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I run a fairly busy media site and I store the streamable media on a SATA HDD on the CentOS server. The hard drive is dedicated for just the streamable media. The media is streamed using Flash Media Server. Recently the concurrent connections to FMS has grown and now my hard disk usage is peaking at certain times of the day and causing the streams to slow down or not play at all.

How can I solve this problem?


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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Are you asking what command to type to magically increase your IO bandwidth? If so, I'm afraid there isn't one.

The usual remedy to getting more IO bandwidth is the distinctly unmagical "more spindles". Add more SATA drives and distribute the data across them.

Striping (in software, using the mdadm tool 1) is the usual way to do this, but that can give you a worryingly-unsafe RAID-0 array or the headache of deciding between, and committing extra discs to, RAID-5 vs. RAID-1 (though it sounds like your application is read-intensive, in which case RAID-5 is fine). Alternatively, if you know that the traffic is distributed across different directory trees, put some of the busy trees on one drive, and some on the other.

1 Yes, I know it says it's deprecated in favour of the wiki; but I find it a very good guide even now.

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Stripping is not that bad. The probability of failure for N disks is about N times the probability of failure for a single disk. This makes hardly a difference - either you can reproduce the data or you need to backup often, anyway. – maaartinus Jan 24 '11 at 10:56
I completely agree that MTBF(RAID0, n discs) approximates to MTBF(1 disc)/n, and that backups are essential on all non-disposable systems, I'm just not sure that the OP will take that as read. – MadHatter Jan 24 '11 at 12:08
If only there were a magical command for that! That's fantastic, I think I will go for a RAID 5. Thanks a lot for your help. – Wasim Jan 24 '11 at 14:37
Just as a gentle hint, if you found the answer sufficiently useful, do feel free to accept it! – MadHatter Jan 24 '11 at 18:22
It has been accepted...sorry this has been my first question on this website! Thanks – Wasim Jan 26 '11 at 9:32

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