Helping a client set up something like failover

Hi, I want to be a little proactive for a client of mine who hosts here at dreamhost. They have hosted here since 2003 or 2004.

With what happened last night, I remember this discussion last year (in july/august) when dreamhost had some severe troubles.

Is there a way that I can purchase a very cheap hosting package somewhere else that I can also add my clients to? The thing is the email…

Can I have the,, and then also another couple of nameservers in spots 4, 5 and 6 through another hosting provider…and set up email there…so there is a way when this goes down, they also have email going somewhere else?

Right now, their email is hosted at Simplicato…but with the dns issues last night, obviously the a records pointed to simplicato wouldn’t work too.

any insight into a way to do this would be great.

Adding more nameservers simply won’t work. You’re looking for a fail-over (redundant) service.
You might look here to do something like that. Though I strongly recommend using a registrar other than DreamHost if the websites are hosted with DH as well, for added reliability.

Chips N Cheese - Custom PHP installs and the like!

thanks, the registrar is godaddy.

I already have a unique ip for this client…through dreamhost…I am assuming that the DH IP is what I need?

Where do I go to get a failover monitor?

Well I already posted a link to zoneedit, which offers a fairly cheap service for it. I’m not entirely sure if you need to use them as a registrar in order to take advantage of said failover services, but it doesn’t sound like it as, and I’ll quote their faq:

Failover monitoring service works when you have two or more web servers running the same (or similar) web site.

  • First, you need the IP address for your domain, and get it working - then you add the failover monitor. [/quote]
    You can setup the IP of another server (from a different hosting provider) to take over in case your main site fails.

You’ll need to keep in mind a few things however if you plan to use this service. For one, it will not transfer over any modified files or database changes. If your (or your client’s) sites are all static (ie. html) and don’t change frequently, this service works perfectly. If not, you’ll find yourself looking to use another hosting provider that offers shell (*unix) based access, as you’ll want to rsync all of your (or your client’s) data regularly. For the database portion, if you had one, this would complicate things to even further extreme measures, which I won’t delve into do to the complexity of such a setup.

Personally, I believe zoneedit’s failover services would be great to provide a custom “Hi, we’re down right now but we’ll be back soon” -ish error page in case DH does happen to go down. Beyond that, the setup becomes far too complicated.

Chips N Cheese - Custom PHP installs and the like!

That’s’s pricing page. I believe they also have an FAQ section that answers just about any question you could have.

I believe they offer a redundant email service too, so you could keep your mail totally separate with them, then have your two sites setup with the failover service.

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