AMD's StoreMI Technology @ [H]

Zarathustra[H]

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But this may not be for everyone. Pricing though does not look bad at all for non-amd users. I'll probably snag a license for my NAS :D
I wonder how useful it is going to be on a NAS since it can only be used directly on block devices (no RAID storage pools) and only supports two levels...

Add to that that it is Windows only.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Having thought more about this, I could see myself using a storage system like this, probably with a combination of RAM and then a small fast PCIe Optane as tier1 and a large TLC SSD as Tier2 if, and only if, it were either entirely handled by the BIOS and presented to the OS natively as a single block device, or if it were cross platform so I could dual boot windows and Linux off of it.

It its current state I'd probably pass.
 

Langly

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I wonder how useful it is going to be on a NAS since it can only be used directly on block devices (no RAID storage pools) and only supports two levels...

Add to that that it is Windows only.
Lucky for me, my mobo didnt play nice with the raid controller I have and ESXI so I just said fuck it and put windows on it to be done.
 

knowom

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I'm just going to put this out there, this is AMD making software that enterprise storage arrays have used for a decade. Where you need it, this sort of thing can be great. From someone who works in the enterprise storage world, I have seen some catastrophic failures from multiple vendors.

If you don't want to buy SSDs or you want to try to put some lipstick on the pig that is old spindle drives, this is fun solution that could provide some real world benefit. But this may not be for everyone. Pricing though does not look bad at all for non-amd users. I'll probably snag a license for my NAS :D
This 2GB RAM cache is probably going to cache accelerate a mechanical HD more than a 20GB SSD give or take and that's based on dual channel memory not quad or octa channel which would double or quadruple that figure roughly. That also doesn't take into account the latency is also lower on the RAM cache as well. The real beauty of this is the cost per GB it provides is fantastic. You can continue to use a mechanical HD at around SSD like performance levels for essentially no cost at all with excess DRAM you probably already have available on a modern system like these are being built around.
 

Dan_D

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This 2GB RAM cache is probably going to cache accelerate a mechanical HD more than a 20GB SSD give or take and that's based on dual channel memory not quad or octa channel which would double or quadruple that figure roughly. That also doesn't take into account the latency is also lower on the RAM cache as well. The real beauty of this is the cost per GB it provides is fantastic. You can continue to use a mechanical HD at around SSD like performance levels for essentially no cost at all with excess DRAM you probably already have available on a modern system like these are being built around.
I would seriously like to try this on a Threadripper based system.
 

mord

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Hey guys, New user here, just wanted to chime in because I bought the premium fuzedrive mostly due to curiosity.
I'm currently using it for my games drive, which has an ADATA SX8000 512GB NVME SSD Fuzed with an 8TB shucked Seagate archive 8TB.
(Yes, earlier in the thread someone was talking about not needing more than "2-3" games at one time. I'm not that scenario. I have over 5 terabytes of steam games.)

I'm running a Ryzen 1700 on an Asrock X370 motherboard that I both got at launch. I'm not really interested in upgrading either at the moment so I had to bite the bullet and buy the program.

I've been using it for about 3 weeks now. Once you get it working: It works, it works well. I have multiple games installed that approach or break the 100GB barrier. Instead of trying to move them off and on my SSD to a slower secondary drive, which can take multiple minutes to do, I can just keep them all on the same drive. When I feel like playing something new, it has a slow first time boot, but I've managed to get load times in games like FFXV down to about 15 seconds compared to the 2+ minutes when it was purely on a mechanical drive. Especially noticeable within that game is the 4GB Cache which can turn fast travel load times down to mere seconds. For small games the benefit is almost instantaneous, but for really large games you need to "train" the Fuzedrive for faster loading by hitting a couple load zones. It's not perfect, but its absolutely faster than moving 100GB+ folders around to try and satiate my needs for having a super large library and simultaneously have NVME speed load times.

Now for the bad:

I had some major complications getting this FuzeDrive installed. I think the real reason that StoreMi caps out at 256GB/2TB for the drives is for convenience. Anything more than that and you start getting into some really weird MBR/GPT formatting issues because windows just wants to instantly format anything smaller than 2TB as MBR. I was originally just going to expand my 512GB SSD with the 8TB secondary drive, but the SSD was legacy formatted as MBR due to its small size and there was literally no way to expand it to anything bigger than 2TB when I fuzed it, which left 6TB completely unusable. I tried to use a program to switch from MBR to GPT which ended up making my computer unbootable. (This was, very likely, a user error that could have been avoided.)

