GigaRouter (Was Re: Cisco as Big Brother))

Vadim Antonov writes:

>Of course I'm not saying that I *Want* to use an HD in this situation; flash
>is clearly a big win.

In my experience flash is a lot _less_ reliable than HDs. Ciscos losing
flash contents aren't that uncommon.

(In a later message Vadim attributes this to environmental conditions.)

This doesn't match my experience. My hazy recollection is that it should
be good for o(10k) writes. That should be plenty even if you do do updates
weekly. Maybe environment *is* critical here. In that case, I'd think an HD
would be even more susceptible to the heat. Though a floppy probably wouldn't

>But I don't see how using a floppy or ZIP improves

Floppy doesn't rotate until it's boot time; and in COs dust is not
a big problem.

So, for a boot device floppy is probably the best (providing it's not
an el cheapo device). An additional benefit is that it's easy for
field personnel to handle.

I don't think it's a lot easier to handle than an ISA card, although you
can probably hot-swap a floppy, which is a win. (But maybe not much of a
win- the way you're likely to figure out the floppy is dead is when you're
trying to boot...)

Also, a reliable floppy is indeed going to last a very long time, especially
in low-use situations like this one. But it's *very* difficult to assure
that you're getting a reliable floppy drive. Even assuming that you've
identified a manufacturer that makes a good product, it takes *major*
buying power to have them agree to not change the manufacturing design.
Some supplier of theirs substitutes a part, nobody notices, and all of a
sudden you've got a 5% failure rate and no clue why.

And then there's the media. Whole 'nother problem.

All of these problems are solveable, of course. But solving a similar
problem with flash may be easier. And cheaper.