What is Burstable RAM on a VPS?

When shopping for a virtual private server (VPS), one of the terms you will come across while reading technical specifications is “burstable RAM”. Usually, the specifications will list the amount of RAM available on a VPS package and then list the burstable RAM, which is always more than the allocated RAM amount, beside it.

As the name implies burstable RAM is an extra amount of RAM that your VPS can use in bursts. While a certain amount(1 GB for example) is always guaranteed, the service provider may allow the VPS to go over the guaranteed amount for a brief period and up to a specified amount (2 GB for example). The guaranteed ram is always available, and you will never have less than it, but the burstable RAM may or may not be available at all times, and it is not designed to be used for extended periods, since it may be shared across multiple VPS containers.

The benefit of burstable RAM is that you can temporarily exceed your virtual server’s memory limits and not get stuck with the normal result, which is a break in service. Instead, your websites will continue to function, even under temporarily high traffic scenarios, such as the slashdot effect.

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