So I'm pricing out virtual dedicated servers. I'm looking to support about 500 to 1,000 (peak) visits a day spread across 5 different web sites. And 2 of those sites will have SQL databases with a fairly light load on them. My bandwidth usage is pretty low -- usually under 10GB/month.

I'm leaning towards orcsweb because of all the services they provide as a part of the package (daily backups, triple redundant OC12's, 24-Hour Monitoring, firewall, etc). Plus I've heard good things.

I believe their cheapest virtual dedicated package includes everything I need for $100/month. The one thing I'm unsure about is the 1GB of RAM.

The question:

Is 1GB RAM enough for a Windows 2008 Server with SQL Express 2008 for my purposes?


James Kehr with ORCS Web here. Thank you for considering our Virtual Dedicated Server package. The VDS package is an amazing deal and I am certain you will like the performance and features we offer.

As for your question, I am going to echo the comment above…it depends™. For the situation you describe 1 GB should do just fine. I peeked at the memory usage on a couple of our existing VDS servers with a similar setup and hit count and none of them are above 90% memory usage.

Just keep in mind that both SQL and IIS can get RAM hungry; plus you have the operating system memory footprint to think about. If your databases are relatively small, in the hundreds of megabytes total, and your site application does not use a ton of RAM you should be fine with 1 GB. On an very busy day you may get some lag during disk caching, but even then it shouldn’t be a significant performance bottleneck.

If you find that you need more RAM in the future we do offer upgrades at a very reasonable prices. In addition to RAM we offer disk space increases, additional vCPUs (virtual processors), enhanced monitoring and our popular Complete Care Package.

We do not publish upgrade prices for competitive reasons, but if you would like the current upgrade prices our sales team will gladly assist you.

Please let us know if you have any other questions.

James Kehr

System Administrator

ORCS Web, Inc.

  • Thanks James for chiming in. I probably will go with the bare minimum 1GB RAM for now. I'm guessing it'll serve my needs well for at least a year and as you said I can always upgrade later. Thanks again. – Steve Wortham Aug 24 '09 at 22:29
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    Given that you get a personal reply from someone at the host in question speaks a lot for the level of service you're likely to receive from them. Chances are they were actively monitoring their referrals to see where their traffic came from and were proactive about getting you the info you need without you even asking them. That's service. – Mark Henderson Aug 24 '09 at 23:11
  • I'm not discounting their level of service. But I did send them an email with a link to this question after I posted it. James responded quickly and with actual data from other virtual dedicated servers. That's pretty awesome. – Steve Wortham Aug 25 '09 at 15:54

It DependsTM.

And seeing as how that's not really an answer, I'm going to say yes. Given your light load, two databases, two websites. It's not going to be ideal, and you'll probably find your server running at maximum utilisation.

Reasoning: Until recently our in-house staging server was a Windows 2008 Standard box running SQL 2005 Workgroup and it had the grand total of 1gb of ram as well. It served a pretty constant flow from whoever was (un)lucky enough to do QA that day, hosting a 20gb and 60gb database.

Big queries took a long time to execute (say, searching through 1M+ records on a non-indexed field) but if the database is designed well and indexed properly you shouldn't run into any major pitfalls.

  • Thanks for the answer. I won't have any tables with anything close to 1 million records. In fact, I imagine every table will be under 1,000 records for at least a year. But one database is utilizing full-text indexing and I'm not sure how many resources that takes up on a small database. I'm just accustomed to using SQL on much more powerful machines, you know. – Steve Wortham Aug 24 '09 at 21:35
  • Absolutally. We move stuff from our staging server (the above mentioned one) to Dual Quad Core with more ram than you can poke a stick at. But I still think you'll be OK, especially if you're looking at about 1k records. – Mark Henderson Aug 24 '09 at 21:49

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