Managing Large Data

“How much storage space do I get on my domain?”

The problem with answering this question is that BYU doesn’t officially have a spacelimit that is defined per user. When we started this program, we expected that most of campus users would be using a small amount of storage space for each of their sites. This has generally proven to be the case, even though we do recognize that there will always be a portion of campus users using more space than average. Large amounts of disk usage impacts the overall available space on the shared server and as it reaches its limits, the performance of all users is impacted.

We will continue to monitor space usage over time and will make adjustments to space allocations as needed. BYU reserves the right to create an allocation limit at any time.

We encourage all users to monitor and manage your disk space usage frequently, and not to use it to manually back up personal files. BYU Domains is to support website development for students, staff, and faculty on campus. It is not a file storage option. Those should also be stored outside of BYU Domains. We recommend regularly using the BYU Domains backup utilities, which will cover most needs. If files are no longer needed (product is sold, image is outdated, etc.), please remove them.

You can check your disk usage by navigating to your BYU Domains dashboard and under the “Files” heading click on “Disk Usage.” You will then be brought to a page where you can see your allocated consumed disk space. Here you will be able to seewhat parts of your site are taking up the most disk-space.

Reducing Disk Space

During Website Development

  • If possible, store temporary site backups outside of BYU Domains.
  • Remove temporary files (needed for data import, etc.) as soon as possible.
  • Clear the file manager trash often or as soon as is feasible.

Multimedia (Video, Audio, and Photos)

Video:

  • Videos can be stored in YouTube or other video management sites and embedded in webpages.
  • If your site requires video files to be local, Try to trim and use the minimum video (and audio) quality that will display nicely in your site.
  • Good quality looping GIF files may also provide a nice option for some web pages.

Audio:

  • Try to trim and use the minimum audio quality that will provide a good user experience

Images:

  • For web development, image file sizes over 100KB do not display at a higher resolution. These images simply load more slowly and take up a larger amount of disk space. It is recommended that all images are kept to around 100KB or less.

Presentations:

  • Presentations can be very large. It is recommended that all images in presentations are compressed to use “document resolution.” Videos can be embedded into presentations using URLs to an external site (i.e. YouTube).

Cloud Storage:

  • BYU Domains includes a number of file management (i.e. OwnCloud) and image galleries that tend to include a large amount of content, and utilize a large amount of disk space. Please use some constraint when using these tools.

Email:

  • Large amounts of email, especially email with attachments should be managed regularly. You can check your email usage by looking in “email accounts” or “email disk usage” in your Domains dashboard.

Backups:

  • JetBackups are recommended for your main website. These backups are easier to manage and you are able to do single file restores. These are also offsite backups, and as such they do not use BYU Domains server space. These backups are done on a nightly basis, so if you need a backup mid-day, we would recommend doing these to a local workstation if possible.
  • The other backup options in cPanel do use BYU Domains server space.
  • Please limit the automatic “Installatron” or WordPress backups to be less often or fewer. You should rely on the JetBackups that are done nightly and can usually turn off automatic backups, unless your site is under active development, then you will want more frequent backups
  • Please remove backups when they are no longer needed or are too old

Content and Databases

  • For sites with a large amount of content or databases it is recommended that you attach to another external storage resource such as, YouTube, Amazon AWS Educate, a local file server, or other cloud storage options.
  • In WordPress there are a number of good plug-in alternatives to externally manage all your content (file management, social media, videos, image galleries, etc.)

Amazon AWS Educate

We know that for all of you big data users out there, you are probably thinking “What does this mean for me?” We want you to know that BYU Domains is still accessible for you. With the right tool, you can use BYU Domains simultaneously with other storage resources in order to present the data that you want through the BYU Domains program. The tool that allows this to happen is called Amazon AWS Educate. Using the Amazon AWS Educate service enables you to store databases and other large amounts of content online through an external storage service. You can then integrate your site with whatever content you have.

BYU is an institutional member of Amazon AWS Educate. When you go to here, you can sign up for a year of free storage. New users are automatically signed up for this Amazon “Free-Tier” program. Additionally, faculty get a $200 credit for additional services and students get a $100 credit each to spend within the program. Please note that when you sign up for this service, you are required to enter a credit card in the event that your usage exceeds the terms of the service and/or you continue to use the service after the term of the agreement expires.

The free storage you get from this service should be plenty for things like S3, micro instances, etc. Wordpress has a plugin that connect Amazon's service to your site here.

We recommend using Amazon AWS (and related programs like the Amazon EC2 service) for use cases that are beyond what BYU Domains currently supports, such as system administration, installing and removing multiple developer tools, applications that cannot be supported by the LAMP platform, etc.