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I am currently trying to choose between two VPS hosts, one is my current host (LunarPages) and one is Linode. The linode one is cheaper a bit, and has 512MBs of RAM but has a lot less bandwidth than the LunarPages one.

Now I am currently using my server to host files (ftp access, not heavy stuff) and hobby work which is why I wanted one in the first place, I am currently unable to decide if 256 is too little.

Do you have any opinions or pointers on the downfalls? Or is it completely fine if I'm not running crazy applications all the time?

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Is your "hobby work" a massively multiplayer resource intensive game you're going to be running for yourself and a few friends? If so, you may need more RAM.

In general, 256MB of RAM will be swallowed by the default installations of MySQL and Apache, but with a few tweaks you can easily bring the memory usage back down, all depending on the traffic you'll be serving. If you're comfortable playing with the configuration then 256MB should be fine for a small, static, hobby site and a couple of databases. If not, you'll probably need 512MB.

Another factor to take into account is your need for bandwidth - why do you need so much? What are you planning on serving? If you need a lot of bandwidth you may also need a lot of system resources.

Most VPS providers allow you to scale up, I know slicehost does, so you could be able to buy in cheaply and move up afterwards.

To give you a rough idea, I've got a 256MB slice running a few email accounts, 3 pretty much static websites running on Apache, MySQL running (but not doing much) and a fair amount of proxying going through it and it's using about 30% of the RAM. That has taken a fair bit of tweaking though.

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Thanks for the insight, I keep worrying that if I am serving files then I will run out of the bandwidth limit fast. I may look at ALL of my past bandwidth consumption history and decide.. 200GBs for linode should be enough! –  John d. Nov 9 '10 at 21:31
    
Now I just need to tell my long time host I am switching to another host.. :P –  John d. Nov 9 '10 at 21:34
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talks to your long term host, they might match the deal! –  The Unix Janitor Nov 10 '10 at 0:30
    
@user37899, linode with their percentage off for yearly plan is $60 less, plus doubl the RAM than my current host's deal. Not too too much to bargain from that :P –  John d. Nov 11 '10 at 4:07

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