Before you faint in shock, don't worry! It's not as bad as the title suggests...

Over the past week or so, ever since Phalynx and myself partnered up on things, a lot of replays have been stored on; as of this moment, there are more than 50.000 replays on the site.

To put that in perspective; currently this takes up 50Gb of disk space for the replay files alone, an additional 2Gb for the image banners, and the database comes in around 17Gb. Every day, between 2000 to 3000 replays are added.

The problem that is coming relatively soon is that the server runs on only has another 300Gb of storage space available; not enough to permanently store all replays. I considered archiving older replays on Amazon S3, but the cost of that is prohibitive (it'd come in at over 300 dollars per month eventually); and there are only two ways to solve the problem.

The first, I could have another harddisk added to the wot-replays dedicated server; the problem there is that it costs an extra 15 euros per month, which admittedly is pushing my budget for this thing hellaciously thin. It also would only be a single HDD, so no redundancy, no raid. If it ever decides to pack up, data will be gone. The database is backed up, but my backup space is limited to 100Gb, so only the essentials go there. This is however the "prettiest" solution because it will allow me to store 3Tb (that's terabytes) of replays at any given time, which boils down to about 3 million replays. I imagine by the time that fills up, we're a few years on.

The second option is to remove older replays; the data in the database will obviously stay, so the page will still be there, but there won't be an option to download the replay, and the direct download link will stop working. Since it's hard to play back old(er) replays on the new clients, this seems like a good solution but at the same time it's one of those things where it may lead to a lot of dead links coming in. There's also no real good way to determine what'd get dropped; after all, maybe some people want to keep their defeats, or victories, even if they're from an older version because ... well, reasons.

So really, what I'm looking for is some sort of input, or at least some suggestions from the community at large; so if you have something to say on this subject, please leave it in a comment on this post so I can easily find it :)