So after some effort and a little googling around I was able to unfuze the drives, reinstall windows, and fuze them again. This created a bootable windows, and as I got to back to reinstalling my backup of my programs off the cloud I, yet again, came across the same fucking 2TB limitation. I have since learned enough knowledge to fix this (create a Win10 GPT only boot disk with Rufus, etc.) but by the time it happened a second time I decided that maybe the Fuzedrive was a little too volatile to have as my main OS drive, even with my cloud backup.

My motherboard has two NVME slots, so I decided to just buy a tiny, new, super fast SSD for my OS and non game programs. Went with the ADATA SX82000 due to its price and the reliability i've had with my SX8000.
Reinstalled windows on that new SSD (I love NVME drives, Reinstalling windows took < 10 minutes).
Unfuzed, formatted and refuzed my 512GB SSD+ 8TB fuzedrive into a crazy thing that has 7.73TB of usable space. When it's not the boot disk this task went smooth as butter and didn't have the multiple reboots that trying to create a bootable fuzedrive had. Got to the process of moving my ridiculous terabytes of hard drives over the fuzedrive since then things have worked wonderfully*.

*Except HWInfo64 crashes at boot so I had to change my rainmeter widgets.

In short, when it works it's awesome. I think a best case scenario would be a system with only two hard drives, fuzing a single NVME and a single HDD into one usable partition would probably be really smooth. It would be amazing for laptops (although its not supported yet?)
For desktops I'm beginning to think that Primocache is probably the superior option, it doesn't have anywhere near as many limitations and it keeps your data safer.

If you have any other questions I'll be glad to answer em.

Also, I'm curious how these tests were performed. If they were all right after the other without any repeat testing then I can see why performance slowed down in the later tests. Fuzedrive hadn't yet re-allocated the files to the fast tier. This takes some time to do so and has been getting noticeably more efficient. I'm sure there will be some drastic variance if you run the same test multiple times in a row, with it probably increasing in speed after every test.

Ah your final solution is near exactly what I am thinking of doing. I want to do a smallish mirror drive for OS and a few applications, then the fuzz on a ssd/disk pair for mostly just games.

I also prefer to have many games installed at a time. For one I enjoy many different genera of games and jump around which game I play often. Add that to the fastest internet access I can get tops out around 30MBs and reinstalling 50GB+ steam games is a pain.

I like the uptime protection of mirroring the OS drive and always want windows on SSD. I don't want to spend the $ on 6TB+ of SSD storage for games. I already have the spinning rust for that.
 

ianken

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Romex PrimoCache is very similar, but perhaps not as enterprise crazy train performant.. I run it on my home/plex server since my current disk load-out/config bottle-necks on writes. IE: when I'm archiving a big ass render from premier. It works very well.

I have a 64GB partition on my system SSD for tier2 cache and 8GB RAM for Tier 1.

Checking stats: I have a 82% hit rate on the system disk and 57% on the storage tier.

Another side effect is that the users of my Plex server ( friends and family) note improved UI response when remote and browsing.

It also work flawlessly with my raid controller.
 

Hoddi77

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Romex PrimoCache is very similar, but perhaps not as enterprise crazy train performant.. I run it on my home/plex server since my current disk load-out/config bottle-necks on writes. IE: when I'm archiving a big ass render from premier. It works very well.

I have a 64GB partition on my system SSD for tier2 cache and 8GB RAM for Tier 1.

Checking stats: I have a 82% hit rate on the system disk and 57% on the storage tier.

Another side effect is that the users of my Plex server ( friends and family) note improved UI response when remote and browsing.

It also work flawlessly with my raid controller.
PrimoCache is easily my preferred solution over SRT and StoreMI. The latter two are both great solutions (and everyone should use them if they can) but Primo is in a league of its own when it comes to customizabiliity.

StoreMI seemingly only supports RAM as a read cache, for example, and SRT doesn't support it at all. I don't care much for read caching in RAM (since Windows mostly takes care of that) but write caching can make a huge difference during Steam/Origin/uPlay client and game updates. It also saves on SSD write endurance for those who worry about that.
 

Nobu

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Sounds like logical volume manager on linux, but with smart allocation of data based on usage. If it's as transparent as lvm, backups may be simple. pcgeekesq

Basically, you treat all devices on one logical volume as a single...volume, and back that up. To restore, simply recreate the same logical volume group with drives of the same size or larger, then restore to that volume. Have to leave a bit of extra space unallocated in case one drive ends up a bit smaller (despite advertising the same size), but otherwise it works well.
 

