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pdown85 09-16-2008 08:16 AM

Expanding file-system to additional (externally mounted) HD
 
The /home partition on my web-server is getting close to full (ca. 90% on the partition). I am looking to expand before I do finally run out of space.

One thought I had was to get a 2nd HDD and create a mount point into the 2nd HDD and put all of the /home file-system there.

However the server (PC) only has a single HDD drive bay, so I'd have to attach the 2nd HDD externally. One option is to attach via USB (spare ports available).
  1. Is this easy to achieve?
  2. Is there a summary process documented anywhere?
  3. Or is it just plain difficult / not worth the effort / sub-optimal?
Are there better alternatives? (Yes I could buy a bigger primary HDD, but I can't be bothered to open up to do all that if attaching a 2nd HDD is a quick and easy solution.)

Any advice or alternative suggestions offered would be appreciated.

Relevant system configuration details:
  • Server: Dell GX150 Optiplex (512MB RAM)
  • OS: Linux CentOS 4.6 (Final) 2.6.9-67.0.15.EL (running Apache, MySQL, PHP)
  • HDD: 1 x 80 Gbyte Seagate ST380021A ATA HDD
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/hda9 3.0G 1.9G 934M 68% /
/dev/hda1 99M 28M 67M 30% /boot
/dev/hda2 30G 25G 3.4G 89% /home
...
(no fancy RAID or anything like that; just a single HDD partitioned).

Thanks in advance,
P

AuroraCA 09-16-2008 08:46 AM

You have several alternatives for upgrading your system.

1. Add an additional internal hard drive
2. Replace existing hard drive with new larger hard drive
3. Add a new internal removable hard drive in a 5 1/4" external drive bay
4. Add a USB external hard drive
5. Add an external SATA hard drive

I have listed (ranked) these alternative in order of my preference and actual performance. I just bought 3 new 500 GB bare hard drives for $65.00 each so you are not looking at a major expense.

One thing that you don't mention is your method of backup of your system. If you have a web server you should do regular backups of your system. With the size of your /home directory and I would also assume that you need to backup your MySQL databases which are most likely not located in your /home directory structure. Removable external hard drives would give you a good backup option.

Your system is not a barn burner speed wise so external hard drives may be a suitable option for you. However, you do not say whether you have IDE 1.1 or 2.0 USB ports on your system. USB .0 is an absolute must for connecting hard drives to your system. USB 1.1 is just too slow to be useful.

You could get yourself an external eSATA hard drive and add a PCI SATA interface card with eSATA access for less than $30.00.

pdown85 09-16-2008 09:22 AM

Thanks for the quick response.

Quote:

Originally Posted by AuroraCA
1. Add an additional internal hard drive

As I noted there are no spare internal drive bays.

Quote:

Originally Posted by AuroraCA
2. Replace existing hard drive with new larger hard drive

As I noted I was looking to do the quickest, easiest addition hopefully not involving opening the box. (laziness ... :D)

Quote:

Originally Posted by AuroraCA
3. Add a new internal removable hard drive in a 5 1/4" external drive bay

How do I attach the external drive buy (best suggestion?) USB?

Quote:

Originally Posted by AuroraCA
4. Add a USB external hard drive

This was the option I was thinking of adopting.

Quote:

Originally Posted by AuroraCA
5. Add an external SATA hard drive

I'd have to do that via a USB interface - or open up, as per your suggestion below to insert a new PCI card (hmmm ... I would need to check on availability of a space PCI slots. The spec has 2 I think and unused if I recall.) But that breaks the laziness argument again ... :D

Quote:

Originally Posted by AuroraCA
I have listed (ranked) these alternative in order of my preference and actual performance. I just bought 3 new 500 GB bare hard drives for $65.00 each so you are not looking at a major expense.

Even this side of the pond I'm not looking at a major expense!

Quote:

Originally Posted by AuroraCA
One thing that you don't mention is your method of backup of your system. If you have a web server you should do regular backups of your system. ....

Existing backup to NAS device (250G HDD) on the LAN.

Quote:

Originally Posted by AuroraCA
Your system is not a barn burner speed wise so external hard drives may be a suitable option for you. ....

You're not kidding (it's a PIII box). But sadly it is USB 1.1.
I paid less than 100 (UKP) three years ago - I'd rather not splash out significant dosh on it if I can help it (and perhaps save the money to upgrade the entire box in a year or two - but in the interim I want to avoid running out of disk space). So was hoping to limit to about 25 (160G HDDs abound at that price).

Quote:

Originally Posted by AuroraCA
You could get yourself an external eSATA hard drive and add a PCI SATA interface card with eSATA access for less than $30.00.

But I'd be opening the box again! Which as already noted I'd prefer to avoid doing if at all possible.
I reckon I'd be looking at minimum ca. 25 HDD + PCI SATA card cost (also ca. 25).
Not less than $30 I'm afraid!

Aside from all that ... I was in the main posting for configuration guidance in carrying out the exercise with option 4. But now feeling less enthusiastic about that on account of USB 1.1.
Warming up to the eSATA + PCI SATA card solution (even if I do have to get the screwdriver out).

Thanks.


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