How to prevent ‘Disk size warning’s from affecting your hosting servers
Are your servers crashing often? Do you see intermittent errors in websites? In our role as Outsourced hosting support specialists for web hosts, our key priority is not to let our customers face such issues.
An outdated server software, application error, abusive processes, anything can trigger an error in a website or cause a server crash. Lack of adequate disk space in the server is one such trouble-maker.
Recently, we were contacted by a web host who was getting ‘disk size warnings’ every other day, saying that the / folder is about to become full.
The filesystem “/” mounted at “/” reached “critical” status because you currently use 94.01% of its available blocks.
Disk Block Usage: Used: 46.98 GB Available: 2.99 GB Total: 49.98 GB
Today, we’ll see how to handle ‘disk size warning’ messages in server and how to prevent them from happening again.
Why you shouldn’t ignore ‘Disk size warning’ mails
Main reason for disk size warnings is the improper partitioning done in servers during the initial setup time. Ideally, the home folder and backup location should be mounted in different partitions.
But in many servers this ideal partitioning methodology is not followed, causing disk space to fill up easily. Disk size can be filled up due to many reasons, such as:
- Backups not mounted in a different partition and not rotated periodically
- Home folders of user accounts not mounted separately and getting filled up with user files
- Any application in the server generating too many core dump files or huge logs
- Emails not downloaded properly or email queue getting filled up due to spamming
- If the data directory of MySQL service is not mounted separately and databases grow in size
If the ‘/’ partition runs out of disk space, it can cause many applications to be affected and can eventually crash the server too. So maintaining adequate disk space in / is very vital in servers.
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How to prevent ‘Disk size warning’ mails
First and foremost thing we do when we come across a ‘Disk size warning’ mail, is to investigate the reason for the low disk space. With our in-depth checks, we pinpoint the trouble-making folder or file.
Some of the common problem areas related to disk space issue that we come across, are:
- Backups not configured right – backup location if chosen as ‘/’ and the retention level is set high, it can cause the ‘/’ folder to fill up easily. The ideal solution we do here is to mount backup location in a different partition or external server and periodically rotate it to avoid disk space from filling up.
- Home folder getting filled up – If the ‘home’ folder is not mounted separately, cumulative factors such as users not downloading mails properly or user data filling up the available space can cause disk size warnings. We handle such situations by removing unwanted files or by adding another disk and creating a new home partition and moving some accounts over there.
- Other application log files or core dump files – Some hidden files or application files can end up filling up space in / folder, which we investigate and fix to avoid a disk space issue.
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At Bobcares, our 24/7 server specialists constantly monitor all the services in the server and proactively audit the server for any errors or corruption in them.
With our systematic debugging approach for service or other software errors, we have been able to provide an exciting support experience to the customers.
If you would like to know how to avoid downtime for your customers due to errors or other service failures, we would be happy to talk to you.