Downtime announcement?


For at least the past 5 hours, all of my domains/webmail/email have either been completely inaccessable (failed connection), or available for no more than 30-60 seconds at a time. and the web panel are accessable intermittently. I’ve checked with other folks who use Dreamhost, and they are all having the same problem – much like problems that occured earlier this month.

I don’t even see the point in submitting a support request, considering the problem appears to be widespread and there is no way that Dreamhost doesn’t already know what’s going on.

And yet, no announcement to be found!

What is going on here? Is this what we can expect to keep happening over and over again these days? I used to be so happy with Dreamhost, but over the past year I’ve become increasingly disappointed with the level of service. The amount of downtime (regardless of whether or not it’s recorded accurately in the system status log) has become inacceptable. I love the services that Dreamhost offers, but without the support, communication, and uptime, those benefits lose an awful lot of lustre.

(Meanwhile, I am continually trying to post this and being met with connection failure messages…I’ll just keep trying…)


I agree with you - and it always seems to be in the morning for us eastern time folks. I have about 40 domains (not sure exactly how much), and they are all down, email, everything, with no end in sight.

I don’t want to leave Dreamhost, but they’re making it really hard to stay.


My sites seem to be back up and responding nicely after a few hours of downtime (which I note is not reflected in the server stats on the panel). A quick announcement explaining what happened and what steps are being taken to ensure this doesn’t happen again would sure be appreciated though.

Given the overwhelmingly positive experience I have had with Dreamhost so far I am inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt and understand that sometimes things beyond their control happen. Having said that, how they handle this will go far in showing what kind of company they really are to new customers like myself.


I am also becoming increasingly frustrated with DreamHost.

The past month has been largely categorized as “connection time out errors” over and over.

I’m tired of explaining to my clients why their website is down…AGAIN.

I understand there’s going to be issues. But these issues are becoming repetitive. Is there ever going to be a solution to this? Is there ever going to be stable hosting?

I love "Dream"Host’s features and offerings, especially at the price point…However, I’m seriously considering paying twice as much for half the features for a reliable web host.

DreamHost: Please get your act together and make good on this horribly inadequate service.


I just came back online.

I tried to access the DH and DH forum pages and those were down, as well.



Noticed this in the panel (Announcements):

Posted: Mar 29th, 2004 - 09:17:59 AM PST (55 mins 20 secs ago)

We are currently experiencing severe network degradation on one of our routers. Access to all
services is currently sporadic and slow. Basic diagnostics and maintenance have not improved
the situation. One of our network engineers is working on the problem at this moment. We will
have full network access restored as soon as possible.


I still can’t send email at all, and the stats don’t show any sort of SMTP outage. I still can’t get at webmail for any of my client sites either.

I’ve been with Dreamhost for just over 3 years now, and I’ve never had the problems that I’ve had in the past month with them. I may very well lose some big customers as a result of this poor uptime.


Nice. “One of our network engineers…” Excuse me, one engineer is on the problem? Even if that’s all the problem requires, wouldn’t you think the choice of language DH chooses would be a bit more sensitive to the thousands of people who are really nervous about their services right now? I want to know the whole frickin’ company is sensitive to the problem, not just one engineer!

First there was the too-aggressive upgrade of the databases, in my opinion. Hence, all databases and services go down. Now the ongoing catastrophic router problems. No announcements, no explanations, no backup plan for contacting customers when everything goes down. This has gotten to the point of ridiculous and it is inexcusable. DH’s competitors (like would never let this happen, and if something by chance did happen, they sure as hell would have a backup plan to deal with it.

Get your foo together, DH.


The following announcement was just posted:

Hello DreamHost Customers,

This morning we experienced a router failure that took down our network from approximately
2am - 10am PST. The cause of the failure is unknown at this time, but it appears to be
hardware related. The backup router failed to take over the responsibilities of the failed
primary router, resulting in a network brownout. We are further investigating both of these
issues at the moment.

We are terribly sorry about this network outage and any inconvenience this may have caused
you or your business. We have already taken several steps to ensure that such an outage does
not happen again.

Our apologies once again,
Happy DreamHost Network Team!


Hey guys

Hold onto your horses. There’s obviously been a massive failiure somewhere today, either at DH HQ or even to an upstream provider. Could well be a DDOS attack or any other disaster – so hold up. Give the technicians time to breath and to sort this out. I’m sure there will be a follow-up announcement with more details after a proper assesement has been made.

  • wil


The biggest frustration, for me, is that this happened just a short while after another big outage. I do realize that no hosting company is perfect, and when something goes haywire it becomes an issue of communication. An offsite status site, one that isn’t on a DH server, might be in order - or maybe the main site needs to be elsewhere and liberally updated.

Is there any way we can get more details on what happened? And will there be a credit issued for time lost here? And, additionally, was email also unavailable? I have no messages in my inbox and the last procmail log entry I have was around 1am. (I didn’t even have the usual glut of spam…)


Personally, I still can’t send any email (although some of my clients can, finally), and some stuff is starting to filter in from last night. I hope I wasn’t bouncing anything during that time.


