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I am wondering what benefits will give me to move all website content files from the default inetpub directory (C:) to something like D:\wwwroot. By default IIS creates separate application pool for each website and I am using the built-in user and group (IURS) as the authentication method. I’ve made sure each site directory has the appropriate permission settings so I am not sure what benefits I will gain. Some of the environment settings are as below:

  • VMWare Windows 2008 R2 64
  • IIS 7.5
  • C:\inetpub\site1
  • C:\inetpub\site2

Also as this article (moving the iis7 inetpub directory to a different drive) points out, not sure if it's worth the trouble to migrate files to a different drive:

PLEASE BE AWARE OF THE FOLLOWING: WINDOWS SERVICING EVENTS (I.E. HOTFIXES AND SERVICE PACKS) WOULD STILL REPLACE FILES IN THE ORIGINAL DIRECTORIES. THE LIKELIHOOD THAT FILES IN THE INETPUB DIRECTORIES HAVE TO BE REPLACED BY SERVICING IS LOW BUT FOR THIS REASON DELETING THE ORIGINAL DIRECTORIES IS NOT POSSIBLE.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

One reason is that if you have dynamically created content that is put into that directory and it runs wild, you may crash the OS if it runs full-disk. This will not happen if a non-system partition runs full-disk, it will probably just crash your app.

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Yes it is a valid reason but I don't see it to be that "security" related. It's more to do with reliability than security do you agree? –  Jeffrey Mar 18 '10 at 0:16
1  
@Jeffery - Agreed. I didn't see anything in your question asking for security benefits, just benefits in general. My mistake if I misunderstood you. –  MDMarra Mar 18 '10 at 0:19
    
It does depend a bit on the OS too. I've filled a Win2008 C: drive and Windows did not crash. I know that was generally not the case in 2003 or especially before. –  Chris S Mar 18 '10 at 1:34
    
@Chris S - Agreed, '08 isn't bulletproof though when it comes to full-disk scenarios. Load up a couple in test and see. It does seem to be more resilient to it than '03 was though. –  MDMarra Mar 18 '10 at 2:23
    
It is unlikely to crash but it may stop things being logged as there is no room to expand log files, and can cause updates to fail in a way that makes them hard to retry. It is considered a security issue because it could be used as part of a denial of service attack our to make other attacks harder to see/diagnose because of the logining issue. –  David Spillett Apr 24 at 8:09

the only security reason I can think of is parent paths... if you have a website hosted out of c:\wwwroot and had a poor IIS configuration someone could get to content hosted on the same partition. I beleive this was an issue with IIS 5

Other than that the main reason would be logs and other content filling up your system partition (as mentioned by MarkM)

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Thank for your comment. –  Jeffrey Mar 18 '10 at 0:31
    
Yeah - the recommendation was much more important under older Windows/IIS versions. With static content and a modern OS/IIS, it matters much less. –  mfinni Mar 18 '10 at 3:12

While separate partitions were advocated in the past they are not really required. If there's a security compromise it's your machine that's up for grabs, not just a partition.

The issue MarkM raised can be addressed by monitoring disk space, which I believe should be employed on all servers anyway, and alerts issued when the space gets below preset thresholds. It's not too difficult to add change rate monitoring and restart applications or even the server itself in the event of a runaway process.

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I wasn't referencing a security compromise, as such, more of an unsecure configuration which would allow someone to traverse out of c:\wwwroot –  commandbreak Mar 18 '10 at 10:05

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