How many resources, like RAM, CPU, disk space, and IOPS, does a VPS really need?

When choosing a VPS, first of all, attention is paid to sufficient resources. Important metrics and characteristics of a virtual private server include RAM (RAM), CPU (CPU performance), hard disk space, IOPS (input and output operations per second), and bandwidth.

Choosing a pricing plan is a top priority for the client. Insufficient resources will lead to site malfunction and loss of potential customers. An unreasonable excess of resources is associated with unnecessary expenses (rental fees). To correctly calculate the number of resources needed, you need to take into account the site’s parameters, including configuration, content volume, and attendance.

How to calculate the amount of RAM needed

RAM is one of the important parameters when choosing a virtual private server. The computer’s RAM serves as a temporary data storage and allows for quick access to any information placed on the device. The same principle applies to VPS. RAM is used each time a new process is started. For all software to run smoothly, you need to calculate the necessary RAM resource. In the calculation, factors are taken into account:

  • Content type – images, videos, and animations require more resources than text documents.
  • Attendance – sites with high traffic require more resources.
  • Caching to temporarily store web pages in memory to respond to browser requests, bypassing the hard drive. 
  • Using the control panel (Plesk, cPanel).
  • Using CMS content management systems like WordPress and Joomla! 

If there is not enough memory, applications freeze and run slowly. At some point, the system will stop responding and the hosting platform will fail. To restore the functionality of the server, you will have to reboot, which will lead to downtime, loss of potential customers, and reduced profits. Approximate recommendations for choosing the amount of memory:

  • 2 GB. Suitable for server hosting websites (20-30 domains) with low or medium traffic. Support for cPanel, Plesk, or ISPconfig control panels and software products MySQL, Apache/LiteSpeed, Mail, and Statistics is provided. 
  • 4 GB. Suitable for VPS with the functionality described above, designed to host 30-60 domains. This is the best option for sites with average attendance. Spare resources will help to maintain the performance of sites at a stably high level during the hours of increased user activity (peak traffic values).
  • 8 GB. Every visitor to the site triggers the creation of processes. For example, a simple e-mail check requires the allocation of RAM. If a private virtual server hosts sites with high attendance (simultaneous presence of more than 1000 users), a VPS option with a large amount of RAM is needed. 
  • 32 GB. Heavy sites with a large amount of diverse content, extensive databases, and complex configurations are subject to external caching. In this case, it is reasonable to distribute the load among several servers. 
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To choose the right Ubuntu virtual private server, you need to consider the amount of RAM needed. Basically, the indicator depends on the number and attendance of sites to be placed on the server. Another important parameter is the number of plugins and utilities that will be needed for the effective operation of business projects. The choice of memory size depends on the tasks to be performed:

  • 1-2 GB for server and website management. 
  • 256 MB – 2 GB for blogging with the WordPress content management system. This is the most popular application for posting, processing, and customizing content. For a single blog or website, the minimum RAM will be enough – 256 MB. If you plan to create a site with a large number of elements on the WordPress platform, using open source code, shortcodes, page linkers, and plugins, it is better to choose a virtual private server with 2 GB of RAM.
  • 2-4 GB to create an online store. Electronic payments through the system require higher security conditions. A tariff plan with 4 GB of RAM will be needed if you plan to open an online store with high traffic and a large number of settlement transactions (millions of hits and transactions). 
  • 512 MB – 2 GB for database storage. For example, to store online photos, the user will need about 512 MB of memory. If we are talking about a professional photographer with a large and constantly growing portfolio, a plan with 2 GB of memory is suitable. 
  • 3-4 GB to host online game projects on the server. Participation in online gaming communities like Minecraft or World of Warcraft, as well as hosting your own game application on the Internet requires sufficient RAM resources. With an increase in the number of players is a possible slowdown in the system. At the first signs of failure, it is better to switch to a plan with more memory – 8 GB.
  • 1-4 GB to host a private VPN. 

If a VPS is rented to host a large number of websites or online projects, you should consider the predicted probability of constant user growth and increased traffic. To scale websites smoothly, it is better to take care of resources in advance and choose a plan with 8 GB of RAM. When increasing the number of visitors to the site, it is advisable to use CDN content compression and delivery network. With the help of the network, you can speed up service requests. 

How to calculate the required performance of the CPU

CPU performance is one of the important parameters when it comes to choosing the right plan. The number of cores and clock frequency are the main characteristics. When selecting characteristics, the same criteria as for calculating RAM performance are used. 

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The number of cores depends on the type and volume of loads. Minimum and medium loads can be assigned to 2 cores. If you plan to solve complex tasks, such as working with an extensive database, it is better to choose 4 cores. The optimal clock frequency is 2.55-3.5 GHz. Servers designed to host extensive databases, or to keep mail applications running smoothly, run efficiently on 2-4 cores. Most applications, that are installed to keep a web resource running, scale when the number of cores is increased. Typically, increasing the number of processor cores will result in improved server performance under load. 

How to calculate the optimal IOPS value for the server

The number of blocks that can be written to and read from the medium in a unit of time is IOPS, one of the important parameters in determining the performance of systems designed for data storage (hard disks, SAN – network storage, SSD – solid-state drives). 

The typical (3.5″) SATA (Media Transfer Interface) drive provides up to 120 I/O operations per second. A high-end Hitachi Ultrastar drive can support up to 400 operations per second. Today’s SSDs can easily support up to 10,000 operations per second. This option satisfies the needs of any website, even with an extensive MySQL-formatted database. To keep a stable, uninterrupted virtual private server running, it’s best to choose a VPS with SSD drives. 

Hard disk space

Statistics show that 65% of customers use less than 30 GB of disk space. Determining the optimal amount for each client is based on an analysis of your current situation. To find out how much disk space you are currently using, use the command line or the Plesk or cPanel interface. Add a spare resource to the current figure, taking into account the projected expansion of the website. 

The information provided will help you choose a tariff plan with the optimal amount of resources, which will allow you to successfully build a business in any field. 

Technize is a team of tech enthusiasts and experts who loves sharing the best computer hardware, software, and gadgets. We also write reviews on PC Build, networking, computer components, and other related topics. It's our goal to offer you insightful reviews that will help you in choosing your next computer component or gadget.

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