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  1. #1

    Is 512 enough RAM for a small LAMP setup?

    Hi there, first post and looking for some assistance if anyone wiould be kind enough to help.

    I'm setting up a VPS server on Slicehost, I've followed the guide on howtoforge for debian and have everything installed including ISPConfig3. Everything seems to work fine at the mo but when I check the memory usage, i see that I'm using around 490/500mb of my 512mb setup. Its a Xen setup so I understand this is real memory available but I'm not sure if this is enough.

    I will ultimately be running around a dozen sites, some static and some dynamic. There's one Mambo and one Joomla site there but they don't update. The rest are all php/mysql sites that I've built myself but again, they don't change that much. None of the sites currently see more than a couple hundred uniques a day, and some only a handful, so usage is not high. Most of the domains have e-mail accounts attached, but its only moderate usage with around a dozen addys per domain max.

    So, do I need more memory or will 512 be enough? Is there anything I can do to reduce the load and give myself some more room?

    I'm moving from a shared hosting environment and while I'm comfortable setting up the server, I would rather have a simple mail manager that would give users more control over their accounts, change passwords etc, which I'm hoping ISPConfig3 will be able to help with, but thats probably best discussed in another post.

    Hope someone can help with some tips.

  2. #2
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    a dozen sites ... probaly will not be enough. if you start getting alot of hits atleast since joomla is a resource hog.
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  3. #3
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    The 490/500mb reading likely includes cached memory which is normal. It doesn't mean you're actually using up all that memory with your server. Based on the stats you posted, I don't see why a 512mb VPS that has its daemons well-optimized can't handle them.

  4. #4
    @orien: interesting thought, some in cache. this is what I get with the command free -m, if that provides any useful insights.

    total used free shared buffers cached
    Mem: 512 488 23 0 5 96
    -/+ buffers/cache: 386 125
    Swap: 1023 6 1017


    I also tried the script provided in another thread to test burst memory, it ran up to 1265mb before it started to slow down. I presume it would go up to 1537mb if I let it, but by that time everything had stopped responding so I rebooted the server.
    Last edited by commbot; 05-10-2009 at 02:10 AM.

  5. #5
    @darkeden: is Joomla really a resource hog that I should worry about? Its a legacy site and i could just as easy convert it to static pages but I'm not planning to do that on my dollar unless I really have to. I doubt the site will ever get a massive increase in hits, its not likely to get dugg or slashdotted for instance, and I don't see a joomla site being anything to compare with say a magento install. I know they need a lot of grunt because I've already been down that particular track.

  6. #6
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    I would say that you have enough memory for now. However keep in upgrade in mind, for a later date. Optimization, will go a long way, just google it.

  7. #7
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    Ive seen lampp run on a machine with 64mb or RAM, so im sure your setup can handle it.
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  8. #8
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    If you haven't already done so, you can enable joomla cache.

  9. #9
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    512MB should be enough for your site given that all dozen of them are having low to mid traffic. Even an atom dedicated server with 1 gb of ram can handle more than a dozen startup sites.


  10. #10
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    http://salomie.ro/wiki/index.php/Linux_Free_Command should help you interpret free -m. Basically, you still have 125MB free memory. For sites with small traffic like you're describing, it should be enough, or so I think. Enabling the application's cache can't hurt. Given that the content is virtually static and traffic is small, make sure you choose a high cache time, so that you maximize the benefit from the cache system.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by commbot View Post
    @darkeden: is Joomla really a resource hog that I should worry about? Its a legacy site and i could just as easy convert it to static pages but I'm not planning to do that on my dollar unless I really have to. I doubt the site will ever get a massive increase in hits, its not likely to get dugg or slashdotted for instance, and I don't see a joomla site being anything to compare with say a magento install. I know they need a lot of grunt because I've already been down that particular track.
    you can run it but just remember if all your sites start getting alot of hits there may be slowdowns depending on how well it is optimized. did not read the part about you not getting many hits at the moment so it sohuld be fine
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  12. #12
    thanks for the replies all, I'm going to move some of my sites over and see how it goes. Great thing about a VPS, seems to me, is that I can move up a gear without too much drama.

  13. #13
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    my 2 cents..

    Quote Originally Posted by commbot View Post
    @darkeden: is Joomla really a resource hog that I should worry about? Its a legacy site and i could just as easy convert it to static pages but I'm not planning to do that on my dollar unless I really have to. I doubt the site will ever get a massive increase in hits, its not likely to get dugg or slashdotted for instance, and I don't see a joomla site being anything to compare with say a magento install. I know they need a lot of grunt because I've already been down that particular track.
    I don't have Joomla experience, but lot of Drupal experience.. In that perspective, it won't take additional resources than any static html page for anonymous users. If your setup is correct, it will just serve as a plain html site.

    If you have several logged on users, then it will take lot of resources. Still it can handle 10s of logged in users with no problem.

    I think you are fine quite for some time. Good luck!

  14. #14
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    Thats probably overkill for your needs actually, but if not you can upgrade quickly anyway.

    LAMP can run in 64-128MB with static sites and small databases!
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  15. #15
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    512MB is plenty for a LAMP set-up. However for running websites on it this is a guessing game, there are too many unknowns. What scripts people will use, the traffic, will you oversell? etc

    The best bit of advise I can say is just keep a close eye on the server and check it's load, as soon as you notice responce times slowing, even a little, it's time to upgrade your VPS package.

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