Spazturtle

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Sounds like logical volume manager on linux, but with smart allocation of data based on usage. If it's as transparent as lvm, backups may be simple. pcgeekesq

Basically, you treat all devices on one logical volume as a single...volume, and back that up. To restore, simply recreate the same logical volume group with drives of the same size or larger, then restore to that volume. Have to leave a bit of extra space unallocated in case one drive ends up a bit smaller (despite advertising the same size), but otherwise it works well.
This is a tiered storage system, so it is more like bcache then a logical volume manager.

EDIT: Just noticed I have the exact same number of posts as you (1,526).
 

noko

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Just bought a WD 256gb M.2 PCIe NVMe for $79, probably go with the $20 license for the HTPC system. Looks like some nice improvements for big screen gaming is upcoming.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Having thought some more about this StoreMI technology, I have found something to use it for after all.

Last night as I was once again moving my stepsons screen recordings from his 256GB Samsung 850 Pro boot drive to his 1TB WD Blue mass storage drive after repeatedly reminding him to do this himself, I remembered this technology and thought it might be worth a try.

Alas, the limitations though:

Dan_D said:
Speaking of limitations, I had stated earlier that StoreMI is limited to a 256GB limit for the fast tier and 2GB for RAM caching. If you have an AMD 400-series chipset, you can download AMD StoreMI software for free. You can buy licenses from Enmotus Fuzedrive which offers two license modes. The basic license is $20 and gives you 128GB of fast tier storage and 2GB of RAMcache. This is less than what you get with X400 series chipsets, but this is the license that will work with 300 series chipsets as well. FuzeDrive Plus gives you up to 1TB of fast tier SSD storage and 4GB of cache memory. This license is $59.99, but has the same limitations we’ve already talked about so far. One other limitation I haven't mentioned is the one where StoreMI is limited to desktop computers. It doesn't work on notebooks of any kind at this time. While this is a shame, I can understand the complexities of trying to make it work on so many disparate platforms.
My stepson is on a B350 motherboard with a hexacore Ryzen (I forget which one). I'd spend the $20 for the license to allow the 256GB Samsung 850 Pro and 1TB WD Blue to operate as one, and never have to clean up his boot drive again (at least for a while). The 128GB limit kills it though. There is no way it's worth $60 to go for the Plus version. I'd get much better value out of that money elsewhere. What a shame. If the basic $20 license equaled the x400 version, I'd happily do that.
 

tangoseal

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Having thought some more about this StoreMI technology, I have found something to use it for after all.

Last night as I was once again moving my stepsons screen recordings from his 256GB Samsung 850 Pro boot drive to his 1TB WD Blue mass storage drive after repeatedly reminding him to do this himself, I remembered this technology and thought it might be worth a try.

Alas, the limitations though:



My stepson is on a B350 motherboard with a hexacore Ryzen (I forget which one). I'd spend the $20 for the license to allow the 256GB Samsung 850 Pro and 1TB WD Blue to operate as one, and never have to clean up his boot drive again (at least for a while). The 128GB limit kills it though. There is no way it's worth $60 to go for the Plus version. I'd get much better value out of that money elsewhere. What a shame. If the basic $20 license equaled the x400 version, I'd happily do that.
You still have to defrag your spindle and trim your ssd hopefully these features are implemented into the software.

Actually I wouldn't mind using storemi in my signature rig. NVME coupled to a 6 TB hard drive would be very nice to just have a transparent 6TB high speed solution. I probably have 3tb of just Steam Shit.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Having thought some more about this StoreMI technology, I have found something to use it for after all.

Last night as I was once again moving my stepsons screen recordings from his 256GB Samsung 850 Pro boot drive to his 1TB WD Blue mass storage drive after repeatedly reminding him to do this himself, I remembered this technology and thought it might be worth a try.

Alas, the limitations though:



My stepson is on a B350 motherboard with a hexacore Ryzen (I forget which one). I'd spend the $20 for the license to allow the 256GB Samsung 850 Pro and 1TB WD Blue to operate as one, and never have to clean up his boot drive again (at least for a while). The 128GB limit kills it though. There is no way it's worth $60 to go for the Plus version. I'd get much better value out of that money elsewhere. What a shame. If the basic $20 license equaled the x400 version, I'd happily do that.

