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Message Posted: Thu, 04 Oct 2001 @ 21:40:52 GMT

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Subj:   Re: Is your file system full?
From:   Charles Farley

Hello all-

--- Christopher Platt wrote:

  Simply put when /var fills up....who do you call or what do you do...? or for that matter where is there any documentation on cleaning up...filesystems.....  

Well, you have a unix system OS admin issue, what your vendor will do is tell you which files that you could delete, but they are unsure of what software is there and do not want to delete a log file that has an open fd on it or anything damaging. So they will er on the side of caution and ask if your sys admin can delete the site specific files out of the filesys..

If youre' looking for a good book on system admin, the O'Reilly "Essential System Administration" is a good start, there are also a number of other books that can outline the basic tasks of a sys admin, but really, how full your filesystems are and how large they are overall and what sort of changes they see over time is part of the sys admin's knowledge of the system. If you know that your /var is a gig, and that it usually takes up around 500Meg of that total space and grows at around 20 Meg a month. The defaults on the system set the alerts at 90% from a user standpoint. When I say this, I mean that the system has two ways of looking at filesystem size, one is from a user standpoint, with a pre-defined cushion added to the used space (10% of total by default), and the sys admin can see the actual used, the 10% is there to allow for a cushion to allow the system to function while the admin does the maintenance on the filesys.

You can set the alerts to a lower threshold, say 80%, and you can set the cushion as well, maybe you want 20% pf total space as a cushion. This will depend on how fast the filesys fills and over what period of time it does this. The defaults on your system are a good baseline to start from, but inorder to tune, you need to work with that system on a consistent and day to day basis. I am assuming (as I did in my last post) that this is not your primary job, that you have been handed the admin of this system due to some other factors in you company. Therefore, you will be in an uphill climb to figure out how fast the silesystem grew, when did it grow, and what caused it, when tech support talks to you. My last recommendations still stand, either you need a full-time individual to manage this (and other) systems, or you need a service from a vendor to manage the box off-site. Both are costly, no doubts there, but I think it would reduce your frustratino and possibly allow you to get more from the system as a result were that it had a person whose position was the management and tuning of the box to the site. I am not saying that you could not do this, I am surmising that you do not have the time to throw at this.

If you have the time and determination, the basic sys admin tasks are not too horrible and can be learned from a numbe rof books, a visit to www.ugu.com or perhaps a quick perusal of the FAQs from www.unix.com or from the comp.unix.* will help. They will certainly provide a list of books that will be helpful and they may be able to provide more specific answers than those found here.

Thanks for listening, hope you're having a better go of it now,


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