I'm running bind 9.5.1 on debian lenny. Unfortunately the machine does not have a lot of memory (only 500MB) and with apache, db and mailserver this is getting tight. Currently bind takes about 10% and is the top consumer of memory - any clues to diminish this? Already cut down on cache, can't really find more options. Perhaps alternative dns server? It only serves a couple domains.
Yeah, BIND is a memory hog. Personally, I'm a fan of tinydns part of djbdns for low-memory footprint DNS service. It's not like BIND at all in terms of config and management, but it's damn small, quite fast, and once you get used to it, I think it's better than BIND in many ways.
Are you using bind for authoritative hosting of domains, or for a caching resolver?
If for authoritative hosting, turn off recursion (there's no need for a cache if you're not doing recursion); or try tinydns.
If for caching/recursive lookups, then give a lighter caching resolver a shot (like dnscachex).
Failing that, third-party DNS hosting is readily available.