Wasting Disk Space
Running out of disk space? Are your backups growing too large? These are common problems I handle as part of our Linux support services. If a disk partition reaches 100% utilization, you can have issues saving files, database corruption or even data loss.
Benefits of Good Data Management
If you want:
- Faster backups.
- Faster restore times.
- Better system security.
- Easier file system maintenance.
Then you need to manage your server’s data and prevent wasted disk space.
Here are 5 areas that often spin out of control and waste your server’s disk space.
Email often takes up more disk space than does the web site. A few large attachments forwarded back and forth can quickly add up. I have seen email inboxes swell to gigabytes in size if not limited by system quotas. Control panels such as cPanel and Plesk provide easy to use quota systems. Even if your server currently has plenty of disk space, I recommend you setup quotas for each email account. This way you can protect your server
If log rotation was never configured properly or has failed, logs can quickly grow in size. On a busy web site, multi-GB log files can happen in a few days (or even hours). Fortunately, log files are easy to remove. When considering your log ration strategy, consider how far back do you really need the data. I often find 4 weeks of data to be sufficient. I recently cleaned out 76G of btmp logs from our clients’ servers. Red Hat had a bug and it has not rotating these files properly.
Do you really need that database from 2007? I understand a need to retain older backups, but if you’re running low on space, reconsider where you’re storing it. Your server may not be the best place. Downloading and archiving the backups to long term storage media may be more appropriate. In short, don’t use your server as an archive.
Did a client cancel in 2008 and you’re still holding on to their site files and email? My rule is simple: If it’s not in use, clear it out. Keeping these old files around both wastes space and could potentially open your server to attack. Also, depending on how your service contracts are written, you may not have the legal right to keep the data.
I often find that when people do not have a dedicated development environment, the server becomes cluttered with old data. Once you are certain the new versions are working, download and archive the old version. As with cancelled accounts, leaving this data on your system could expose you to security risks.
Disk Space Problems?
Have you found other areas that commonly waste space? Let me know, so I can add them to my checklist.