As businesses grow, the chances are that their employee numbers will parallel this increase. For your server, this means more and more users, and an ever-rising amount of traffic.

Thankfully, there are lots of different ways to increase the number of concurrent requests that your server can handle. This not only means that you can maintain your overall network and workplace performance, but also that you can spare yourself the expense of upgrading to a higher capacity model.

So what are these magical tips and tricks? Here are three to get you started:

Increase your memory.

One of the most limiting factors for web server performance is inadequate memory. As concurrent requests increase, many systems begin to use more memory between them than the server has available. This slows things down immeasurably: processes start taking longer to process, requests keep coming in, and your server is completely overloaded.  This is easily fixed by upgrading to a server with a higher capacity, like these from

However, this method, although simple and effective, will cost money. If you simply don’t have the budget you need to cover this, then here are a couple of tricks that you might like to try first…

Put Apache on a diet.

If increasing your memory isn’t an option, then another avenue to explore is how you can encourage each Apache process to consume less memory. This is surprisingly easy to accomplish.

The best place to start is by removing any modules that you’re not using. Although this is unlikely to result in any dramatic RAM savings, as you’re not using these modules anyway, it can still make a difference. If you imagine, for example, that you have 250 Apache processes, each consuming 50MB, dropping them by just 1MB each could be enough to create space for another five workers.

If you’re not using PHP or any other modules that are incompatible with multithreaded code, you might also want to try switching to the ‘worker’ MPM. This will significantly decrease the number of Apache children that are required to save content, and you’ll find that it dramatically reduces the amount of memory you’re using.

Use a caching reverse proxy

A reverse proxy is another great way to reduce the burden on your web server. It works by intercepting requests to your application, and providing them almost instantly from its in-memory cache. This reduces the proxy task to simply locating a small amount of information that it already has, rather than interpreting it from an outside source. As a result, it not only reduces the workload of your server, but also provides the information faster than any web server could.

Could these top tips be of use to you?

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