I am installing a fresh Ubuntu on our lab server. We have lots of massive genomes which need to be accessed by Apache www-data user. Currently I backed all the data up on external drives. My goal is to have a fresh Ubuntu, install new web apps on it, and then import lost of old data so that Apache would serve it to users using these new apps. Users would also upload files. The priority is to keep things simple so that a new future system administrator could easily catch up with how things work on the server. My current plan:
1) Have in-lab person (I'm out of state) burn Ubuntu ISO cd, boot the machine from it and perform basic ubuntu installation, set up SSH access for me. She would reformat internal disk except for /home folder which is on a separate partition.
2) Migrate users from old installation; manually clean up unnecessary data from /home (old) folder. Replace new /home folder with it.
3) Install LAMP, web apps, and other necessary software.
4) Create /home/user/webdata folder, give Apache user all permissions to it. Inside it, create upload/ folder where website users would be uploading files. Next to it would be genomes/ folder containing symbolic links to genomes physically located on external drive. Apache would serve genomes to users from this folder.
5) Set up automatic backup of /home/user/webdata/ and put the thing up online.
I don't have experience in system administration, so I have the following doubts:
a) Is keeping the data as described in step 4 inferior in any way? What would be the most common&efficient way to store and serve large genomes, and user uploads? Should I have this webdata/ folder under /var/www/html instead? Or should I not use symbolic links at all and keep genomes on the internal drive (under /home or /var)? One reason I don't like it under /var is because keeping everything under /home would be simple and safe.
b) Can any other steps be changed or added to make the process safer and more professional?
Thank you very much for the support, and let me know if I should provide any addition information.