How to Use Disk Quotas in Dedicated Linux Servers

The role of disk space management using Disk Quotas

Disk Space Management is an often underestimated necessity of a systems administrators job duties. When managing disk space it is important to track and maintain adequate free space. This ensures proper system functionality and data integrity. Unlike your personal devices, when a server runs out of free space, it can have grave consequences. Running out of free space can lead to data and/or revenue loss for you, your clients and/or your user base.

Data/Revenue Loss Scenarios:

  • Transaction Failure: Insufficient space on a database server leads to failing transactions. Failed transactions can include orders from websites. These transactions are unable to save to the database. This results in lost orders and lost revenue.
  • Database Corruption: Some instances of failed transactions can also lead to database corruption. When a transaction runs out of space in the middle of writing data to a drive, it may have missing structural data. Without this critical structural data, transactions no longer behave as expected. Due to the unpredictable behavior, corruption can spread further if not immediately corrected.
  • Services Downtime: Failing services are inevitable when out of disk space. These services range from database to web hosting. The end-users will see this as hard downtime as their sites are no longer accessible. This can have an impact on your servers reputation.

A common method for protecting against these disk space concerns are disk quotas.

What Are Disk Quotas?

Disk quotas maintain a predefined amount of disk space for each user account on the server. This prevents individual users from consuming more disk space than assigned. Disk quotas are a critical component of web hosting. Servers with many user accounts will run out of disk space when left unchecked. Assigning quotas to each user insures they cannot monopolize the servers free space.

You can visualize disk quotas like folders in a filing cabinet. The Cabinet itself represents the servers total disk space. Each folder within it’s drawers represents individual user quotas. A single user’s folder can fill up without affecting its neighboring folders.

How Do I Configure Disk Quotas?

Whether you are running Plesk, with its ‘plans’, or cPanel and its ‘packages’, it is easy to control disk quotas within your server. These tools will restrict an account to the quota you have assigned. You can also modify the plans or packages at a later point if desired, or move users to new packages or plans when the need arises.

The Most Helpful Humans In Hosting

We pride ourselves on being The Most Helpful Humans In Hosting™! Our support staff is always available to assist with any quota related issues 24 hours a day, 7 days a week 365 days a year. We are available, via our ticketing systems at support@liquidweb.com, by phone (1-800-580-4986) or through LiveChat. Whichever method you prefer. We work hard for you so you can relax.

Series NavigationHow to Use Disk Quotas in Dedicated Linux Servers for cPanel Servers >>
Be Sociable, Share!

    Author Bio

    About the Author: J. Potter

    A veteran of the IT Support field, I have more than a decade of experience in systems administration, web hosting & specifically cPanel servers. I enjoy writing and providing complex technical concepts in plain terms. In my free time, I enjoy playing several types of video games, scripting and just living life with my wife and two kids.

    Here's 75 % off, Launch a New VPS Today. Find out why 30,000 customers have chosen our Best-in-Class Performance & 24x7 Heroic Support