What is RAM and how much of it does my server need?

26.05.2020 1,522 0

If you quickly google the question “How much RAM do I need for a server?” you will get the straight answer 4GB. It is done. 4GB it is. Wrap it up and go to the next article. Sadly, the reality is not that simple. Let’s see what RAM is and how you can define your needs.

What is RAM?

RAM stands for random access memory. It is the fast memory type that applications and the OS use to store temporary data. The temp data can be a web page, data from an excel table, images, other media files, and more. This data usually stays in the RAM until the application that uses it is closed. You can see it on your computer when opening many tabs. Each tab will create a temp data and eventually you will feel your computer operating more slowly. This happens when the available RAM is used.

In contrast to SSD or HDD, RAM is dependent on the power supply. When you turn off the device, the data is gone.

Specifications of RAM

There are several important parameters of RAM that you should consider.

Total amount

This is the easiest to understand. It is measured in GB and you will usually see options varying from 1GB to 64GB. If all other specs are the same, more will mean more space for heavy applications.

Form factor

There are several form factors. If you are renting a server, this factor does not concern you, because it will already be connected and running. The Desktop computers and most of the servers use the DIMM (Dual In-Line Memory Module) form factor and the laptops SODIMM (Small Outline DIMM). They function the same way, but their pins and sizes are not the same. There are some adapters to put SODIMM laptop RAM into a desktop PC, but rarely anybody uses them.

Clock Speed

The frequency of the RAM is a very important spec. It will show how fast it is in transferring data. You will see it written similar to this DDR4-2400. The frequency is measured in Mhz and more is better. The DDR means Double Data Rate and shows that RAM reads and writes twice per cycle. If we assume the frequency of 2400, then it can write 4800 times per second.

DDR dates back to the year 2000, DDR2 – 2003, DDR3 – 2007, DDR4 – 2014, and DDR5 – 2020 *expected. The lasted edition should double the bandwidth of DDR4 and lower the power consumption.

DDR3 is still in use because it works with a lot of processors those with Intel’s LGA1366 socket, LGA1151 and AMD’s AM3/AM3+, FM1/2/2+
DDR4 is the most used right now. It lowered the voltage from 1.5V to just 1.2V but increased the productivity. It works with most modern processors.

ECC vs non-ECC

When we are talking about servers a RAM with Error-Correcting Code ECC is a must. They are specially designed for heavy use and last longer.

How much RAM do I need for my server?

An extremely hard question. It depends on your usage. What do you use it for? How many visitors will you have? How large is your database?
If you are a small business owner, a server with just 1 GB could be enough for hosting your site.

1GB will be enough if you want to have a small Minecraft server on for just a few friends.

For a web application with something like 200 users, between 2GB and 4 GB could be enough.

If you are having a bigger e-commerce site, you should probably go for 4GB and up. That way it won’t slow down with the increase of the visitors.

For those of you that require extremely high performance and have huge databases we recommend that you go with 64GB.

If you miscalculated something, or your needs grew over time, don’t worry. You can contact us and we can recommend a more powerful option.

What options do I have?

Cloudware has two types of servers for you. Dedicated and Cloud.

We offer dedicated servers with a minimum of 16GB of DDR3 RAM (1333MHz ECC Reg) and a starting price of 44.99 euro per month (51.85 USD approx. It can change based on the exchange rate).

You can go all the way up to 64GB of DDR4 (2400MHz ECC Reg) for the heaviest applications starting at 309 euro per month (356.07 USD approx. It can change based on the exchange rate).

As for the Cloud servers, we have more budget options starting with a server with 1 GB RAM at 5.99 euro per month (6.91 USD approx. It can change based on the exchange rate) and reaching the still affordable levels of 159.99 euro per month (184.36 USD approx. It can change based on the exchange rate) for 32GB option.

You can start with a less powerful configuration and update at the same pace of your business growth. This is an especially useful option for companies that have just started operating.

If you need more information for your specific case, we recommend that you contact us at info@cloudware.bg. We would be happy to help you choose the best option for you.

In order to give you the best suggestion, please explain to us in detail what you are planning to do with your server, what OS you prefer and how many users you are anticipating to have.

RAM is far from everything when choosing a remote server. Yes, without enough RAM, bottlenecking could occur, but there are several other things to take into account.

You should think about processing power, storage, and backup options. Security is also highly important.

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