*** Performance information from dreamhost ***



I have been posting about the general slowness since I started as a customer 2 weeks ago. This included three different servers. At times, I could tell that it was not just processor-bound slowdown, based on the amount of overall cpu usage on the servers.

I decided to use one of my callbacks. I talked to a very knowledgeable person today. There was one issue that was short term, and one that represents the longer term problem.

Short term: cienega, and other servers, experienced incredibly slow throughput over the past day due to a failed network card which caused problems on a switch. This has now been fixed.

Long term: The problem that I have been seeing is related to their DNS servers. Dreamhost uses BIND, which is unable to handle 200,000 domains with acceptable performance. They have upgraded to 64 bit servers in order to increase addressable memory, but this only caused minor improvements. They are moving to a custom rdns solution, which may not be in place for a little while yet.

How has this affected me? I am using php with non pconnect mysql connections. (which is what they recommend, and also happens to be in use by wordpress and gallery) So every mysql server connection is using the horribly slow DNS lookup, and not caching any of the dns results.

A few posts have pinpointed DNS, but not with these specifics. Unfortunately, it is not an overnight solution. And those that said “too much growth” were correct, but not due to the most frequently cited causes.

I am in a position where I can wait this out and see if it does get any better. If I was hosting accounts for other people, or doing something commercial, I would have a tougher decision.



DNS may explain server latency, but it doesn’t explain the anemic download speeds everyone’s still experiencing. Overland is averaging 30-50KB/sec, rarely topping 60, but nobody at Dreamhost seems to think there’s a problem since CPU server loads are relatively low.


Interesting info to know about the DNS servers Hiker, but as Mago has said, there is also the throughput issue as well. I feel the more I read into it the more I think Dreamhost have oversold their network/systems capability, previous to the new quadrupled space/octupled bandwidth plans I found the Dreamhost network to be very quick and a whole lot more reliable.

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I tried a quick test on my site and I got 2.8 MB/sec. (A compressed 10 MB file downloaded via http in just under 4 sec.) This was from a work machine in Northern California.


I also must agree that dreamhost has not oversold them selves, as I’m expirencing the same as normal download speeds from my sever. I clocked a 150mb tar file down to my computer at around 160kbps. That’s an adverage based on file size by download time.

Dreamhost is working on fixing the problems… Give them time.



It stands to reason that if you’re a longer term customer you’re on an older box that hasn’t been “oversold” and doesn’t have the problems that many others are having.

Us noobs are probably all crammed on the same group of overtaxed servers and are experiencing the majority of the problems.


I have experienced some lag issues in the past week and some outages but now it seems as if it is cleared. My Invision Power Board works without any lag. I also can download well. My site is on the catalina server.


Can’t thank you enough for sharing your report



I would have to agree with slickdoody - however, the performance issues I experienced have been resolved. Some chump on my server was running poorly written scripts bringing the server to its knees. In it’s worst I saw server load exceed 300.

Now I’m seeing a typical 3-9… DH has resolved my problems. Lets see what they can do to fix DNS, I have faith and another 80 days of my trial. :slight_smile:


I had this once I my server (‘Bixel’), although load didn’t quite go as high as 300.

Thankfully, it only lasted for a couple of hours until things returned to normal and I haven’t seen a recurrence since.

I guess it is one of the inherent problems with shared hosting. :frowning:


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mattail, did you mean 160KBps (=1280Kbps)? That’s a big difference from 160Kbps which is extremely slow.