SBS System drives running out of space

I have seen this issue more and more lately…don’t get me wrong, Windows SBS is a perfect solution for smaller businesses that can’t afford a more robust infrastructure…however – the nature of Small Business Server can be its downfall: all applications and core services running on a single server. Thus the problem: a SBS system drive tends to run out of space quick.

Consider the following applications\services running on a single box:

  • Active Directory Domain Services
  • IIS Website(s)
  • Exchange
  • SQL Server instance(s)
  • SharePoint
  • [pagefile]
  • Anti-Virus server\management
  • Backup application

If not thought about when setting up SBS initially, the system drive will be given some standard size – let’s say 25GB – then partition the rest out for file shares, etc. This space will be full in no time!! There needs to be a warning in SBS setup that the system drive needs to be at least 40 – 60GB…if not larger. A 25GB system drive is just fine for a single-role member server, but SBS is COMPLETELY different.

Here’s a blog from TechNet describing how to reclaim some space in SBS 2003\2008: TechNet: Recovering Disk Space on the C: Drive … clearly this is an issue that has come up before…

And sure SQL and Exchange DB’s can be moved easily enough…and the pagefile also…but what about 3rd party applications that either MUST be installed on the C: drive, or cannot be easily moved once installed?? One of the biggest hogs of space I have found is SEP. It is possible, while not the easiest thing to do, to get both the AV content directory and the database (embedded SEM5) moved post-install, with minimal downtime.

The database move is fairly straightforward assuming you have space elsewhere and know all of the credentials: Move SEM5.db for SEP 11

Moving the content directory is a bit more tricky, but Symantec has a TECH article to follow. It’s really just creating a symbolic link to the directory that points elsewhere, but it is just nice to know that Symantec supports this configuration: Symantec TECH 148333

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