Frequent outages


#1

Hi everyone,

I signed up with DreamHost a couple of months ago, and for the first couple of months everything has been fine. Unfortunately over the last few weeks, almost every single time I go to work on my website the server goes down. Either SSH is unbearable (up to 30 seconds between pressing a key and seeing it on the screen) or I can’t SSH in at all and the web server returns 500 Internal Server Errors.

Nothing ever ends up on the service status pages which is a bit annoying (the server ended up getting rebooted about a week ago to fix one of these outages, which I would have thought was worthy of an update but that never showed up.) Because of this I’ve ended up contacting DH support most times this happens, and to their credit they’ve always been pretty good with a response and getting the site back online, but when you only work on your site once or twice a week and that’s just when the server decides to go offline it gets pretty annoying pretty quickly. I don’t think it helps that because of my timezone, whenever I’m awake the US is asleep, so the outages often take many hours to get fixed.

So this is sort of an open question - do other people have frequent (silent) outages like this, or is it just my server (genovese)? It seems that (from DH support) the problems are usually caused by other sites on my server sucking up all the available memory and bandwidth. Given that bash can be killed minutes after I log in for “using up too much memory” I’m a bit surprised that these bandwidth-heavy sites I’m sharing with don’t get the same treatment.

In one case even after the offending site was taken offline, the requests were still DDoSing the server, of sorts. I guess I’m curious why - given that it is shared hosting - there doesn’t appear to be anything regulating use of the service - one website is free to knock the whole server offline, if it gets enough traffic (which is not necessarily the website’s fault.) I would have thought the routers supplying the servers would keep a check on how many requests were coming in for particular sites, and limit them accordingly if the server is suffering.

Anyway, is it just me? If others out there have had no problems at all, perhaps DH could move my account onto your server? :slight_smile:


#2

I think it’s a common issue for new customers. It’s like they’re testing you out to see how much pain you can withstand to stick around… I remember having downtime when I first signed up, but now that I’ve been with them for a few years (knock on wood), issues are very very rare.


#3

Hold it a second. Are you sure you’re not causing the problem? :wink:

To answer more generally, there is significant anecdotal evidence that “newer” servers have more “new” customers who tend to have sites and software that aren’t appropriate to run on shared servers. Thus, you can end up with much better service over time if you tough it out and your server settles down.

One bad neighbor can create a lot of problems for the neighborhood.

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