When to overprovision?

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Kilobyte Kid

When to overprovision?

I bought a new Crucial SSD, which I haven't installed yet. I will be running Linux on the machine that I install it in. I want to set overprovisioning.

I understand in general terms what overprovisioning is, but despite reading the documentation (and various forum posts) am not completely clear with exactly what's really going on when you overprovision (maybe if I really understood clearly I would already know the answer to these questions).

  1. Do you want (need) to overprovision before even creating partitions on the SSD? I can do this by temporarily attaching the SSD to another machine that already has an OS and install Storage Executive on that machine (then remove the SSD and put it in the machine I want to install Linux on), but I'm not sure if this is necessary.
  2. If it's OK to overprovision after partitioning, do you want (need) to overprovision before installing an OS on the SSD, or can you install the OS and then set overprovisioning? (After either shrinking the filesystems in partitions, or perhaps creating filesystems that are smaller than partition sizes.)

Thanks in advance for any info (and sorry in advance if these are silly questions).

5 Replies
Crucial Employee

Re: When to overprovision?

Overprovisioning (OP) is just a way to setup a portion of our drive that will not be used by any software or files, and will solely be used by the SSD's controller for performance or cleanup of the drive. Realistically OP is a redundant feature, since our SSDs will already be using any free space on the drive to help with performance thanks to RAIN, and using that free space to help with Garbage Collection which cleans up old deleted files. So, as long as you don't fill your SSD entirely up, your drive is already using your unutilized space as if it were OP to a degree. 

To specifically setup OP you'll need to have the drive configured as a boot drive with Storage Executive install, and configured for OP. So your scenario with switching it to a linux machine would not work. Micron's version of Storage Executive does have a Linux distro, so you could theoretically install this version on the Linux image then setup OP. The Micron version of Storage Exec should work with any Crucial drive, so that shouldn't be a problem. The Micron and Crucial versions of Storage Exec are virtually identical.

Typically you can setup OP before or after you install an OS. So long as you can create a partition at the end of the drive for OP to take over, it shouldn't matter when it's enabled.





Crucial_Benny, Micron CPG Support, US


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JEDEC Jedi

Re: When to overprovision?

@Crucial_Benny  Thanks for the link to the Micron Storage Executive and clarification with OP.  I remember stumbling across it before, but wasn't sure if it could be used with the Crucial SSDs.   Never had time to try it out.

 

So leaving a space unpartitioned would work or at least help in case the filesystem became full?   

 

For Linux users setting the Host Protected Area (HPA) with hdparm may be an option.  I remember seeing tons of warnings when they mentioned using it with hard drives.  This site mentions some ideosynchrosies with default settings with some Linux distributions and how they handle customized Host Protected Areas with SSDs.   I don't know if Crucial SSDs support this or not.

 

 

Kilobyte Kid

Re: When to overprovision?

Thanks very much.  (I had meant to add that I had planned to use Micron's Linux version of Storage Executive, but had forgotten to write that in the original post.)

 

Just so I'm 100% clear on things (and for the benefit of anyone else reading this thread later): as long as I create a partition at the end of the drive for OP to take over and then overpartition, I can add, remove, delete, or resize other partitions later (or even reinstall a different OS on the drive) and it doesn't have an effect on the overpartitioning already done (right?).

 

Thanks again!

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Crucial Employee

Re: When to overprovision?


So leaving a space unpartitioned would work or at least help in case the filesystem became full?

I've asked this same question to engineering, and funny enough they said unallocated space is handled by the drive virtually the same way a configured OP partition is.

I probably wouldn't recommend people mess with the HPA, which is essentially the drives built in OP. Some drives have them, others do not. Off the top of my head I do not believe the MX500s have an HPA because of the mix of 3D TLC and small areas of SLC. HPA areas of drives may be something that go away in the future entirely thanks to the dominance of 3D memory. Alterting any HPA would most likely void the warranty, since you're changing the functionality of the drive at a controller level, so unless you have an old SSD that you just want to tinker around with, it's probably best to be left as is Smiley Happy





Crucial_Benny, Micron CPG Support, US


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Crucial Employee

Re: When to overprovision?


@Query wrote:

Just so I'm 100% clear on things (and for the benefit of anyone else reading this thread later): as long as I create a partition at the end of the drive for OP to take over and then overpartition, I can add, remove, delete, or resize other partitions later (or even reinstall a different OS on the drive) and it doesn't have an effect on the overpartitioning already done (right?).


Yes, this is entirely correct Smiley Happy





Crucial_Benny, Micron CPG Support, US


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