MySQL load

These days, I had been seeing more and more errors like this:

My time came this week. Dreamhost deleted 5 (FIVE) of my databases from all my best sites, wiping out almost half of all my websites and most of my revenue income.

I have a couple of questions that I think it would be good if Dreamhost answer then to everyone:

  1. Where’s the "No more conuery limits! " policy, as stated on this newsletter?
    I guess what this newsletter was meant to say was: over 5M conueries you have to pay, now, over 5M, you don’t pay, but your database can be deleted anytime with no prior warning.

  2. I’ve read about the polite email warning. Have anyone ever received one of this?

  3. What are the criteria to delete a database?
    I have one other db that has 5.345 MCn and did not get deleted; while another one with just over 2M got deleted.

  4. Why have Dreamhost deleted 5 databases at once? Why all at once?

  5. Why not just slow down / stop responding for a while for MySQL overloads, like they do for PHP?
    I deeply think my problem was caused by Google crawler as my sites as very few visitors, (all together ~500 daily), so it would be a good idea to slow or stop mysql on unusual spikes.

  6. How do people get invited to dreamhostps?!

Thanks for any HELP!

This sounds suspicious. I’ve not heard of a verifiable instance of DreamHost wiping out a user’s data without explanation. Did you contact Support? Have you checked your Support log in the panel?


Sorry if I didn’t make myself clear enought. The db were disabled by Dreamhost support team and I got an email informing me of that after they had disabled it.

I am in contact with them, let’s c what they say. Also I am trying to get anwers to all the questions I posted above.

It sounds like they’ve just disabled your databases, which is better. At least they can turn them back on once things get resolved.

  1. They don’t set many hard limits because they evaluate issues on a case by case basis.

  2. If things start looking bad, they give you a polite warning. If the database server gets hammered so hard that nothing works, they’ve got to shut down the heavy user immediately to save the rest of the users.

  3. Again, it’s case by case. Say they limit you to 5 MCn per month, but you use them all up in a day during a Slashdotting. They’ve got to turn it off. Only Support knows why your selected databases got disabled.

  4. Dunno. We’re not DreamHost. We can’t even speculate because we don’t know your setup.

  5. Your database(s) did stop responding during the overload (they turned them off). It’s up to you to troubleshoot why your site spiked, they can only tell you why they shut it down. The mail you sent you should explain what your next step should be.

  6. PS isn’t by invitation only. There’s just a waiting list. However, this issue may speed up moving you to PS if you ask Support.


I haven’t looked at this case, but conuery was not a very good measure of bad db usage and that is why we don’t use it anymore. More important is the size of the database times the inefficiency of the queries times the number of queries. If your database got disabled it means that you were doing something that was effecting the entire db server to the point that having your db be down was better than everyone’s dbs being down. I know that in a case like this we actually tell you the exact queries that are the problem. The solution is better queries via indexing and a more normalized table structure. We do extensive work on our own databases and even in heavy usage situations like ours the answer is almost always to optimize.