Keeping A Watchful Eye On Disk Space


Early this morning a low disk space condition was detected on one of our clients servers. The system (C:) partition had grown due to general day to day activity and patches to the operating system. Low disk space will cause poor server performance. If not addressed it will result in the server crashing, probably within a few days.

This server is a virtual machine so we quickly allocated more storage to the disk and then expanded the C: drive within Windows to fix the problem. We finished this before the client started work for the day. There was no server downtime during the work, another win for proactive maintenance.

This potentially disruptive issue was averted by:

  • 24 x 7 remote monitoring and management;
  • an automated service desk to analyse and manage issues;
  • the use of virtualisation technology to make it possible to allocate additional computing resources without downtime.

What Might Have Happened

Compare this to what might have happened in an un-managed situation. The server would continue running for a while with a gradual reduction in performance. The disk space eventually runs out and the server crashes. Somebody will then restart the server. It might or might not be able to boot. If it does it  will perform very badly and then crash again.

At this point in time the unfortunate business will call for help. They may be able to get a technician to attend that day. The technician will probably not have seen the server before and will need to spend some time diagnosing the problem and assessing the options. If the server is a physical install (operating system installed directly on the host) s/he will need to source larger hard drives. Once the new drives are installed the technician will clone the old drives to the new and then fix any issues caused by the server crashes. Net result, a business interruption lasting from a few hours to a few days, all of which could have been averted. The message is clear, managed IT services really can save money.

Posted in Monitoring.

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