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I want to use the Pi as mission critical hardware. I have had a Pi running an informational system for 2 years straight and wanting to try a few more things...

What steps can be taken to ensure uptime? The SD card seems to be the weakest link. Because SD cards fail without warning, what about a software RAID on a single SD card? Or should an SSD be used in place of a card?

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    I doubt that RPi qualifies as mission critical hardware and that is not just counting the SD card. After all it is designed to be an educational product. – Ghanima Nov 24 '14 at 13:54
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    "raspberry pi" and "mission critical" may not be used within the same sentence. – lenik Nov 24 '14 at 14:32
  • Anything that is "mission critical" should be an entire system, filled with redundancy at every layer, from power, to network, to storage - a single Pi failure (regardless of if it's sd card or not) should not be intolerable - if it is, your design has larger problems. – user2813274 Nov 24 '14 at 20:19
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Look at Nard (Not Another Raspberry Distribution).

It is designed for embedded solutions and offloads the SD card shortly after booting. You can even remove the SD and the system is unaffected.

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One thing you could do if you want to have a more stable Pi is to just use the SD card to boot the Pi and then shift to using an external HDD or USB device.

This is common solution to SD card reliability, check here

Or should an SSD be used in place of a card

No reason to use an SSD. The Pi only has USB 2.0 ports, so the SSD would be pretty throttled by the medium of transfer (USB).

However, I would hardly, as Ghanima and Lenik have mentioned, consider the Pi a piece of "mission critical hardware".

  • I suggested the SSD for storage reliability vs. speed improvments. – shaun5 Dec 8 '14 at 19:05
  • @shaun5 Not a bad suggestion, but it'd probably be just a waste of money & speed. An HDD has quite a bit more life and can put up with being used as SWAP space, which an SSD can't. – RPiAwesomeness Dec 9 '14 at 2:03

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