So my stepson filled his boot disk with junk again. (That didn't take long). I just bit the bullet, bought the $60 license and installed it on his machine. I initially balked at the $60, but in the long run this is going to save me so much time when he complains about his machine not running well (despite doing exactly what I told him not to do for the 20th time) that I decided to just do it.

Some comments on the install:

They recommend starting with OS on a hard disk if you have the choice. I didn't. Boot/Windows/Programs/Games were already installed on the SSD, with extra files only on the spinning disk, so I did the alternate method, of starting with a SSD and adding a hard disk.

It's fairly straight forward. I imaged the boot SSD, and backed up the content off of his storage spindle before installing. You could get away without imaging the boot drive (but it would be risky) but the software absolutely requires an empty hard disk in order to add it. If there are any partitions at all on it, it won't won't let you start, so delete all partitions first.

It allows you to tick which drive is the "fast" drive, and which is the "slow" drive, asks you if you want none, 2GB or 4GB RAM cache, and then it just takes a few minutes to convert it all, before forcing a reboot. (The prompt warns you that if you don't reboot immediately data loss could occur.)

Once the system booted back up again, I had my one and only issue. The installer expects the main Windows partition to be the last partition on the drive before you start. In my case it wasn't. There was that pesky 427MB restore partition at the end of the disk. So, when it booted back up the main disk was no larger than before I started.

At first I thought it just wasn't working, until I figured out that I was going to have to manually move the restore partition, and then expand the windows partition to fill the space.

The manual discusses this, but just tells you yo "use 3rd party software" to do it.

The problems with this are as follows:

1.) I usually use a linux boot disk and Gparted to do stuff like this, as you usually can't make changes to a running partition. After using the software to "fuse" the disks - however - both disks appear to be empty (no partitions at all) to any software outside of windows. A partition magic rescue disk wouldn't work either.

2.) I'm not aware of any software that allows you to resize and move the windows boot partition while windows is running. (It might exist, I'm just not aware of it. I haven't used Windows for this type of stuff forever)

In the end, the only way to resolve it was to use diskpart in an admin console to delete the restore partition, and then expand the main partition to fill the space. Not ideal, as now there is no more restore partition, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Overall, once running, it appears to do it's job, and is surprisingly snappy. While it is not for me, I doubt the kiddo will notice any difference.
 
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Zarathustra[H]

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So my stepson filled his boot disk with junk again. (That didn't take long). I just bit the bullet, bought the $60 license and installed it on his machine. I initially balked at the $60, but in the long run this is going to save me so much time when he complains about his machine not running well (despite doing exactly what I told him not to do for the 20th time) that I decided to just do it.

Some comments on the install:

They recommend starting with OS on a hard disk if you have the choice. I didn't. Boot/Windows/Programs/Games were already installed on the SSD, with extra files only on the spinning disk, so I did the alternate method, of starting with a SSD and adding a hard disk.

It's fairly straight forward. I imaged the boot SSD, and backed up the content off of his storage spindle before installing. You could get away without imaging the boot drive (but it would be risky) but the software absolutely requires an empty hard disk in order to add it. If there are any partitions at all on it, it won't won't let you start, so delete all partitions first.

It allows you to tick which drive is the "fast" drive, and which is the "slow" drive, asks you if you want none, 2GB or 4GB RAM cache, and then it just takes a few minutes to convert it all, before forcing a reboot. (The prompt warns you that if you don't reboot immediately data loss could occur.)

Once the system booted back up again, I had my one and only issue. The installer expects the main Windows partition to be the last partition on the drive before you start. In my case it wasn't. There was that pesky 427MB restore partition at the end of the disk. So, when it booted back up the main disk was no larger than before I started.

At first I thought it just wasn't working, until I figured out that I was going to have to manually move the restore partition, and then expand the windows partition to fill the space.

The manual discusses this, but just tells you yo "use 3rd party software" to do it.

The problems with this are as follows:

1.) I usually use a linux boot disk and Gparted to do stuff like this, as you usually can't make changes to a running partition. After using the software to "fuse" the disks - however - both disks appear to be empty (no partitions at all) to any software outside of windows. A partition magic rescue disk wouldn't work either.

