This article shows how to view your resource usage on a private server (VPS). It's currently not possible to view this information on a Shared, Dedicated, or DreamPress hosting plan.
The following symptoms are often associated with high resource usage:
- Out of memory
- Inability to log in (i.e., "ssh_exchange_identification: Connection closed by remote host")
Checking your daily and monthly resource usage
You can check the daily and monthly memory usage graph in your panel:
- Navigate to the Dashboard page.
- To the right of your VPS, click the RAM bar graph under the ‘Usage’ column.
- A graph opens that shows you the RAM Usage History:
This graph shows you a general overview of how much memory your VPS is using. Please note however that if a spike in memory occurred, it may not show on the graph since the graph only displays average usage.
Changing your memory allocation
As of March 2016, new VPS plans are created with a specific amount of disk space and RAM. It's not possible to adjust the RAM on these new machines. However, older VPS machines still have the ability to adjust their RAM allocation.
If you find the graph is hitting your allotted memory limits, you should increase your RAM allocation.
To increase your RAM allocation:
- Navigate to the Dashboard page.
- To the right of your VPS, click the Change RAM button under the ‘Actions’ column.
- A pop-up window opens where you can change the memory:
- Once you select a desired RAM setting, click the Change RAM button to save your changes.
- As you move the slider bar the amount of memory updates automatically, along with the rate you'll be charged for that setting.
- Please allow a short period of time for the setting change to be reflected; typically no reboot is necessary.
Checking an overloaded VPS (old VPS plans only)
If you've confirmed that your VPS is hitting its memory limits, it's recommended that you start out by doubling your current resource allocation to see if it's enough to prevent the VPS from rebooting. Once you've verified that things are running properly you can reduce your resource allocation to the point where your peaks just barely exceed what you have allocated. Of course, you'll want to routinely monitor your usage and increase the resource allocation as your needs increase.
It's best to over allocate than under allocate! You don't want to find out that you've under allocated by your visitors/customers complaining about your sites not working properly.
You're only charged for the period of time that you have the slider in a particular position, so it's safe to experiment.
You will typically see Apache processes running on your server and appearing to consume all of the memory. This is generally not the case because Apache processes share a significant amount of memory between one another. Additionally, DreamHost automatically configures Apache to work well within the memory allocation of your private server.
It is still possible for a busy website to overwhelm a VPS server, but it is not generally the fault of the Apache web server itself. The processes you should be most concerned with are the PHP processes: PHP sites that are not optimized can use an extremely large amount of memory.
Of course you may also want to try to reduce the load on the server as well, so you can reduce the resource allocation and save some money.