Limiting server resource usage (especially user processes) is essential and very important for running a stable system/server especially when a web server is used by several users (for shared hosting or personal use). The server resource includes memory, CPU usage time, number of process and many more.
For a server that is used by several users, it is very recommended to limit resource usage per user in order to prevent resource outage that will affect the other users. By limiting resource usage per user, you can keep other websites up when a website is trying to use lots of server resource. If you are not doing this, your web server can be totally down only caused by processes that belong to a user or several users. Of course this is not fair for the other users.
As another benefit, this will prevent server attacks such as fork bomb attack, abnormal huge traffic (can be DDoS attack), and so on that will use up your resource to 100% and cause your web server down.
To limit server resource usage for a user, you need to edit /etc/security/limits.conf to add usage/limit rules for a user name or group or several/all users. You may type nano /etc/security/limits.conf when you use SSH.
example hard nproc 200
#prevent example to run more than 200 processes
@ruby hard nproc 75
#prevent anyone in the ruby group from having more than 75 processes
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