Its been like a month i’m on dreamhost and i’m unhappy.

  1. Mysql problem that took over a day to fix (reported in the forum)

  2. Couldn’t create mysql database (reported in the forums)

  3. Downtime since this morning.

And this is the second time it is happening while google is deep crawling my site, which results in LESS page crawled, thus LESS visits, thus less revenue.



Everything is up for me except FTP access. GRRR!

I didn’t recieve and e-mail regarding this downtime. i would expect that everybody would. wouldn’t this classify as a level 5 announcement?!


A few weeks ago I was in a meeting with a client (Microsoft…) and my server with their designs on it was down. Not good DH.

Today I have another meeting with Micrsoft at 5:00pm PST. If the DH servers are down again I will look like an idiot. They will also say “you should host on Microsoft products!!”

Fix this ASAP.

  • K


Let’s take a moment to recap then:

Posted: Mar 12th, 2004 - 03:06:45 AM PST (17 days 7 hours ago)

Hello DreamHost Customers!

During that past 2 days you have probably experienced slow to non-functional performance of the Panel, Kbase and Webmail. This was caused by one of the central databases common to each of these services rejecting connections and subsequently crashing…

The investigation into the downtime is ongoing. We will announce new procedures to prevent any similar downtime at the completion of the investigation…

Did this investigation ever conclude? Where are the new procedures?

Posted: Mar 16th, 2004 - 01:42:57 PM PST (12 days 20 hours ago)

Hello DreamHost Customers,

At approximately 11:50am PST today we experienced a software failure on one of our routers which caused it to operate in a degraded state that worsened over time. Other network hardware was also affected by the software failure which made tracking down the problem more difficult. By 12:30pm PST most network services were being affected.

Sounds familiar…

Posted: Mar 17th, 2004 - 12:13:50 PM PST (11 days 22 hours ago)

Sometime last night until approximately Noon PST we experienced additional central database problems. This resulted in either partial or complete downtime for many of our central services, such as the WebPanel, Support, Signups, and possibly WebMail. No services associated with your websites were affected (eg web, mail, database).

We did not recognize the problem immediately because the submitting of new support messages was semi-functional.

We are working on stabilizing the situation. The problem has been isolated to the databases, and we’ve put in place one of three possible solutions.

We realize we haven’t provided you with the most reliable central services over the past week or so, and we understand how frustrating
this must be for you. We’re doing everything in our power to alleviate the problems, and hope to have the happiness back in your hearts soon.

Do you really understand how frustrating this is?

Posted: Mar 29th, 2004 - 10:20:33 AM PST (25 mins 2 secs ago)

This morning we experienced a router failure that took down our network from approximately 2am - 10am PST. The cause of the failure is unknown at this time, but it appears to be hardware related. The backup router failed to take over the responsibilities of the failed primary router, resulting in a network brownout. We are further investigating both of these issues at the moment.

We are terribly sorry about this network outage and any inconvenience this may have caused you or your business. We have already taken several steps to ensure that such an outage does not happen again.

Posted: Mar 29th, 2004 - 10:21:10 AM PST (24 mins 25 secs ago)

All network service has now been restored. We will be taking steps to ensure any problems like this in the future are handled more quickly.

Sounds familiar again. More steps? Like the steps that were instituted from the March 12th outage? Or perhaps one of the “three possible solutions” that were put in place on March 17th?

Look…I know this is a bad run of luck here. But these frequent outages are causing severe issues with your customers. And I have been “holding onto my horses” since March 12th (and I could go back further)…But my horses have now runaway.

I don’t want promises and words of condolences anymore.

I want solutions.

I want real answers.

I want gaurentees.

Don’t tell me that you understand my frustration. SHOW ME.


This level of service is pathetic.

It was not a “brownout”. My sites were down for over 8 hours.

I have emailed support and I await the usual fudge. Overall Dreamhost has great features but there service of late totally bites.

I also feel bad for the couple of people I have recommeded to Dreamhost.


…and of course even now, the web panel shows 100% uptime through all this rough water. I don’t define “uptime” as “well, the machine is making sounds so it must be on” but rather as “the service is functional to the end users and customers”. That would be somewhere around 20% for today, wouldn’t it?

I’m one of many who are reeeally curious to see how Dreamhost is going to handle this incident. They had a hard break, and it could probably have happened to any hosting company if they were unlucky enough, so I’m not going to kick DH for that. I’m sincerely glad they fixed it. The question is now:

How are they going to make us stay on for a while yet?



I cannot believe this is happening again! Now I have clients threatening to leave me if I do not find a new hosting service. This makes me sick. I have 5 hosted sites with DH and was about to move 2 more this week. Now, I’m not sure. We should not have to pay for those 8 hours of downtime today, or any other downtime.


I agree. The System Status page is the biggest joke!

“FTP: Up Forever!”

Really? It’s not up right now!

the last couple weeks have been the worst i’ve seen since i’ve been with DH and they’re not even reflected there. It’s actually a bit embarassing. they should just take it down.

anyone else having problems with FTP?