Why at least 1GB is recommended for droplets that use MySQL?


I’m using DO only to learn how to manage VPS, and I have only used shared servers so far, so sorry for my noob question.

Technical FAQ: setup page explains that:

“We recommend at least a 1GB Droplet for any server utilizing a MySQL database.” Really? So if I would run 2 wordpress sites I would need about 2GB’s of RAM?

Then why my shared hosting plan doesn’t come crashing down with even smaller resources? It has 768MB RAM, 4GB disk, 75% CPU speed, 2 wp-sites with 100-300 visits/day each, plus 2 wp testing installations and 1 gallery installation. All wp’s are using heavy premium wp-theme. However, W3 Total Cache is in use on production sites, and well tuned.

So there are 5 active MySQL’s at use. Could it be, that these databases don’t use my RAM at all?

Still, it doesn’t make sense to me.

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So if I would run 2 wordpress sites I would need about 2GB’s of RAM?

No. 1 GB would be fine.

Even with multiple database-backed sites in a shared hosting environment (like your example), there is only one MySQL instance running. That one instance manages multiple databases. The MySQL engine is what needs the memory. The databases do not live in memory full-time.

I tried running MySQL on a 512 MB droplet. It didn’t work well.

It’s recommended the same way Windows Vista through 10 is 1 GB recommended, it’s not a requirement, but it helps to know that MySQL since 2010 has been using more than 256 mb easily, and with other factors, you definitely want to assume it’s using double that now.

However, unlike the previous answer said, you can EASILY run a 512 mb droplet and have your websites run fine. I even had a heavy load blog on it that would randomly crash, so I had a cron run every 12 hours dumping the RAM completely by rebooting the server, only downtime was the 45 seconds it took to come back up.

Also, there are tons of tricks to minimize the use of RAM on your system so you can use the cheaper droplet. Running headless would be one easy way, of course, HOWEVER I also ran a Virtualmin panel with a website and had no issues at all (still set cron to reboot at 3am, however) but it never went down on it’s own.

1 GB just means safe bet, but truly nowadays with databases, WordPress, running processes, panels, etc you want 2 GB no matter what you’re using it for, as the breathing room means no overflows, which can still happen pretty consistently on a popular 1 GB site. :D

Hope that helped with understanding the real requirements.