About disk storage in Acquia Cloud

Disk storage in Acquia Cloud

Each Acquia Cloud application has a set amount of disk storage allocated that is assigned to it. This documentation page provides information about how Acquia Cloud allocates and uses that storage, and how you can determine how much of that storage is in use by your application.

Examining your disk storage usage

You can review your disk storage from the command line. To do this, connect to your Acquia Cloud environment using SSH, and then run the following command:

df -h

The output will appear similar to the following:

Filesystem                           Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/xvda1                           9.9G  4.4G  5.4G  45% /
udev                                 3.7G   12K  3.7G   1% /dev
tmpfs                                723M  328K  723M   1% /run
none                                 5.0M     0  5.0M   0% /run/lock
none                                 3.6G     0  3.6G   0% /run/shm
/dev/xvdb                             30G  823M   28G   3% /mnt
/dev/xvdn                             25G  2.6G   23G  11% /vol/backup-ebs
/dev/xvdm                             25G  2.4G   23G  10% /vol/ebs1
/dev/xvdo                             25G  2.6G   23G  11% /mnt/brick1144138
/etc/glusterfs/glusterfs-client.vol   25G  2.6G   23G  11% /mnt/gfs

You can determine how large each region is and how much of it is used or available.

For more information about examining your file system, see Assessing disk space usage.

Filesystem regions

The filesystem regions that are used by Acquia Cloud depend on whether you are using Acquia Cloud Enterprise or Acquia Cloud Professional, as described in the following table:

Partition Mount [acquia-product :ace] Function [acquia-product :acs] Function
/dev/xvdm /vol/ebs1 database database and static files
/dev/xvdn /vol/backup-e bs backups backups
/dev/xvdo /mnt/gfs Gluster (static files) not used

Local storage

From the previous disk storage usage example on this page, for the user there are two devices that are of primary interest:

  • /dev/xvda1
  • /dev/xvdb

These are the storage devices that are provided with your Acquia Cloud instance itself — they are both local to the instance, and have the quickest access. These devices are essentially disposable (also known as ephemeral storage).

The root directory is mounted on /dev/xvda1, is 10G in size, and houses the operating system and basic functions. Everything here can be recreated from Acquia Cloud files in the event that the instance needs to be discarded or relaunched.

The /mnt directory is mounted on /dev/xvdb, and is the instance’s remaining ephemeral disk space. The content in this location is either something we can install using our puppet master (for example, a copy of your Drupal code that actually runs under Apache) or is considered disposable (such as logs or other temporary information).


The Gluster file system uses a physical disk, where the files are actually stored. In the example, that partition is /dev/xvdo. These partitions are called bricks, and Gluster uses one or more bricks to form its filesystem. Gluster ensures that when changes occur, those changes are propagated to all defined bricks. This defines high availability functionality — by having a pair of EBS volumes that automatically stay in sync using the Gluster daemon.

For example, even though the example application has one brick on web-12345 and another on web-67890, all read and write operations use the Gluster server itself, which is based in /mnt/gfs.


The MySQL database has a separate volume in the example: /dev/xvdm. MySQL normally is run from /var/lib/mysql. In the example application, the following symlink exists to that volume:

lrwxrwxrwx 1 mysql mysql 15 May  9 23:09 mysql -> /vol/ebs1/mysql

Each server in the pair of web-* servers for Production have this design, however, Drupal only knows about one server, which is the location for reading/writing to the database. MySQL replicates the data from the active to the passive (for example, from web-12345 to web-67890) using normal binlog processes, which keep the databases synchronized. In the event that web-12345 is unavailable, Acquia Cloud will fail over (by changing a settings file) to the other server, and then inform Drupal that is should instead use web-67890. This function provides high availability services for the database, ensuring website uptime while the secondary server is returned to service.


Because Acquia Cloud uses synchronized copies with MySQL server, your application is well-protected from adverse situations. However, catastrophic failures or other emergencies can occur, which is why backing up your applications regularly is highly recommended.

Acquia Cloud takes Gluster file snapshots every hour and saves them to /dev/xvdn. These snapshots are generally needed only in the event that both Gluster bricks fail. Database dumps are also stored here.

To learn about how often backups occur on Acquia Cloud and how to create your own, see Backing up your application.

Storage space

The database in the example has 25 GB to store all of the data, binlog files, and anything else that is associated with the usual /var/lib/mysql directory. If necessary, during a maintenance window, that volume can be replaced with any size up to the maximum of 1 TB.

The Gluster volume is separate and is set to 25 GB — its maximum size can be raised to 1 TB.

Acquia’s infrastructure monitoring warns when the database, file, or ephemeral disks reach 95% of capacity, and again at 100%. When this occurs, Acquia creates proactive critical priority tickets. Acquia teams will attempt to safely reduce disk space usage to prevent a system outage by moving the oldest database backups to the /mnt/tmp directory.


These backups are not safe from deletion, and you should be sure to download and save the files if you still need them.

Contact supportStill need assistance? Contact Acquia Support

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