Advice on configuring a Web Server with multiple drives

So up until now always played with a server on an old machine with a single hard drive very simple and straight forward. Never with actual proper server hardware.

I now have a Dell R520 (2x Intel E5-2430 6 Core 2.5GHz, 48GB RAM) that I want to use as a dedicated server.

I’d like to install CentOS with Webmin/Virtualmin. I’m starting with 15 or so sites for mostly friends and family and personal projects. Low to moderate traffic.

My issue is disk configuration and management. Trying to wrap my head around how that will work with multiple drives available. Here is what I have to work with:

1x 500GB SSD added in the DVD bay. (thinking installing the OS here?)
1x 2TB HDD (came with the server)
1x 10TB HDD (had it sitting, not being used, so threw it in)
6x 8TB HDDs
PERC H310 Mini RAID controller

I know it’s a ton of storage, but I’ve got it, may as well play with it.

I’ve been searching for tutorials and how-tos but most of what I am finding is related to building a NAS or virtualization servers. I think I should be separating the /home and /var onto a separate partition and keeping the OS on its own?

I’ve come across LVM which seems promising from an expansion standpoint but not seeing much on redundancy (unless I am missing something there) and then there is RAID both hardware and software which can address redundancy. Don’t know if ZFS fits into this application.

Any best practices recommendations for the drive configuration in this use scenario?

Encourage you in your self-learning!

For public sites, consider github pages or netlify. Nothing wrong with self-hosting, though. CloudFlare CDN (although pros/cons with their MitM SSL).

For self-hosting a LEMP stack on CentOS, take a look at

For storage, if you’re ok with losing half the drives to parity, RAID10 (e.g., zfs pool of mirrors) is the simplest for all-around performance. If you want to maximize capacity and are ok with the speed of the array being the speed of a single spinner, consider snapraid+mergerfs (or Unraid, if you’re willing to drop CentOS). Flash the H310 mini into IT mode with stock LSI firmware; the mini version takes a few extra steps with megarec/megacli.

Nowadays, usually the whole OS will be on one partition, and storage arrays are mounted separately. /tmp is in ramdisk.

You’re welcome to join the discord.