2.) I'm not aware of any software that allows you to resize and move the windows boot partition while windows is running. (It might exist, I'm just not aware of it. I haven't used Windows for this type of stuff forever)

In the end, the only way to resolve it was to use diskpart in an admin console to delete the restore partition, and then expand the main partition to fill the space. Not ideal, as now there is no more restore partition, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Overall, once running, it appears to do it's job, and is surprisingly snappy. While it is not for me, I doubt the kiddo will notice any difference.
One thing I hadn't thought of was how my backup strategy changes after this.

Since in the past all of my machines boot off of relatively small SSD's and store all their files on NAS, (or in this case a spinner) backups were relatively easy. Occasionally image the boot disk to the NAS and copy the files off the spinner to the NAS as well, and done.

Now this is going to be trickier. unclear if the software I have been using for imaging will even recognize that there is anything on these drives to image. Just using DD and forcing an image from the raw disks will probably work, but now I'll need to do both the 256GB ssd AND the 1TB hard drive, which is a significantly larger image to store on the NAS. Will take some time over gigabit LAN.

Maybe I'll look into Windows 10's built in backup feature, and have it send backups straight to the NAS. Not sure if it will accomplish what I need, but we'll see.
 

Nobu

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Zarathustra[H] does GPT fdisk (fdisk on cli, or maybe gdisk on some distributions) recognize the partitions? If windows is using gpt instead of mbr for partitioning, some tools may not work for managing partition layouts.

Gparted (or cli parted) should work, afaik, but make sure you have a recent version.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Zarathustra[H] does GPT fdisk (fdisk on cli, or maybe gdisk on some distributions) recognize the partitions? If windows is using gpt instead of mbr for partitioning, some tools may not work for managing partition layouts.

Gparted (or cli parted) should work, afaik, but make sure you have a recent version.
Nope. It's neither a traditional DOS partition table or GPT. I'm gathering it's some sort of custom proprietary Enmotus scheme. Reading the disk block for block into one large image should still capture it though, but once you install this software and create a "fuzed" drive, you will lose the ability to play around with the partitions from anything outside of that particular windows install.
 

Dan_D

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I would imagine block by block type copies and backups would work. Anything else may have to be updated to work properly with StoreMI.
 

Burticus

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Just upgraded an older i5 system to 2700x on x470. StoreMI sounds interesting for my game drive... I keep my OS on an SSD, and my games and misc other big files on a 1tb WD blue HDD.

I have some older SSDs laying around, like an OCZ 60gb not in use... kind of interested to try this for the game drive and see what happens. Plus I don't think my 16gb system will miss a GB or 2 of ram.
 

tangoseal

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Didnt read the whole thread but does stormi work with nvme plus spindles? Or is it only on sata interface?

I have a lot of interest in the product
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Didnt read the whole thread but does stormi work with nvme plus spindles? Or is it only on sata interface?

I have a lot of interest in the product
I haven't tried it, but from the description it should work on both NVME and SATA. (I set it up on my stepsons system with SATA SSD and SATA HDD.

If they got Linux support working so I could continue to dual boot, I'd probably configure it with a primary fast NVME drive and a much larger slower TLC SATA SSD, and skip the spinners all together.
 

TheSlySyl

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Eventually my drive started getting a ton of "PROMOTE_ERROR" messages and stopped moving data around. Documentation for Storemi/Fuzedrive is awful online so I couldn't even find my problem.
Upon doing a ridiculous number of checks it somehow turned out that the boot area of my NVME SSD somehow got corrupted. (The "Dummy" area that Fuzedrive uses to hide the drive from windows.) Originally thought I could unfuze the drives using the Fuzedrive utility but that wasn't writing anything to my slow drive (PROMOTE_ERROR).
I wasn't able to fix the corrupt boot area while the drives were still fuzed so I decided to just nuke the whole thing, format them and start over.

Storemi was working extremely well until this happened. I had some weird things happen when I used a 4Gig ram cache, but once I put it at 2 gigs there was never any problem.

Anyway now that I fixed the SSD by using a secure format through the SSD Toolbox, reformatted the HDD and did a surface level chkdsk run on both to make sure that there was absolutely ZERO chance of data corruption...

I'm gonna restart the whole thing and see if Primocache is any better. I still have my Fuzedrive license and I'll likely try to use it in the future, but I might let them work out a few more bugs first.

Also there's a good chance that the NVME SSD is having actual hardware issues at this point, but I really don't want to ditch the thing because a 480GB NVME SSD was still quite a costly piece of tech, especially when I bought it.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I haven't tried it, but from the description it should work on both NVME and SATA. (I set it up on my stepsons system with SATA SSD and SATA HDD.

