How Much RAM Does Your Server Need?

Random-access memory (RAM) stores working data and machine code. It can be written to and read, but it is much faster than a hard drive. However, RAM is volatile, meaning the data stored in RAM isn't permanent, and it will be lost if it loses power. Therefore, a combination of hard drives for permanent storage and RAM for rapid read and write access is vital for any system. In addition, servers require more RAM than most standard computers to accommodate an increased amount of data and an increased number of people accessing the data.

How Much RAM Do Servers Have?

Most servers have at least 4GB of RAM, but specialized high-end servers can have several TB of RAM (thousands of GB). Each stick of RAM needs to fit into its own RAM slot within the server, and not all servers are the same. Each server system board has its maximum amount of RAM that it supports, and the operating system installed on the server may also have a maximum amount that it can utilize. For example, 32-bit operating systems can only utilize up to 4GB of RAM, although most servers are 64-bit. 64-bit windows server supports up to 24TB of RAM as of 2016.

How Much RAM Does My Server Need?

The amount of RAM required depends on how the server will be used. A web server hosting a website, or a small number of websites may run fine with 4-8GB of RAM. More RAM will be required if the websites host memory-intensive data, such as videos or many high-quality images. A higher number of web pages and website visitors also demands more RAM. Finally, servers that process web applications and databases that process a large amount of data require a much higher amount of RAM. Most high-end servers won't require more than 128GB, although some use-cases such as advanced AI testing may require more.

In many cases, a single server is divided into VPSs (Virtual Private Servers); these virtual servers could have 1GB each, and each could host a website. For example, a server with 16GB of RAM can be divided into 16 virtual servers of this size. The processing power and hard drive storage will also be divided. The specifications of virtual servers are customizable.

For professional advice about what server specification is right for your needs, contact MGI. Click here to contact us using our web form, phone, or email, and we'll be able to tell you exactly what you need and what the costs are.