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Features – Swap

All of our VPS servers feature ‘Swap’ – but what does it mean?

In its simplest form, Swap acts as a buffer between your VPS server’s RAM (memory) and HDD storage. If your VPS server is busy doing demanding tasks, it may use lots of its allocated RAM (memory). However, if your RAM (memory) is filled to 95% or above capacity, that often means there’s no free space left for programs to execute – thus resulting in trouble. So, Swap to the rescue!

Swap takes chunks of most infrequently used data from RAM (memory) and holds it in a special temporary area on your HDD storage. This process helps free up space in your RAM (memory) for more tasks to run simultaneously.

RAM (memory) performance is 250-350x faster than HDD storage access, so to you should make sure that your VPS is swapping very rarely, if at all. If your VPS is frequently using lots/all of its RAM and swap space, you need to upgrade your RAM in order to preserve performance.

How much Swap do I get?

All VPS plans now come with a base allocation swap size of 50MB. We always advise to have more than ample RAM to cover bursts, thus not relying on swap. However a small amount of applications do require a swap file to function no matter how large your RAM allocation. In these rare cases, we can offer you swap file upgrades as priced below:

Upgrade to 512MB swap file on RAID0 – £5 per month
Upgrade to 1GB swap file on RAID0 – £10 per month

If you would like to upgrade your swap file, please open a support ticket.

Xen HVM VPS Plans

If your VPS is running on our Xen HVM platform (i.e. your operating system is Windows, BSD or a custom Linux ISO), there is no dedicated swap file. You control the size of your swap file (or page file in Windows) from within your VPS, as it is stored and operated from the same hard disk partition as your VPS itself. We are therefore unable to give you any RAID0 swap space.