Disk Space - Other Usage

Most of the disk space used by customers are shown in great detail on cPanel, however there is a section that people ask about called "Other usage" which can be small for some customers and large for others.    "Other Usage" can include files in use in the temporary or cache folders outside of your home directory.   At this time, backups is not included, just anything in home, e-mail, server settings, temp, and cache files count toward disk quota.   Essentially anything your userID owns is counted including your mailing list storage files to any other files containted outside of your account folder for the system to operate on your behalf properly.

A lot of times scripts that are written well can leave behind unwated files.  PHP tends to clear these up most of the time.   At Parcom we do our best to clear things out in temporary folders on a regular basis that are not handled right for whatever reason (and we do it by looking for old files first.)   Those are the files most people will find that chew up the most space in the "Other usage" category.   A good example is of a developer who wrote a file upload script and the file upload script has been used by a few unfinished file uploads by visitors.  Leaving behind the unfinished file and if the script is written to not care about it, then sure, the half uploaded file sits there and counts toward your quota.  These are things people don't see or talk about much.  We try to help customers and automate a few things to keep things tidy for you - but we can only do so much too!

Also, the more activity and the more sessions going on with your site the greater the chance the cache and temp folders will fluctuate with disk usage too.    Keep that in mind if you are developing a heavy duty, session oriented, or even heavily encrypted script (IonCube type PHP file for instance) then the greater the chances your Other Usage section will report a high usage number.

Type of customer and suggestion:

Heavy custom scripting, lots of sessions, plenty of file uploads or encryption - keep an eye on space or invest in more disk space to compensate for the fluctuating cache and temporary files that happen on the server.

Very few scripted files, static HTML files - you won't have much issue with files outside your home directory.

Blogger, or someone who installed a few apps - you may have some files outside the home directory to watch out for.

 

Temporary Cache/EACache Files:

As a special service to our clients we enabled a cache clearing solution to remove old cache files that have not been used for 30 days.   These files will be purged from the tmp and cache folders that do count toward your storage usage.   This is a free service to Parcom customers and cannot be changed as 30 days was a good fair time frame that is acceptable for all customers.

 

I don't like files outside my site's home directory to not count what do I do?

It is possible to reduce or have close to zero file space usage outside the home directory and only see the files stored within your /home directory itself, this is what you would ultimately have to be doing:

  • Have no database
  • Do not use email at all (especially no antispam since that can create temporary files from things like spam assassin)
  • Do not use forums or any dyamic web site content such as a content manager (i.e. WordPress)
  • Only have html web pages, zero scripting.

With that said, that pretty much renders your account to a static site.   At that point you don't have any fun anymore. =)

 

The short answer:

Everything counts on the system.  You may not have full control to the operating system files that do count toward your usage but that is by design and to assure everyone is treated fairly 100%.

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