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I'm in charge of a file server at my high school and for now it's just one machine with a RAID set up with apache, php and MySQL installed. The problem is that all of the storage on the machine is almost all used up and there's no more room in the case for me to add another drive.

My question is, how do I go about adding more storage? Do I get another machine and somehow connect the current server machine to that one, and if so, how do I go about doing that to ensure that the old files as well as files that will be added later on will still be accessible?

Oh and the current server is accessed through our portal site in the format

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closed as too broad by Jenny D, kasperd, Ward, Michael Hampton Aug 30 '14 at 21:32

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Back it up, buy bigger disks, build a new, larger, array, restore from backup, profit.

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If storage is all used up, the first question is "Is all that ** really needed?" Time for (a bit early) spring cleaning!

If after this, it's still full (no cruft... hard to imagine): you'd look at increasing storage rather than adding a second server.

Increasing storage could be done by replacing an existing drive with a bigger one (use a networked machine or an external HD as temp storage while moving the data from old to new). Or simply adding some external HD(s) (maybe a NAS).

Lots of possibilities. You could also look into replacing the server, depending on age. And on budget.

These are just some rough ideas. Given what little we know (we do not know anything about the budget at your disposal), I don't see how we can do more.

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WinDirStat is great for spring cleaning. – Chris Nava Jan 25 '11 at 15:39
or if running Linux and have console access: gt5 is a nice tool to see the wasted space – jet Jan 25 '11 at 16:03

Is this a server used for the actual school site? As in for the public to see district information, or is this something like a project server for the high school alone?

I see a couple options. If the machine is older, now is the time to evaluate whether to replace it and rebuild with more storage and memory and a warranty that covers parts going bad. Or you could look at getting a decent server that runs VMWare ESXi or some other virtualization so you can run the web server under a VM, which can make it easier to transition to another server down the road if you needed to (or add redundancy by getting a full package for failover between two or more virtual servers). Plus you can back up the machine from "bare metal" by just copying the VM image if need be, or making sure you have a good backup agent intstalled.

Second, you could check and see if there's crap in it that should be deleted. If the server isn't all that old, what the heck is taking up all the space? Old log file? Are people uploading 100 meg JPG's or movie files? Do you have files that are a couple years old that can be archived and moved off the server? Are you storing things from people that graduated years ago?

Third, make a full backup, replace all the drives, and restore the machine back. To some degree you should have a system in place for this already, as part of your disaster recovery/backup plans. Make sure you can restore from bare metal, replace all the drives and go to town with replacing the data and run it again on the old hardware.

Fourth, replace the server with a new one, migrate just the stuff you need, and unveil the new and improved server with old cruft removed after rebuilding the web server and template from scratch. Great way to start new. Plus if you didn't have things like backups properly in place, this gives you a chance to fix that. RAID is not a backup.

Good luck...

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Build a NAS / SAN.
Wire up second server, put NFS / iSCSI on IT and install / configure NFS / iSCSI client on web server.

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No. Buy a NAS/SAN. If you're doing anything commercial, don't build your own. You just can't get the same level of support when the hardware goes tits-up. – Tom O'Connor Jan 25 '11 at 13:18

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