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CentOS 6.2, Cloud Linux 6.2, RedHat 6.2 - Recommended Partitions

Discussion in 'Workarounds and Optimization' started by wrender, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. wrender

    wrender Well-Known Member

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    In the cPanel documentation it recommends for high volume email servers that you create separate partitions as the file access per partitions is limited. Is this still true for newer operating systems such as CentOS 6.2, RedHat 6.2, and Cloud Linux 6.2?

    I always find it easier to just work with one large partition, but I don't want to take a performance hit on a high volume server.

    If I do I was thinking of doing the following as separate partitions to improve performance:
    swap
    /
    /var
     
  2. cPanelTristan

    cPanelTristan Quality Assurance Analyst
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    If you have separate partitions, then if one partition becomes corrupted or read-only, you do not risk the same issues on the other partitions. High activity areas such as /var/lib/mysql or /usr/local/apache would benefit from having their own partitions (so /home, /var and /usr typically have a different partition than / would have).
     
  3. wrender

    wrender Well-Known Member

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    The Red Hat documentation recommends not having /usr on a separate partition. 9.14.5. Recommended Partitioning Scheme

    I don't see any reason why our partitions would ever get corrupted. Maybe if the partition filled up, or a disk started to get bad sectors....not really a concern as we are running a raid 5 and have a backup system.

    Also, why would high activity areas benefit from having their own partitions? Can you provide some technical documentation or reference why this is important with new ext4 file system?

    Just doing a bit of googling and I can't seem to find any good documentation on why separate partitions would improve performance. In some forums people are saying that it will actually degrade disk io performance...
     
  4. cPanelTristan

    cPanelTristan Quality Assurance Analyst
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    You are certainly welcome to set the machine up however you like.

    Of note, I didn't state having separate partitions would improve drive or server performance (if that means faster speeds). I stated that some parts of the file system have high activity and are more likely to become read-only. Now, I didn't base my statement on documentation, because I have actual experience with it happening. I worked over 8 years with a hosting provider where shared machines would have /var or /usr go read-only but /home did not become read-only due to them being separate partitions (it is rare for multiple partitions to become read-only). This would happen on a weekly basis where one or more machines of 1000s at that provider went read-only for one partition, while other areas were able to function that were separate partitions. These machines also had off server backups and RAID setups.

    Again, though, you are definitely welcome to set it up however you like.
     
  5. wrender

    wrender Well-Known Member

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    Hey thanks Tristan. Interesting issue with the partitions going read-only, but I don't see how this would happen unless you had a bad drive/raid or filesystem. Like you said it is probably really rare so I will just assume that won't happen to us...hopefully.

    My concern here is really performance as I can't see us having issues with partitions going read only. I think I will just go with one large / partition. For backup reasons, if the drives failed, or filesystem failed for whatever reason, I would just restore the whole server from scratch anyways...I think.
     
  6. storminternet

    storminternet Well-Known Member

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    Even if you are using good quality hard disks, that can also be affected with the high disk I/O that appear on /var or any other system partition because of heavy usage by mysql read/write data or any other services like apache
     
  7. wrender

    wrender Well-Known Member

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    Hi Storminternet. So does separating the /var or other directories like /home improve the performance/disk IO a lot? Are you recommending I separate the /var and /home onto their own partitions? I have a Dell 610 with H700 RAID 6GB, and 6 x 146GB SAS 15000K Drives. In hardware raid 5 configuration. These are the fastest drives I could get without paying for Solid State drives.
     
  8. nibb

    nibb Well-Known Member

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    I have researched the same things for years and nobody has a final word on this.

    Is there a performance improvement? Is there a performance penalty?

    About systems going read only and some saying this cannot happen unless a bad drive, this is not true.

    High intensive I/O operations can cause file systems corruption. I experienced this myself many times on cPanel servers. One example is R1Soft backup, and some of their versions had bugs, which would start going on a I/O killing spree, which ended up killing your machine with I/O errors, setting the partition on read mode.

    So yes, only with R1soft backup I have experienced this at least 4 times.

    Now, I assume what Tristan says is that you are more isolated to this issue if you have separate partitions, other than that I don┬┤t know if ther is any advantage or not on performance.
     
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