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  1. #1
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    Server setup with wrong swap size?

    Too small swap size on a new server I ordered. The host tells me to extend swap size without a reinstall, is this recommended? I thought this is going to take a performance hit? The server is still new and I have no data on it.

  2. #2
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    Define 'too small swap size'? It may be that you're expecting too much from swap on Linux.

    Honestly, unless it's under your memory size I wouldn't worry about it. Typical linux swap runs 1-2x memory size which is just fine.
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  3. #3
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    4G physical RAM with only 1G swap.
    I am having the system reloaded now.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasebug View Post
    4G physical RAM with only 1G swap.
    I am having the system reloaded now.
    1GB swap is fine. Why isn't it ok?
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  5. #5
    1G swap is a bit small but should be fine. If you're using a lot of swap your server will grind to a halt anyway, so there's only limited benefit from having more swap than that.
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  6. #6
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    But if 1G of swap is all used, the server will be completely non-responsive and will need to reboot it. At least that's from my experience of servers that used up all memory as well as swap.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasebug View Post
    But if 1G of swap is all used, the server will be completely non-responsive and will need to reboot it. At least that's from my experience of servers that used up all memory as well as swap.
    Swap should actually never be used; if you use a lot of swap you just don't have enough physical memory.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by chasebug View Post
    But if 1G of swap is all used, the server will be completely non-responsive and will need to reboot it. At least that's from my experience of servers that used up all memory as well as swap.
    yes, and if you have say, 10g of swap, and you're using 2g of swap, the server will also, most likely, be completely non-responsive and you will need to reboot it. Once you use more than a little bit of swap, the server will spend all of its time moving memory into and out of the hard drive, making it totally unusable.
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  9. #9
    i think if you have 4gb of ram then your swap must be 8gb.
    i've read this somewhere that i multiply the ram by 2

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by enhu View Post
    i think if you have 4gb of ram then your swap must be 8gb.
    i've read this somewhere that i multiply the ram by 2
    Either you read wrong or the person who wrote it is badly misinformed.
    Generally, if you use more than 1 or 2GB of RAM, your performance is going to take a major hit.

    Considering the cheap RAM prices, buying more RAM is by far the much smarter way to go.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 040Hosting View Post
    Swap should actually never be used; if you use a lot of swap you just don't have enough physical memory.
    Right.

    My personal machines have 512MB swap and I never have seen them use more then like 20MB
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsj5j View Post
    Either you read wrong or the person who wrote it is badly misinformed.
    Generally, if you use more than 1 or 2GB of RAM, your performance is going to take a major hit.

    Considering the cheap RAM prices, buying more RAM is by far the much smarter way to go.
    They are cheap but hosts overcharge on them by 2-3x sometimes even more. 2GB extra for $50/month?

    Edit: Server reinstalled with 8G swap.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasebug View Post
    They are cheap but hosts overcharge on them by 2-3x sometimes even more. 2GB extra for $50/month?
    Sometimes its needed. It's not unusual that RAM goes bad fairly fast and replacements are needed, plus the cost of stocking spares.. $50/month seems a little high for 2GB but it's not unrealistic, IMO.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougy View Post
    Sometimes its needed. It's not unusual that RAM goes bad fairly fast and replacements are needed, plus the cost of stocking spares.. $50/month seems a little high for 2GB but it's not unrealistic, IMO.
    Many RAM have lifetime warranty, replacement is free. I agree about cost of stocking spares.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasebug View Post
    They are cheap but hosts overcharge on them by 2-3x sometimes even more. 2GB extra for $50/month?

    Edit: Server reinstalled with 8G swap.
    Indeed.
    Hence, as a general rule, I try my best to avoid such hosts.

    Part of the process in which I pick a company to host with includes planning for future capacity; if expanding 2GB of RAM will cost me $50/mo, I'll definitely look elsewhere.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasebug View Post
    Many RAM have lifetime warranty, replacement is free. I agree about cost of stocking spares.
    The RMA process for memory is a real pain..
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  18. #18
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    The RMA process for anything is a real pain, honestly.
    However, I would have to say that RAM isn't really the "most faulting" thing on a server, at least from my experience, both with my own servers and managing those of clients.

    In 10 years, I have to say that I've seen very few catastrophes related to RAM itself. The price increase is simply because the providers want to charge more. Maybe 5-7 years ago, there was a major ram failure issue, but that's just not the case any more. Any more, you can setup a server, and have it run and run and run for years on the same quality hardware, without worrying about swapping it out. Of course, your drive is going to inevitably go, but ram, not so much.
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  19. #19
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    shouldn't you be thinking of colo then, if you were too concerned about paying extra fees for such and come back here to argue about it ? If ram was sooo cheap.. and had life time warranty blah blah..

  20. #20
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    Some providers run specials on dedicated servers only not on colo and colo has higher initial cost.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by linuxissues View Post
    shouldn't you be thinking of colo then, if you were too concerned about paying extra fees for such and come back here to argue about it ? If ram was sooo cheap.. and had life time warranty blah blah..
    That's a false dichotomy.
    There are no shortage of hosts with very reasonable (some even one-off fees) for RAM.

    For example, VolumeDrive charges a one-time fee of 50 bucks for a 4GB RAM upgrade, which makes [email protected]/mo look utterly ridiculous.
    Providers are simply charging exorbitant upgrade fees because they can.

  22. #22
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    and $50 is under cost, just because someone is doing it, does not make it logical or a smart business decision.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGotzmann View Post
    and $50 is under cost, just because someone is doing it, does not make it logical or a smart business decision.
    It doesn't have to be at cost per server; they probably have loads of people who do one-time upgrades and leave after a few months. It is still terribly cheap compared to other hosts.

    It does necessarily make it a smart/logical business decision, but it certainly seems that way. They've been around for quite some time and considering the amount of advertising they do (zero, literally), they seem to get a disproportionately high number of customers.

  24. #24
    I would have to agree with Chris here. Just because some hosts are able to sell things below cost, doesn't make that a good business decision or a sustainable business model. Bad business models can be made to work for a while if you have investors willing to lose money, but a stable business has to charge prices that make a profit. If you're saying that VD can make it up in other areas that's one thing I suppose, but to say "well, if provider X is willing to lose money on service Y and make it up by overcharging on service Z, then why is service Y expensive at other providers?", doesn't make sense really.
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