If they got Linux support working so I could continue to dual boot, I'd probably configure it with a primary fast NVME drive and a much larger slower TLC SATA SSD, and skip the spinners all together.

So, while I am generally of the belief that game downloads are fast, and I don't need to have every title I own installed, the snapshots for my Windows 10 VM install I use under Linux, finally grew to the size that it was time to expand beyond the 400GB Intel 750 I've been using forever.

I previously had the 400GB drive split between a ~130GB Linux partition (a surprisingly large portion of which was taken up by my Win 10 VM, if not for the VM I'd probably only need 20GB for Linux and all of its programs) and ~240GB for Windows 10, including a few installed games. (Games are all I use my Win10 install for)

I toyed with the idea of doing something like StoreMI, throwing a large cheap SATA SSD in there, and having a partition on my 400GB Intel 750 be my fast tier, but in the end I decided against it, in large part because I do a lot of my system management from Linux and Linux live disks, and they can't see StoreMI's partitions. They don't even show up as an "unknown partition". They look like there is nothing there at all, which is rather dangerous. So, lets say I split my 400GB Intel SSD, using part of it for a StoreMI fast tier, and part of it for Linux, where on the disk and how large do I even make my Linux partition without accidentally overwriting StoreMI's data? Can Grub even see a Windows install on StoreMI? Will I be able to boot it?

So, in the end what I wound up doing was getting a 1TB Samsung 970 EVO, and sticking it in a PCIe adapter card, and using it in addition to my 750. It's amazing how cheap these things have become, so why not? (A 1TB NVME SSD can now be had for only $338 with Prime. Nuts.)

I still boot off of my Intel 750 (because I have an x79 system, and can't boot off of an m.2 device without modding my bios).

I Created a new Steam game library on the Samsung drive, moved all my installed titles over there, shrank the Windows 10 partition, and expanded my Linux partition. Now I have plenty of space for my Windows 10 VM snapshots on my Linux partition, and more space than I know what to do with for my games.

I installed every title I could imagine ever playing again, and I still have ~400GB free, and I know full well most of these installed titles are probably just going to sit there, never being launched and getting the occasional update, so it's completely unnecessary, but I have the disk space, so why not?

upload_2018-9-15_18-52-10.png


Anyway, the moral of the story. StoreMi is a cool tech, but it has some drawbacks, especially in multi-boot situations, and because of that it was not for me this time around.
 

TheSlySyl

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Oh yeah, i guess its been over two months since I switched from StoreMi to Primocache.

Primocache is superior, in basically every single possible way. I fucking LOVE it. Well worth the $30.

More customizable, more transparent, slightly more complicated to setup but because of its transparency its really easy to see how to fix things. Yeah, not intersted in ever going back to StoreMi after this. Even if it is free.
 

Dan_D

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Didnt read the whole thread but does stormi work with nvme plus spindles? Or is it only on sata interface?

I have a lot of interest in the product
Yes, it does. That's kind of the point. You can use whatever you want as the slow tier and whatever better performing solution you like as the fast tier.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Oh yeah, i guess its been over two months since I switched from StoreMi to Primocache.

Primocache is superior, in basically every single possible way. I fucking LOVE it. Well worth the $30.

More customizable, more transparent, slightly more complicated to setup but because of its transparency its really easy to see how to fix things. Yeah, not intersted in ever going back to StoreMi after this. Even if it is free.

Primocache is cache software though, right? Not tiered storage.

This means it duplicates frequently accessed data from your slow spindles in your faster SSD.

So, in the example where you have a 1TB hard disk and a 256GB SSD for cache, your total storage is 1TB.

StoreMI, being tiered storage is more efficient, as it operates not as a cache, but instead by moving the most frequently used data to the faster drive, and the less frequently used data to the slower drive.

So, in the same example of 1TB spinner + 256GB SSD, your total storage is 1.25TB, instead of 1TB.

It may not sound like much in this configuration, but if you buy the pro version of the software you can start doing interesting stuff. 1TB SSD + 1TB Hard Drive = 2TB storage, whereas in a cache solution we are talking a pretty much useless configuration because your 1TB cache + 1TB drive are still just 1TB in size, so why not get rid of the slow hard drive all together?

