DreamHost Uptime Deteriorated

Ever since DreamHost “decommissioned” (a.k.a. disabled) their servers status reporting, I’ve been using some third party monitoring services. Recently (in the past half month), there were at least 5 instances of downtime reported from 2 locations other than my own connections. And since they are “free services” which only monitor every 30 - 60 minutes, I can only assume that they totalled some 3 &1/2 hours of website unavailability (as reported) in the past 18 days, which is NOT GOOD.

To be fair, I’m quite sure that most of these instances are much less than an hour, perhaps as little as 5 minutes, but with the official status page not doing its job, this is the most reliable way of telling what’s really happening. Since I am also accountable for my own clients, I can only render these numbers to them, which make me look bad.

So my question is: is DreamHost going to just keep being a hosting company with fabulous prices but “unreportable” (if not unspeakable) uptime?

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Are these monitoring server uptime, or actual domain uptime? Just because your domain may be unreachable, it doesn’t automatically mean that the problem is at DreamHost’s end. It may be something related to the internet backbone. Even Netcraft’s monitoring services are a bit vague in this regard.

Simon Jessey
Keystone Websites | si-blog

Agreed. Although I don’t have hard numbers like you, I’ve noticed “unofficially” that the uptime has gotten worse. I hope this isn’t going to become the new norm.


I’ve noticed hardly any server downtime. There have been times, usually preceeded by a warning, when a particular service (like the control panel, MySQL, or email) has been down, but apart from the “Great Los Angeles Power Outage of 2005”, there has been nothing of any significance.

Simon Jessey
Keystone Websites | si-blog

Your comment would have been convincing had it not been for the parent poster giving relatively hard facts to the contrary.

Dreamhost removing uptime stats from the panel also doesn’t help your argument.


[quote]Your comment would have been convincing had it not been for the parent poster giving relatively hard facts to the contrary.

Dreamhost removing uptime stats from the panel also doesn’t help your argument.[/quote]
I’m sorry, but you have me somewhat confused. As far as I can tell, the original poster did not give “relatively hard facts to the contrary”, since the nature of the “third party monitoring” is not understood. It occured to me that the bottleneck may have been taking place at the backbone level, rather than at the server itself. That is why I asked the original poster for more details.

My reasons for thinking this were twofold. Firstly, I have not experienced anywhere near the downtime that some others are reporting - nor have any of my clients (and our users) reported any downtime of significance. Secondly, there have been documented network infrastructure problems in the Los Angeles area recently.

Finally, the uptime stats on the control panel were useless. To my knowledge, the stats received little or no updating since I joined DreamHost in mid 2004. I would suggest that removing them, and replacing them with an offsite alternative, was a much better approach. The status page became invaluable during the LA power outage issues I mentioned in an earlier post.

In summary, I have no idea what the root cause of the mentioned downtime is, and I never claimed or argued to the contrary. I was merely postulating that the reasons for the downtime may not have been obvious as people thought.

Simon Jessey
Keystone Websites | si-blog

Well, I personally have experienced what the parent poster is talking about on some of my other domains. However, due to the lack of hard fact, this has quickly deteriorated into a “he said he said” discussion. The point remains, though: if Dreamhost was confident in their shared hosting uptimes, then they would be published somewhere; there would be no need to rely on 3rd party stats.


I don’t think it has anything to do with DreamHost confidence. It is more about customer convenience. We, as customers, would like to see DreamHost provide better information about server uptime status; however, doing so could create a problem. Consider the following:

  1. Customer notices site is “down”.
  2. Customer checks DreamHost uptime status page, which says everything is fine.
  3. The customer therefore concludes that either (a) DreamHost’s status page is lying, or (b) there is some other reason for the site being down.

Unfortunately, reason (a) is what most people think, so DreamHost doesn’t have an uptime status page. Instead, they have an off-site page that a customer can visit to check if there is anything wrong. I agree that it is unsatisfactory, but I can totally understand why DreamHost has chosen to go this way.

Personally, I think DreamHost should put its money where its mouth is and provide us with continuously-updating server status. If they can keep things running something, it’ll be something to boast about. If not…well, it’ll be an incentive to get things working properly!

Simon Jessey
Keystone Websites | si-blog

Actually, the “off-site page that a customer can visit” is only if Dreamhost’s site is down, not ours, which is why it was used during the LA blackout. When our sites are down, it would not be stated on that page.

I, too, have not had the outages stated in this post. I have 14 separate “DH hosting packages” each package using different hosting servers, mail servers and mysql servers (hosting over 100 websites here at dreamhost.)

One thing to do is see if “NATIONAL” (sorry, don’t remember the posters names) and the original poster are experiencing these problems on the same server. DH users are not all on the same servers…

But I am sorry you are experiencing these issues.