 128MB and I will buy some right away.
 
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:05 pm

NAND Flash way faster than SPI Flash. Not believe what I'm saying? Try netinstall RB951Ui vs RB952Ui. RB951Ui using 128MB NAND netinstall so fast, while RB952Ui using 16MB SPI netinstall so damn slow. Netinstall issue? Not really. Try this to confirm: winbox > terminal > export verbose file=test. U can see RB951Ui blazing fast while RB952Ui turtle slow. Not enough evidence? Open winbox, files, copy a file with capacity 5mb. RB951Ui will copy so damn fast at low cpu usage, while RB952Ui will copy so damn slow with 100% cpu load for long long long time. So, which part u said that SPI Flash more reliable? Data sheet said that NAND Flash in RB951Ui is SLC with 100k write endurance. SPI Flash in RB952Ui is SLC with 100k write endurance. We are not at kindergarten school man. Better said the truth than trying to fool us.
 
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Wed Aug 03, 2016 7:53 pm

I really miss the functionality of partitions on these kinds of boards.Power at some of my sites is piss poor and the partitions at my sites have saved my bacon many a time now.
My wireless boards tends to run either Current or RC firmware due to the constant improvements and enhancements on the wireless code compared to the routers or bridges which never go outside of their BugFix jail.It's nice after internal testing we do to boot newer Current/RC firmware on a lowly populated AP , syslog it and check for any problems or trouble tickets come in.

Edit forgot to say:Some of the AP's are in very remote places (Read requires heavy duty 4x4 LDV and permits etc) . Being able to revert to another partition if there are some issues is a godsend.I love the hap's and have deployed many of them now , but for those sites I usually bite the passive POE bullet and just buy a 951 or 2011 at the moment due the availability of partitions.

It is not a dealbreaker for me but I would gladly pay more for bigger flash.
Maybe hAP ac Professional ?
 
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Sun Aug 28, 2016 5:06 pm

16MB is so small. Hope they will make a bigger one or make it possible to replace or upgrade it.
 
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:19 pm

NAND Flash way faster than SPI Flash. Not believe what I'm saying? Try netinstall RB951Ui vs RB952Ui. RB951Ui using 128MB NAND netinstall so fast, while RB952Ui using 16MB SPI netinstall so damn slow. Netinstall issue? Not really. Try this to confirm: winbox > terminal > export verbose file=test. U can see RB951Ui blazing fast while RB952Ui turtle slow. Not enough evidence? Open winbox, files, copy a file with capacity 5mb. RB951Ui will copy so damn fast at low cpu usage, while RB952Ui will copy so damn slow with 100% cpu load for long long long time. So, which part u said that SPI Flash more reliable? Data sheet said that NAND Flash in RB951Ui is SLC with 100k write endurance. SPI Flash in RB952Ui is SLC with 100k write endurance. We are not at kindergarten school man. Better said the truth than trying to fool us.
Give them a break. It was an engineering decision. Your examples only show the advantages of NAND write speed.

SPI flash uses NOR flash which is much faster when reading than NAND flash. NOR flash can be read a byte at a time in microseconds. NAND is read in blocks or sectors like a hard drive and can take milliseconds. For an OS to run from NAND, your have to load it into RAM and execute from RAM. You can execute code directly from NOR flash without loading into RAM. Not sure if that works from SPI that Mikrotik is using but that is a big deal when supporting microcontrollers.

NAND flash was really designed for large cheap storage like memory cards, drive arrays, etc. SPI (NOR) flash is probably a better fit for Routerboards especially if the microcontrollers support them directly (and most do).

I am guessing that with SPI flash, we will see fewer kernel panics and other errors that require a netinstall reformat.

Tom
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Wed Sep 07, 2016 10:10 pm

The problem is not so much the technology, but the amount of flash and ram.
 
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Fri Sep 09, 2016 2:45 pm

I was one among the first to complain about the hAP AC, when it came out. I was waiting for a killer device and instead I saw a not very fast cpu and VERY little flash space. I therefore happily stayed with my beloved 951G, which has been proven a real workhorse.

I am just wondering, there is a flash chip of the same series with the one used in hAP AC and with the same pinout, ony double the size. Is it possible that if soldered onto the hAP AC board, it would get recognized correctly by the OS and used, doubling the amount of available flash space?
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guipoletto
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Re: hAP ac (and some other new rotuers) too small flash

Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:00 am

I guess the size constraint is dictated not by Mikrotik's desire to make us suffer, but by the not availability of 32, 64 or 128MB modules of SPI memory.

I did a little research, and could only find 32MB single-die SPI memory packages, and 64/128 stacked-die chips, that are expensive and possibly not available in bulk quantities.


What i can't really understand is what was the main drive in the decision to move from NAND to NOR-SPI modules. Maybe implementation is easier due to not having 48pins, maybe the new atheros chipsets ditched support to NAND?

the fact is that this is very limiting from a user stand point. Partitions / Virtualization and the flexibility of the modules approach widelly offset the extra dollar cost of more memory.

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