Your thoughts on making /Home its own virtual drive

IT_Architect

Verified User
We've only used VMware ESXi on bare metal since 2008, which gives us VMFS, so we only need UFS for FreeBSD. My thoughts are that /home should be a separate virtual hard drive because it can start out small to save space, and then we can grow /home only on the VMs where needed. The requirements of the other volumes are little impacted by growth of the /home user areas. What are your thoughts?

Thanks!
 

zEitEr

Super Moderator
Hello,

It's a good idea to have /home on a separate partition, but why? It's rather optional, unless you have databases under /home/mysql and want to keep SQL server running even in case server logs filled all the available disk space under /var/, when the directory is a part of the root partition.

Something like that.
 

IT_Architect

Verified User
Hello,
It's a good idea to have /home on a separate partition, but why? It's rather optional, unless you have databases under /home/mysql and want to keep SQL server running even in case server logs filled all the available disk space under /var/, when the directory is a part of the root partition. Something like that.
I separate my partitions anyway. I do this to prevent one from encroaching on another, it's easier to see when something is haywire, I can have more granular rights, and specify different treatment such as I can clear /tmp on restart while maintaining persistence on /var/tmp etc. To determine sizes, I recorded the worst case scenario for each server and doubled it to determine their sizes of them with the exception of / where I need to compensate more for upgrades, and limit swap to 4G even when I have a lot more RAM.
/ 2G
swap 4G
/tmp 1G
/var 5G
/var/tmp 1G
/usr 15G
/Home
The VMs running on VMFS use only the amount of physical disk space that is in use, regardless of partition size. That is not the case with the NFS volumes that we back up to where they use their full declared size. Moreover, when VMware copies to the NFS volume, it doesn't take into consideration compression. It sees files on the VMs as their declared maximum size, and the destination NFS as its declared maximum size, so it will fail with a disk space error even when you are only using 40% of the disk space, thus, there is no benefit to compressing. /home is the the only partition that requires much space, and the only one geared to the amount of user data, and by keeping databases under /home/mysql keeps all user data on the same volume. If /home is on a separate virtual disk I can do a single server install with a very small /home and use it everywhere because I can expand it with a mouse click in ESXi, and grow it FreeBSD. It enables me to not reserve disk space for future use, and still never be short. It enables me to shrink /home by backing up to another smaller virtual hard drive and then mounting it as /home. Also, the only partition I've ever needed to expand besides /home, is /usr, which would now be on the end and easy to grow.

I don't see any disadvantages unless someone else does.

Thanks!
 
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