Monarchs server down then slow for 3 weeks


I’ve got 30 websites hosted on Dreamhost and on 06/11/13 I recieved an alert saying that my server Monarchs would be trasferred to new hardware and that i might experience a short amount of downtime.
Next all of my sites slowed down to a crawl then over half of them showed server error pages or forbidden pages. Every time I checked new sites showed errors whilst other sites came back on but so slowly that they were pretty much broken.
I wrote to support but the answer i recived was that they were very sorry but I should be patient whilst they fixed the new hardware because the backup server was degraded.
After a week there was still the same problem so I wrote again and got more or les the same reply apart from a tech saying he’d fixed the forbidden error… however the forbidden error then showed up on other sites and the site he’d fixed now showed a server error.
ever since then it’s been more of the same, with me becoming more frustrated and frantic in my queries to support, them apologising but doing nothing to make it better.
currently all my sites are online but with erros everywhere. I can’t login to most of them because they time out or show forbidden pages. I have all of my clients shouting at me that I’ve left them high and dry and it looks like I’ve got no option but to move from Dreamhost. I’ve been with Dreamhost for 4 years and thought that they were a decent host with reasonable support… but now I feel completely dumped. Even saying that I have no option but to move hosts doesn’t get any sdort of urgent response and I’m completely dumbfounded by their lack of urgency in dealing with my situation.
They said that they would move my account to a faster server but ONLY after they have completed the restore process and can give me no ETA for when this might be done.
What I find disturbing is that I can find no other customers complaining about their monarchs server - are they deleting complaints or am I the only customer on Monarchs?
also - is my business so unimportant to them that they can just let me leave without showing any urgency in fixing this problem?
they offered me 2 months free hosting but this is a joke considering I’m going to have to do hours of unpaid work to move all 30 websites to another host, and my credibility as a web designer is tarnished and compromised with all of my clients. They’re pretty much destroying my business and their only response is to say sorry and to tell me to be patient whilst they resolve their server problems.
this is beyond unnacceptable and i’m completely incredulous that a genuine company could treat a customer in such a shoddy way. I’ve been really badly dumped by Dreamhost. 2 months of free hosting is almost like an added insult considering how long my sites have been down.


You are an actual web designer? In that case you ought to have at least two hosting accounts with different providers, and be able to switch your clients from one to the other, depending on current conditions, at the flick of a switch.

A bona fide end user might reasonably have only one hosting account, but a web designer ought to have at least two.


Yes of course I have 2 accounts - I have another hosting account with 34SP. I had slowly moved most of my sites to Dreamhost thinking that they were reliable since they were more proactive than 34SP when I got hacked.
The trouble is that moving 30 websites will take me hours and hours or days and days.
please don’t make assumptions that i’m not bona fide


also - where do you get this ‘flick of a switch’ idea from?
I have to download each entire site but the server is so slow that it’s unable to do so without timeout errors plus some folders now have been locked where they shouldn’t be.
Then I have to export the database, setup a new domain space on my other hosting, install a new database, import the data, upload the site then edit the config file.
then I have to setup a new email hosting account, change the MX records and finally test that everything works correctly. you need to be meticulous and careful throughout.
If you can do this at the flick of a switch please let me in on the secret.


the ‘flick of a switch’ means you keeps the sites set up and normalized on servers at 2 different providers at all times so that minimally you should be able to export the database, import it and make your DNS changes to move any site quickly.

It’s called Plan B, and anyone offering hosting as part of their design services should have a Plan B. The other option being for the customer to have their own hosting account. Your workk-product (design) is protected in that case when hosting fails because you are not providing hosting.


Thanks for the advice. It is sensible. In an ideal world I would be able to do this but I would have to increase my prices to cover the extra time taken to duplicate everything and I have to be competitive since I mostly work with small businesses with limited budgets. I’m responsible and take local database backups from time to time, plus all customised files are created and stored locally. I can rebuild broken sites when necessary but it’s just an endless repetetive task to do so for 30 sites. my main complaint is the amount of unpaid work i will have to do to move everything.
If it really was the hosting provider’s task to duplicate everything so it could be changed over at the flick of a switch then surely Dreamhost themselves would have duplicated my user account so I could have been transferred to a working server at the flick of a switch rather than being left to wait for three weeks. I’m surprised that they haven’t


Anyone else still impacted by this?

All my sites are hosted on the monarchs server. My sites are still loading very slow. One site is taking 14.1 seconds for the first byte to be delivered. All other sites are impacted too.

The Panel status notification (Important Information: Shared server ‘monarchs’ being moved to new hardware) really hasn’t changed in in the last two weeks either. Even though the status message says it’s been updated recently, there’s really been no meaningful change in the message content recently.

This has been going on for weeks now with no better update than this. I understand these things take time, but it’s really unacceptable to be paying for degregrated service like this.

Here’s the latest update…

Important Information: Shared server ‘monarchs’ being moved to new hardware (updated 1 day 0 hours ago)

Unfortunately, the state of the backup server is degraded to an extent that we won’t be able to see much improvement during the restore process. We are restoring your data as quickly as possible while avoiding additional stress to the server itself, to avoid more critical service interruption. We are also looking into alternate options to continue the restore on a more stable ground. Please note, as soon as your users are restored, you’re switched to the local drive, and will no longer be affected by the slowness of the connection to the backup server. We apologize for the inconvenience this is causing. We will update this notice again tomorrow or sooner if there is a change in status which necessitates additional notification.
As a reminder, you are receiving this message because your web hosting services are being affected by hardware maintenance due to issues with your shared web hosting server ‘monarchs’.

Due to issues with the RAID controller, we are replacing the hardware for this server and will be restoring all data from our backup server to the new hardware. Currently, we are working on connecting the backup server, and in the meantime you may be experiencing downtime with your websites or may be unable to access your server. We apologize for the inconvenience, and we’ll update this post in the next 30 minutes or as soon as progress is made, whichever is sooner.

A little bit about the restore process: once the backup connection is established, we will reload your web service and will serve your sites again using the data on the backup server. The data will be mounted over the network to allow your hosting services to remain online for the duration of the process.

Please note, if those backups are older than the most current version of your site, you will have to upload/change those files again. It is safe to upload your own backup files during the restore process, as we have engineered the process such that we will not overwrite the files you’re adding yourself. Just let us know if you’re unable to do so, and when / if we’re able to recover the old hardware that crashed, we’ll be happy to manually transfer your most recent files for you to the new drive.

During the restore process, there may be periods of high load on the server due to the large amount of data being sent to the new server. We will be closely monitoring the server and mitigating that load whenever possible.

Please note, we’re only able to monitor the status of the server and that of the web services responsible for your sites and not individual sites and users. Once the ‘all clear’ is given by us, if you’re still having trouble loading your sites or access your server, please let us know the specifics, so we can take a look for you. You may contact us either by replying to this message from your inbox, or by submitting a support ticket in the DreamHost panel (, under Support/Contact Support.

As per the above, if you need assistance with missing or outdated files and you don’t have local backups, or if your sites aren’t performing as expected other than being somewhat slow or timing out occasionally due to the high restore load, please contact us with the specifics by either replying to this message from your inbox or by submitting a ticket through the DreamHost panel (, under Support/Contact Support.

This notice will also appear on that page in your DreamHost Panel and will be updated throughout the process with the latest details we can provide.

This incident is only related to the shared web server ‘monarchs’, and no other servers or services (such as MySQL or email) are affected.

Thank you for your patience!
The Happy DreamHost Server Fixing Team[/quote]
From @DreamHostCare