Server RAM

Posted on 2007-10-05
Last Modified: 2010-04-19
I have a dedicated linux server and am considering upgrading the RAM from:

256MB Guaranteed, 1 GB Bursted
512MB Guaranteed, 2 GB Bursted

Will this help website page load time? I am looking for ways apart from the coding of my site to make the site run faster, is this something I should try? or will this not make any difference? any ideas?

Question by:HighRoller1
    LVL 14

    Accepted Solution

    Sure, it'll make a diference.  Apache (I'm assuming apache?) will be able to cache twice as much data in memory.  If you're running a database then the database will be able to cache twice as much.

    In my experience with virtual servers the hosts cram sooo many on a physical machine that more memory will help, but the machine is probably sooo overtaxed that your money might be better spend moving to a better provider or upgrading your hosting plan to be on a less utilized server.

    My buddy just move over from his current provider where he was on a VPS with dual 3.2ghz xeons, 1gb memory, 200gb hard disks.... but it was so slow it took me forever to just log in.  The reason is that they don't guarantee a specific amount of processing power, there were probably 100 other people on that machine.  Sure he had a dedicated 1gb or memory... but it didn't matter.
     I'd say you get what you pay for, but he moved to a provider that was less expensive and guarantees that the machine is never over-utilized.
    LVL 14

    Expert Comment

    By the way... I don't know if I understand how they would offer bursted memory.  It makes senses at first glance, but most server software (mysql, apache, etc) don't know how to handle this - they try to fill up as much memory as possible with cached data, and they don't know they have to release it (unless I've missed something).

    So 512mb of dedicated memory is all that really would matter for response times... the other 1.5gb is pretty useless unless you're running some gigantic scripts.  And how would it get that other 1.5gb on-demand... I have no idea how that could work.
    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    Is it a database driven website?
    Is it a flash website?
    is it a static website?
    Do you use CGI
    is it mostly HTML?
    IS it PHP?

    There are a lot of details that are left out to properly answer that, for example if you have a web server that runs apache and you are only serving static HTML pages, then adding more ram will not do anything, unless you were short on ram just to run it. But apache won't use anymore ram if it doesn't have any post processing to do before the page is downloaded.

    Can you provide more details.

    Author Comment

    More details:

    Is it a database driven website?  YES, MySql
    Is it a flash website? NO
    is it a static website?NO
    Do you use CGI? NO, None
    is it mostly HTML?NO, Mostly Php
    IS it PHP?YES
    it is a LAMP dynamic website with lots of images, what do you think?

    Author Comment

    Any Ideas?
    LVL 17

    Assisted Solution

    Since it is mostly PHP the server will do all the POST processing before sending to the HTML code to the client. Having more ram in this case will be beneficial. A Base Linux webserver severing PHP pages should have at least 512 MB ram with 10 MB for every estimated simultaneously connect user. So if you estimate that you would have 100 users connected at the same time, you server should have 1.5 GB ram.

    Since you have a DB server as well you should double what you are estimating.

    So your base should be 1GB with 20 MB for every connected user, with the 100 estimate then 3 GB of RAM would be needed.

    you should do some monitoring of your DB and web server to see what is the most users you have connected at the same time to get accurate estimates.


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