Virtual Memory is a vital part of a server which can potentially provide huge cost benefits.
To understand this, let’s consider a scenario:
You want to load an operating system, an e-mail program, Web browser and Word processor simultaneously into the available RAM. If there was no such thing as Virtual Memory, then once the RAM is full, your computer would prompt you to close one of your applications to load a new one.
With the Virtual Memory option in place, what the computer can do is look in RAM for areas that have not been used recently and copy them onto the hard disk. This frees up the space in RAM to load a new application. This act of ‘Copying’ by the Virtual Memory might make it appear as if your computer has unlimited RAM space and as a consequent benefit Virtual Memory works out to be much more economical than the Hard Disc chips option.
It would be a good piece of information to share that the area of the hard disk that stores the RAM image is called a page file. It holds pages of RAM on the hard disk and the operating system moves data back and forth between the ‘page file’ and RAM.
We need to bear in mind that when there’s a slight pause while you are ‘changing tasks’ suggesting of a ‘slow Virtual Memory’, you have to take the indication that the Virtual Memory is functioning right.
When this is not the case, the operating system has to constantly swap information back and forth between RAM and the hard disk. This is called thrashing and it can make your computer appear incredibly slow.
In a scenario wherein your system has to rely too heavily on a Virtual Memory, you will notice a significant drop in your system performance. Therefore the key is to have enough RAM to handle everything you tend to work on simultaneously.
Virtual Memory Tips:-
Remember that the amount of hard drive space allocated for your Virtual Memory is important. If you allocate too little, you will get ‘Out of Memory’ errors. If you notice that there is a frequent need to keep increasing the size of the Virtual Memory, you probably are also finding that your system is sluggish and accesses the hard drive constantly. In that case, you should consider buying more RAM so as to keep the ratio between RAM and Virtual Memory 2:1. Few applications might not access the available Virtual Memory space in which case, you might conclude that the large paging files are work well.
One trick which can actually improve the performance of Virtual Memory (especially when large amounts of Virtual Memory are needed) is to make the ‘minimum’ and ‘maximum’ sizes of the Virtual Memory file identical. This forces the operating system to allocate an exclusive ‘paging file’ when you start the machine which adjusts the paging file to grow while programs are running, which thereby improves performance.
Another factor in the performance of Virtual Memory is the location of the page file. If your system has multiple physical hard drives (‘actual drives’), you can spread the work among them by making smaller page files on each drive. This simple modification will significantly speed up any system that makes heavy use of Virtual Memory.
CloudBox 99 offers a variety of plans which come with high memory allocation allowing you to leverage virtual memory along with your actual RAM.
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