If necessary, scroll down so that you can see the Label field. Enter the label for this partition as “boot” without the quotes. As mentioned before, I find that labels make working with various components of the filesystem much easier than would be possible without them. After typing in the label, click the Update Settings button to save the changes you made. The /boot partition contains the files required for the system to boot up and get to a minimal state of functionality. Because full-featured filesystem kernel drivers are not available at the beginning of this process, drivers that would allow the use of logical volume management (LVM), the /boot partition must be a standard, non-LVM3 Linux partition with an EXT4 filesystem. These settings are chosen automatically when the /boot partition was created. We will study the boot and start up sequences in some detail in Chapter 16. After saving the updated settings for the /boot filesystem, the rest of the partitions can be created as logical volumes in a volume group. We will discuss logical volume management (LVM) in Chapter 1 of Volume 2, but for now it is important to know that LVM makes managing and resizing logical volumes very easy. For example, recently the logical volume I was using to store my virtual machines filled up while I was creating a new VM. VirtualBox politely stopped with a warning message indicating it was out of disk space and that it could continue when additional disk space was made available.
The RevoDrive is a x4 PCI Express card containing a Pericom PI7C9X130 PCI-E-to-PCI- X bridge, a Siliconlmage SiI3 124 PCI/PCI-X- to-SATA controller, two SandForce SF-1200 controllers, and 120GB of NAND flash — it’s effectively two 60GB Vertex 2 drives in RAID 0 on a single PCB. Installation is easy, though as of press time, the drivers lack an execut- able file and need to be installed via Device Manager, unless you’re installing Windows on the drive, in which case they can easily be F6’d at install. The Siliconlmage BIOS is acces- sible during POST, so you can wipe and restore the RAID manually should you so choose. The default stripe size is 64KB as all our tests were run at that size. Because the Trim command doesn’t pass through RAID controllers, you’ll have to rely on the SandForce controllers’ built-in garbage collection utilities. In our tests, repeated abuse did slow the RevoDrive in some tests. After several days of heavy (and unrealistic) use, average sustained reads in HDTune dropped from 300MB/s to 240MB/s, while average sustained writes dropped from 267MB/s to just 1 7 5MB/s — worse than a single Vertex 2 drive. However, as OCZ points out, HDTune is a queue-depth 1, low-level hardware bench- mark for unformatted drives that doesn’t deal well with RAID. Our Premiere Pro encoding times slowed from 337 seconds to 358 seconds. PCMark Vantage HDD subscores remained above 44,000, and our IOMeter 4KB random write test, at queue-depth 32, hit above 80,900 IOPS — that’s 316MB/s, or 65 percent faster than the 48,900 IOPS we saw from a single Vertex 2. Where are the advertised 540MB/s reads and 450MB/s writes?