StoreMI/FuzeDrive is not perfect, as I mentioned in my post above, but I'd argue it has many advantages over traditional cache. I just wish they opened it up to to allow more exotic configurations, with the underlying devices being RAID or Mirrors, and custom numbers of tiers. Would be cool to have a top NVME tier, a mid SATA SSD tier, a mid slow 7200RPM hard drive tier, and a bottom 5400rpm hard drive tier.

To be clear, I probably wouldn't do this, but it would be interesting to have the ability to do so.
 

TheSlySyl

Limp Gawd
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Yes, Primocache is cache instead of tiered, but the StoreMi/Fuzedrive "tiered" storage was doing really weird things, such as not allowing me to untier, wasn't tiering at all, didn't allow me untier when I was done with it, and just overall not actually working.

Storemi caused me considerable problems, all the way from the first installation, my repeated tries to reinstall, and my final uninstallation.

I would never, ever recommend Storemi on a system with an OS on it after the struggles I had. It may be cool for something with limited drive space like a laptop, but... it doesn't work on laptops yet.
It's cool tech, but it caused me considerable headaches.

It may not sound like much in this configuration, but if you buy the pro version of the software you can start doing interesting stuff. 1TB SSD + 1TB Hard Drive = 2TB storage, whereas in a cache solution we are talking a pretty much useless configuration because your 1TB cache + 1TB drive are still just 1TB in size, so why not get rid of the slow hard drive all together?
Yeah, quite frankly, if you're for some reason sitting on a 1TB HDD and you can afford a 1TB SSD, there's no reason to hold onto the 1TB HDD. You should just get rid of it altogether. Especially considering that the $60 for the fuzedrive software is almost halfway to a 1TB SSD (SATA). Also, that's $30 more than what Primocache costs, which is easily most of the way to a 2TB HDD these days.

Yeah, I get that I'm "losing" some storage by going to a cache storage instead of tiered storage, but I'm gaining a RAM cache, I'm gaining tiered storage cache for my other hard drives, and I'm also gaining a cache that won't self destruct both drives when something goes bad, something I couldn't be certain that Fuzedrive was capable of. Due to my own experience, lack of documentation anywhere, and just how ridiculously neutered the consumer experience is compared to the enterprise tools for Fuzedrive. I tried all the relevant command line codes I could find, but documentation, as I've said, was terrible.

I'm an unusual case, I'm using a 480GB SSD cache to accelerate a portion of over 25TB of HDD space, my OS drive is now on its entirely separate NVME SSD for stability (and easy backup). I'm also now using 12GB of my 32GB of ram as storage cache to accelerate everything. Overall, Primocache works far, far better for me. After a few updates and a test system I'll give Fuzedrive an attempt again, but it did not leave a good impression.
 
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noko

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Really cool useful tech. Installed a 256gb PCIe M.2 drive, 1TB platter drive. Using 4gb ram cache, all configured as a Data Cache disk. No issues on installing, repartition the platter drive to one partition. Once the Fuszedrive was configured, it was mounted with Disk Manager and files copied to it that was originally on the drive. Now I wished the platter drive was 2TB+ vice just 1TB. This is on HTPC rig using a Biostar MB, 1700x and Vega 64 LC.
 

craigdt

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This is cool tech.

Considering using this for family member builds that need to be super budget, but still need some space and the speeds of a SSD.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Well, I figured I'd update.

I have replaced the 256GB Samsung 850 Pro + 1TB WD Black StoreMi setup on my stepsons rig with a single 1TB Samsung 860 Evo.

He had an issue with his windows install that would often not let the computer shut down properly, requiring forcing the power off by holding the power button.

This eventually led to drive corruption.

Not sure if StoreMI contributed here making it more susceptible to corruption when something like this happens or if it would have been just as likely to occur uncleanly shutting down with a single drive, but in the end it was much more difficult to rescue data with a format that can't be read outside of windows booted up with the SoreMI software installed.

I now have a license I am not using, and I'm not opposed to using it again some day, but for now it was easier to just get a 1TB SATA TLC drive. They've gotten so much cheaper than they once were.
 

westrock2000

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To be clear you do not "gain" the solid state capacity like you do with Apple Fusion drives?

A 1TB spinner plus a 1TB SSD still only equals 1TB of volume storage on StoreMI? If so, the best usage is to have a HDD that is considerably larger than the SSD.

I use to use the Sandisk ReadyCache back in the day and it was really good for the time. But the downside was that anytime Windows did an update or there was other massive data block changes, the software would completely dump the SSD cache and start over. Is this software actually causing writes to go the SSD and then offloads them later to the HDD? New writes were always fine on the ReadyCache, but whenever existing data blocks were changed, that's when the software took the side of overly conservative and started over.

