Help - site shut down without warning


The following is an email sent from Dreamhost staff at 6:23PM EST. As I write this it is now 11:31PM EST. Our service has been down for five hours.


I am sorry but I had to disable your database (it was single-handedly
killing the database server - the load was around 20 and is now down
under 1 (4 is optimal) after disablement.

We can re-enable it if you can assure us you’ll take proper steps to curb
the usage (you need to be sure you are indexing things if you weren’t and
perhaps re-evaluate the efficiency of your code).


I emailed back immediately, and three additional times over the last few hours - I could certainly help investigate, index tables, and more, if the database was re-enabled. It hasn’t. Not only that, I can’t access the database to do a dump and backup.

Previously Philly Future was quarentined due to excessive CPU utilization. We solved those issues and we were moved back to a standard box.

This has occured without warning or indication of trouble. Looking at the db stats, I don’t see a trend that indicates a problem.

We run a version of CivicSpace, with minimal modules enabled, and with an improved caching system to keep CPU/db utilization down.

This situation is frightening. Can anyone help me?


damn, i had the same kind of problem with powweb and thats why i just moved to dreamhost… to fix it. Powweb also shutdown your site without warning without notice without anything and then email u an error code for you to figure out what to do. its really unproffesional.


It is now 12 hours without a reply from support and they have not permitted me to access my database to do a dump or to restore service.


For further status updates I am posting them to my personal blog:

We are helping host a blogger/journalism conference in Philadelphia later this month and this comes at a terrible time.


DH tech support doesn’t have the speediest of response times, sadly. Especially if you happen to encounter a problem over the weekend. You might not get a response until Monday. Huge drawback to the service if you run a business site and end up losing money. This sort of situation hasn’t happened to me yet though and I run drupal on my account.

When you say you use CivicSpace, I believe they are based on Drupal right? I have looked at it but I don’t really know much about it (CivicSpace…not drupal itself). Have you set it up to cache pages? That might reduce the load.

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Send me a pm if you want cms or forum software installed (for a fee)


Thanks for the word. I hope to hear from them soon. This is unnerving :frowning: I went with Dreamhost to avoid issues like this.

CivicSpace is a version of Drupal. We have minimal modules enabled, and cache is enabled. In fact, I’ve improved Drupal’s cache hit efficiency.


Yes. Dreamhost may be a bit slow on the response time. I can understand that when you realize how much they have grown over the past few years. They got some catching up to do. However this host is much better than Site5. Site5 has a complicated setup that they can’t even manage properly. Response times were also starting to lag and an issue which should of been fixed within a day took an entire week to resolve even if they responded quickly to my messages. At least with dreamhost when they do respond it is with an intelligent message about the issue and it is resolved rather quickly in my opinion. Lets just say that I gave them a very big thank you to one of the support staff the first time I had a ticket.

P.S. - I can say that this host is a very lenient one compared to lots of others. However you have to consider performance impact of your site to the server as it can affect alot of people if you are on a shared server. A CMS system can be intensive in db access and cpu cycles even when you use a caching system.

Just my 2 cents.