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ECC vs non-ECC RAM and ZFS

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My whole argument against people that want to argue that non-ECC doesn't add additional risk is this:

1. If ECC RAM doesn't solve some serious problems then why haven't we seen bad ECC RAM result in a failed pool or trashed backups? I'm still waiting for that day to come because I'm *very* curious to see how it all plays out.
2. Experience >>>> what hypothetically/mathematically/whatever shouldn't matter. Here's the secret.. experience has shown that ECC RAM has a significant impact on how bad things go when the RAM goes bad.

The fact that your backups can be completely destroyed is just horrifying. That simple fact alone should render the whole argument mute unless your data has so little value you don't keep backups.

This whole discussion seems to be solely based on logic, and no matter what way I think of it, I can't find a logical way to argue for non-ECC(or at least argue that ECC's cost isn't justified) except when your data has so little value you don't keep backups. In those cases I could also argue that ZFS is probably overkill for your intended function anyway.
 

D4nthr4x

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I don't have a wikipedia page.. thank God... I think.
I'm working on it.

(you may have to settle for an encyclopedia dramatica page or something, maybe a self post on /r/zfs)
 
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lol
 

panz

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I don't like Allan's answer, when he says that his servers have ECC memory, but this doesn't stop him using ZFS on his laptop. This is a poor argumentation.
 
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I agree. The answer to the question and the context of how someone asks the question as well as how they are interpreting the question matters.

My mom asking me if a laptop is a "good" laptop is totally different than if some IT techie friend asks for a second opinion on an expensive purchase he's about to make.

I don't think that the person asking the question(s) so far has been very good at putting it in context, and it's very obvious in his answers.

I will totally agree with Allen Jude though on his answer with running it on his laptop. If ZFS existed for Windows I'd probably be using it... despite having non-ECC RAM on my desktop. In fact, in 2 weeks when Linux Mint 17 LTS is released I plan to make that my new second OS, and I *will* be running it with ZFS and with non-ECC RAM. I also won't miss any sleep over it *because* I already understand the consequences.

Choosing to run your desktop or laptop with ZFS and non-ECC RAM is a totally different picture from running it on your file server. Even more so if its your *only* file server.
 

DJABE

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Good luck Bruno!
You were lucky to find/order E3C224D2I!

Regarding this topic - few weeks ago the company I work for got a few brand new servers, with almost 1 TB of RAM per server... each slot is populated with ECC (registered) RAM... it would take long time for *certain* purposes in IT production 24/7environment not to use ECC... but I do believe for a bunch of regular uses ECC system memory is not required.
 
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I don't think the ASRock board Bruno is buying would even support registered memory, only ECC/non-ECC.
 

D4nthr4x

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DJABE

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Err? Where did Allan Jude's postings vanished?
He's using ZFS on his laptop... Well for testing purpose every machine is ok I guess...
 
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He has a laptop with ECC? That would make the first laptop I've ever heard of that uses ECC...
 

D4nthr4x

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No he is saying that he doesn't use ecc on his laptop but he runs zfs so therefore ecc shouldn't be a requirement because maybe people want to run it on their laptop. But of course he runs ECC on his bsd servers running zfs, but because you can run zfs on non-ecc systems we should remove the requirement for ecc from the documentation. Which is simply idiotic. Watch his BSD podcast when he talks about it and he clearly has no idea what the implications of not using ECC memory are and he is in a position in which he should know more about it, or he should keep his mouth shut and not advise people to do reckless things. Because if you listen to that podcast he is basically saying that nothing should go wrong if you don't use ECC which is the complete opposite of reality. And then he post that on twitter basically saying that running non-ecc is stupid but you can do it. Well no crap I can also shoot myself in the head but that certainly isn't advised.
 
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That thought process is virtually exactly to what I said earlier in this thread.
 

D4nthr4x

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The board only supports UDIMM, is this a problem regarding ZFS?
If yes, then I have bought the wrong board, again :(

It's not a problem you just can't buy registered memory, it shouldn't make a functional difference and doesn't effect ZFS, it only really effects what you purchase.
 
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Hi all,

I'm new on this forum so I want to thank all for que support and help, I really appreciate all the info I've found in this thread.

My doubt comes when I want to build a NAS using the s1150 basis. I had a mainboard in mind, the Asrock Z87 Extreme6, since it has 10 sata3, but according with the info, using registered memory is almost compulsory when making a Raid using ZFS. So I started my search and I found that the i3 I wanted to use (one with 35w TDP) is compatible with ECC, but now I need another mainboard.

I've found very little options, this Supermicro seems to be first alternative: LINK, I've found also this Asus: LINK, But it actually has fewer SATA ports since the bottom ones needs the installation of a PIKE raid card.

My question is: Anyone knows another s1150 motherboard that allows ECC memory? I've found in Asus and found nothing at all, but I would like to know more options, and the info I found about this is near to zero.

Many thanks in advance.
 

danb35

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Registered is unnecessary and irrelevant. ECC is what's important.
 

Ericloewe

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Hi all,

I'm new on this forum so I want to thank all for que support and help, I really appreciate all the info I've found in this thread.

My doubt comes when I want to build a NAS using the s1150 basis. I had a mainboard in mind, the Asrock Z87 Extreme6, since it has 10 sata3, but according with the info, using registered memory is almost compulsory when making a Raid using ZFS. So I started my search and I found that the i3 I wanted to use (one with 35w TDP) is compatible with ECC, but now I need another mainboard.

I've found very little options, this Supermicro seems to be first alternative: LINK, I've found also this Asus: LINK, But it actually has fewer SATA ports since the bottom ones needs the installation of a PIKE raid card.

My question is: Anyone knows another s1150 motherboard that allows ECC memory? I've found in Asus and found nothing at all, but I would like to know more options, and the info I found about this is near to zero.

Many thanks in advance.
First of all, read the hardware sticky. It'll answer a lot of questions you seem to have.

Next: Forget registered memory even exists. There's no consumer-level solution that supports it.

For ECC to work, you need a compatible CPU, PCH and motherboard. Don't choose the lowest TDP Core i3 you find - you will not save power! You will only limit performance. Idle power is the exact same. You will need a motherboard with a C22x chipset.
If you need tons of drives, the Supermicro X10SL7-F supports 14 drives out of the box (once you've flashed the onboard controller to IT mode) and will take more with SAS expanders.

Keep in mind that you'll want a lot of RAM. ~1GB per TB of HDD space, plus a few GB for FreeNAS, so, if you're planning on expanding a lot, an LGA1150 CPU isn't enough.
 

PenalunWil

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Where are you based Tassadar?

I've used the Supermicro X10 SL7-F and flashed the on-board LSI to IT.

If your UK based and need some help sourcing components then don't hesitate to ask.

Wil
 
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