I recently upgraded my Soulseek server to use a B450 motherboard and this might be pretty cool for my bulk storage drive for Soulseek. Have a multi-terabyte spinner with a good size SSD cache for when I dump files. Plus, doing metadata tag updates on an entire album at once on new additions (like using Foobar2000) really benefits from SSD speeds. That's the place I have noticed the real world differences between SSD and HDD the most. Try updating metadata on couple hundred songs in one go.....takes MUCH longer on a HDD.

My current workflow is that I dump all new music files to a 256GB SSD, prep them with Foobar2000 and then offload them to the bulk storage. It would be nice to have one centralized volume, but still experience the benefit of metadata tag update speed like an SDD has.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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To be clear you do not "gain" the solid state capacity like you do with Apple Fusion drives?

A 1TB spinner plus a 1TB SSD still only equals 1TB of volume storage on StoreMI? If so, the best usage is to have a HDD that is considerably larger than the SSD.

I use to use the Sandisk ReadyCache back in the day and it was really good for the time. But the downside was that anytime Windows did an update or there was other massive data block changes, the software would completely dump the SSD cache and start over. Is this software actually causing writes to go the SSD and then offloads them later to the HDD? New writes were always fine on the ReadyCache, but whenever existing data blocks were changed, that's when the software took the side of overly conservative and started over.

I recently upgraded my Soulseek server to use a B450 motherboard and this might be pretty cool for my bulk storage drive for Soulseek. Have a multi-terabyte spinner with a good size SSD cache for when I dump files. Plus, doing metadata tag updates on an entire album at once on new additions (like using Foobar2000) really benefits from SSD speeds. That's the place I have noticed the real world differences between SSD and HDD the most. Try updating metadata on couple hundred songs in one go.....takes MUCH longer on a HDD.

My current workflow is that I dump all new music files to a 256GB SSD, prep them with Foobar2000 and then offload them to the bulk storage. It would be nice to have one centralized volume, but still experience the benefit of metadata tag update speed like an SDD has.

No you do. This is tiered storage, not caching.

So your available storage winds up being the sum of your two tiers (possibly minus a small amount of overhead, not sure.)
 

westrock2000

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No you do. This is tiered storage, not caching.

So your available storage winds up being the sum of your two tiers (possibly minus a small amount of overhead, not sure.)
Ahh thank you for the clarification! I love the Fusion system on the Macs. Well that makes this a lot more interesting to me then. Thanks Z.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Ahh thank you for the clarification! I love the Fusion system on the Macs. Well that makes this a lot more interesting to me then. Thanks Z.
No worries.

It's a cool tech. Only downside I discovered was that you can't access the combined storage from outside of Windows right now. So 3rd party rescue tools or Linux can't be used with it.

That was a kind of significant drawback for me, but won't be for everyone.
 

westrock2000

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I went ahead and tried and was pretty deeply disappointed. It did not appear to use any memory or solid state drive space for WRITES. I wanted to be able to increase the write speeds to a 8TB drive I have that is horrible on writes (~50-80MB/s). I saw no noticeable difference when using a 256GB SSD. I am now in the process of trying Primocache instead. It specifically mentions write caching.

Write caching to me seems like a no brainer if you are going to put a big SSD (more than 32GB) on the platter drive. Was really shocked StoreMI didn't allocate at least a couple gigs for write.

For my use case, I don't care so much about read speeds. It's all media, and all the same to me. But being able to write changes quickly is a big draw for me.
 

tangoseal

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I've ran storemi on my 2600x.

My summary is: get a fast large nvme and be done with it.
 

Jandor

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Stay away from Store MI. It's free for some AMD stuff but far to compete with Primo cache who does a better job than Store MI and has everything StoreMI lacks.
Primo cache seems to even beat Intel RTS/SRT proprietary solution (so you can use that even on Intel platform). It handles cache over Raid pool, and is even compatible with Optane on AMD while StoreMI is not.
For the benefit it is not expensive. If I remember 30 $ or €. Especially if you run a Raid array and want to cache on memory or ssd,or an ssd raid array and cache on memory and Optane.
 

noko

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Been using StoreMI and it works great. Not sure what features it is lacking - it speeds up the spinners, what else is it suppose to do? Plus the 4gb of cache makes even the fastest SSDs look slow.
 
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