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20GB is too small for an empty VPS - Staggering conclusion

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  • 20GB is too small for an empty VPS - Staggering conclusion

    Good morning,

    I have the Hyper-V VPS with 20GB with one web site of about 200MB, so you can imagine my surprise when this morning I tried to install the latest Windows update and was told that I had insufficient disc space. It was a large update and it needed 2GB and I had less than this.

    Upon further investigation I found that Windows uses 10GB of disc space (5GB was in WinSXS) and the swap file was 5GB file, or 15GB in total.

    Other bits and pieces and 1GB in the recycle bin used another 3GB

    Clearly I can and will decrease the swap file to 3GB, (2GB really seems too risky) and the recycle bin can be emptied, defeating the purpose of it a bit.

    It seems reasonable to me to allow 1GB for the recycle bin, so 10GB (Win) + 3GB (Swap) + 1GB(recycle) leaves 6GB

    Whilst 6GB is a lot of hosting space, it is not very much to manage Windows updates, store various other programs as well as the web site, as shown by this need for 2GB to install the latest windows update.

    I have spoken to support and they have offered to add an extra 2GB of disc space to the VPS to allow the update to run, but this a sticking plaster, as by the time of the next large update hopefully I will be using more disc space and I have found enough space to run this update

    So my conclusion is that 20GB is just enough to run the VPS without any web sites and whilst I am sure that I can spend days, finding ways to reduce Windows disc footprint somewhat, that’s not worth doing given the price of disc space.

    30GB seems to be the minimum needed, any thoughts anyone?


    Forums are about debating pleasantly not agreeing.

  • #2
    Hello Ian

    Usually WinSXS doesn't consume much disk space on server. We have compared disk space consumed by WinSXS on another vpss however there wasn't much disk space use by WinSXS. We will have to investigate more on this issue. Please open support request for this issue as it may involve some time in troubleshooting.


    • #3
      Good afternoon,

      Thanks, I have opened a new ticket.

      There is a lot on the web about the WinSXS folder bloating along with a complete lack of a solutions.

      My VPS was only installed a couple of months ago and the only thing that I do that others may not is that I do install the Win 2008 updates.

      Just for info, apart from the one site I have not installed any apps onto the server except WinDirStat, to get a pictorial use of disc space, to find where the space had gone.

      I get the impression that most Win 2008 installations are not on virtual machines so an extra 20GB-50GB can easily get hidden, as real servers probably have 500GB or more.

      The trouble is that it doesn't seem to be an issue that has anything to do with you, it is a feature of Windows. If this does turn out to be the case and there is no safe way to shrink this folder it will scupper your hosting plans somewhat. (-:


      Forums are about debating pleasantly not agreeing.


      • #4

        The Winsxs folder, stores multiple copies of dll's in order to let multiple applications run in Windows without any compatibility problem. If you browse inside, you will see what look like a lot of duplicate dlls, each having the same name. These are actually, different versions of the same files which are being stored; as different programs may require different versions. In short, Winsxs, which stands for 'Windows Side By Side', is Vista's/Windows 2008 native assembly cache. Libraries which are being by multiple applications are stored there. This feature was first introduced, in Windows ME and was considered as Microsoft's solution to the so-called 'dll hell' issues that plagued Windows 9x.
        Best Regards,
        System Administrator


        • #5
          Good morning

          Just to be clear, I am aware that this is Windows' normal way of working and not something that WHUK are responsible for.

          Obviously I can go to the next level of VPS which will get me more disc space, but I am posting on this subject as I expect that it is news to WHUK as well as me that 20GB is not really enough. If you look at Windows VPS on Virtuozzo WHUK offer 10GB,20GB and 30GB discs to run Win 2003.

          Generally I do prefer working in Windows to Linux and Windows "dll hell" has always been less hassle then every Linux app seeming to need to download version n.n of a library or twenty that you haven't clue what it does or why you need it. Probably made worse by the fact that I tend to use Fedora Core, which is Red Hat's test bed for their charged for version.

          The advantage of the Linux route is that you know what is where so you have some idea of what is safe to delete and not safe delete.

          In a "normal" server environment WinSXS's size isn't a great issue, you will have a great big disc anyway as its a server, some Vista users are complaining seriously, especially lap top users with smaller discs.

          As it was suggested here that I open a ticket, I did so and support's answer was all that it could be; that's the way it is, it might get smaller with time.

          However this merely strengthens the argument that 20GB is too small. As in this context it is Window's creating these files as a result of Windows updates, its not something that is easy to manage and plan for. This is a web exposed server so I feel that I need to install pretty much every Windows update offered.

          I don't know how many VPSs are on a single box, but I would guess that increasing disc space would require an extra drive. Of course if the host server is a 1Unit rack mount PC then this may be an issue.

          I have attached a picture of the disc usage as of this morning, the black files entry is the swap file.


          Attached Files
          Last edited by IanSmithISA; 06-01-10, 07:38 AM. Reason: Grammer change
          Forums are about debating pleasantly not agreeing.


          • #6

            I've been through the same discussion with tech support. Initially I bought the cheaper Hyper V but the product just isnt credible, they sell it without enough resources.

            At least yours is working. I've had terrible trouble with my Hyper V restarting itself.

            They put me on a new one (the amount of hassle was unreal)

            Guess what???? The new one is giving an identical error.