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More than one disk, one SSD, one HDD -- best way to configure?


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New server has 2 drives, one SSD, one HDD, no RAID.

In the past, with a similar configuration but two HDD, we put everything on one drive, and used the other drive as a backup.

My question -- is there any value in splitting content between the two drives? Currently, the OS is on the SSD, and I plan to put the DB on there as well. Would any benefit be expected from putting all our static content on the HDD, so that not everything is coming from one drive, or is the effect from that likely to be minimal?

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Kind of depends on how big your ssd is and how big your static files are.

I find it very plausible for certain sites with downloads/gallery/etc to be too big (or will become too big) to fit on an ssd. Then you could mount (partition of) the HD as /path/to/forums/uploads then all your upload files will go in the HD.

If you don't have such a problem, I guess use your HD as your backup like recommended above.

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Run the OS and MySQL database server on the SSD drive. This is the most important thing, and what a SSD is most beneficial for.

You can and generally should keep your basic site data and static resources stored on the SSD as well.

Store uploads and IP.Downloads files (your /uploads and /downloads directories) on your HDD. You can configure the paths for these two directories in your AdminCP.

This is the general hierarchy I use for my web server,

Core site files: /srv/http/{domain.tld}/{subdomain}

Media files: /media/storage/http/{domain.tld}

Your HDD is mounted on /media/storage. So if you run a forum called www.foobar.org, this would be how you structure your data,

Core site files: /srv/http/foobar.org/root/

Uploads: /media/storage/http/foobar.org/uploads/

IDM Files: /media/storage/http/foobar.org/downloads/

I use "root" to signify the root domain. You could also use "www" or whatever you prefer.

This is how I run all of my websites. All of my servers run using dual Intel SSD's in a software RAID-1 array for the OS and DB server (among other things) and store uploads and other large media files on a hardware RAID-5 storage array.

I also have my web server set to serve my large media files on the RAID-5 storage array using aio with 512K output buffers for the best throughput possible. This, however, sacrifices the ability to use disk caching when serving these files. So it's probably not worth doing unless you actually handle a lot of large file transfers. Otherwise, the above setup is perfectly optimal for most all standard forums.

As for backing up, I run bi-daily database server backups and store them on the RAID-5 array. I only backup core site data when upgrading. Otherwise, there's no point, as all your media files are going to be stored on the HDD with this configuration. You don't need to constantly back everything up.

My backups are bi-daily because I find this to be a realistic configuration for my database size and needs. I have archives of these backups stored all the way from mid last year, and every year or so I move these gzip compressed backups off-site, re-compress them heavily using LZMA compression, encrypt everything and store them locally on my personal backup drives. (Though I do routinely download a recent database backup to keep locally every month or so in addition to this).

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