If you are running your website on a Virtual Private Server environment, this is a question you would often ask yourself. More so, if you are starting a new website or migrating from a traditional hosting platform to a VPS Hosting platform. The amount of RAM that your server system runs on determines its speed, responsiveness, and uptime. Hence, you need to do a thorough calculation and get the right estimate.
So, how would you determine the exact amount of RAM required for your server?
Calculating the amount of RAM might seem like a complicated process. And yet, necessary. Here are a few simple ways you can do the same.
You can start by measuring the past and current usage of RAM.
Consider current usage.
This will help you plan for the way ahead. When doing this, you can use certain metrics like-
The amount of data exchange happening on your site and the traffic inflow affects the RAM. Check for the total page views (daily or monthly), unique visits, total visits, number of hits, and so on.
Most sites run on Content Management Systems today, like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento, etc. While these make site development and management easy, they take up quite a lot of memory. So if you are using a CMS, you need to check the number of modules and plugins that you are using.
Your Operating System
A big part of RAM usage depends on the system OS. No matter which OS you are using on your VPS server, each of them has a certain RAM requirement which you have to fulfil. Also, whenever you update to the latest version, it will use up the memory, which you also need to consider.
Is your site a static one or dynamic? Dynamic sites with animation, more visuals, and lots of media files, will need more memory to load and run efficiently. Scripting languages like PHP and SQL databases also affect the RAM. So, account for each of these site elements, size of databases, and make an estimate.
Control panels facilitate you with a host of applications that make server management a breeze. But each of those tools can eat into your RAM. So, if you are using a lot of control panel programs, then you would need enough RAM to run them.
Apart from these, also account for firewalls, antivirus programs, or other security applications, email clients, spam filters, and so on, to calculate the total amount of RAM.
Estimate future usage.
You cannot anticipate the future, but you can always take a ballpark figure to estimate how much RAM you need. To do this, you can either guess or ask yourself these questions-
- How fast is your website growing?
- Have you recently introduced a new sales strategy to boost sales?
- Is your digital marketing efforts driving more traffic to the site?
Use Monitoring Tools.
When manual intervention doesn’t work, automated tools can help monitor RAM usage. Tools like Windows Performance Monitor measures the total amount of memory required and OS components. Look at the memory used across different functions to determine your need.
There is no actual answer to how much RAM is the right amount of RAM. Investing in too much can cost you more and lead to wastage of resources, which is not prudent. And opting for too less can cause reduced system performance, which is also not desirable. With the help of a good hosting provider, you can invest in the right resources and also opt for scalability as a future provision.