What is "Burstable RAM"?

OpenVZ containers allow us to set 2 types of RAM, guaranteed and burstable. Guaranteed RAM is similar to what is installed in your PC, it's always there for you no matter what. Burstable RAM on the other hand is there for you to use if the RAM is available on the hardware node. If the hardware node hits a high memory threshold, it will begin to kill off processes that are loaded in burstable RAM in order to make sure all clients have access to their guaranteed RAM.

For example: If your VPS has 128MB of guaranteed RAM with burstable set to 256MB, then your VPS will show as having 256MB of RAM.

Burstable RAM is to be used on occasion and not to be depended on. If you find yourself consistently using more RAM than your guaranteed amount, it may become an issue so it's best to reduce your memory usage as much as possible. When measuring our servers RAM usage/limits, we only consider guaranteed RAM so if everybody used 100% of their guaranteed RAM we would still not run out of memory but burstable RAM would not be available.
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