Question about blingy cluster issue


#1

I’m a brand new customer, and I guess I picked a bad time to sign up! I’m not going pitch a fit and call Dreamhost an awful host because of this problem, but there’s one thing I don’t understand.

From what I can tell, Dreamhost knew about the blingy cluster problem a good day or two before I ever signed up. WHY, then, would they assign me to that cluster?

I have no idea how they allocate users to clusters, but it seems like if they KNOW a cluster has major problems, they would stop assigning new customers to it until it is fixed.

Particularly if they don’t want users uploading large amounts of files! As a new customer, I obviously have a website that needs uploading.

I’ve seen all the people in the Dreamhost Status page comments throwing fits and claiming they’re leaving, but I understand that all technology has issues from time to time, and I can handle that, especially for as little as I’m paying here. I’m happy with the overall service thus far. I just don’t understand why they’re putting new users on a problematic server.


#2

Are you having problems? As it sounds, they’re migrating all accounts over to better hardware. I’d expect that they’ve put you on the better hardware.

-Scott


#3

Welcome to the board. I’m on Blingy too :wink:

I looks like it’s the case that they thought they knew what was causing the problem with the cluster early on and had solved it, only to later discover what they had done didn’t rectify the issue. My guess would be you arrived after they thought they had it under control and before they found out there was more to the problem - and unfortunately you were plonked right in it.

As you’ve mentioned, all reports suggest they’re moving data onto different hardware so hopefully we’ll see things back to normal shortly.

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#4

They’re moving it over slowly but they’re having issues with the large amount of new data that keeps being uploaded onto the blingy cluster:

"Update 30/03/08

We’re still racing to keep ahead of new data being added so any help we can get on that front is greatly appreciated (we’re still asking for customers to limit uploads as much as possible to speed up the recovery process). Some customers who are being moved are seeing blank directories still but those are due to moves in progress and the data will be fully restored when those complete."

So they seem to be doing their best but my main concern is that they’re putting these updates onto the status webpage, but I feel they would be better off sending an email to all clients on blingy asking them to hold off on uploading non essential data. I doubt everybody on blingy actually goes to the status page, and it may help out if people received an email asking them kindly to help out - just an idea…

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#5

That may help, but I think I’d actually rather see them just disable “uploading” altogether (FTP/SFTP/rsysnc etc.?) until they get it sorted. It’s not likely blingy users are gonna scream any louder! :wink:

–rlparker


#6

It does look like my sites are running a bit faster, so maybe I’ve been moved. I agree about the uploading; I had no idea about the problem till I started getting FTP errors about there being no space. Which was after I’d uploaded pretty much my whole site.


#7

But I wonder if that’s the root of the growth vs. site-generated user uploads?

My wife’s sites are still slow and the load on her server is still 50+ so I guess she hasn’t been moved over… :frowning:

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#8

That would be better as a whole as it would make the overall move quicker - although there could be some serious issues as a result of that.

I’m thinking particularly if say somebody had uploaded some data regarding a product and they priced it wrongly or the description of it was wrong, it could cause serious problems for them and without being able to upload any new data, they wouldn’t be able to do anything until it was all fixed - and who knows how long that will take…

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#9

Those are good points, and the way they are doing it may, in fact, be the best way to go overall. Fact is, I don’t know what is best, and I’m glad they are doing it instead of me. :wink:

–rlparker


#10

I certainly don’t know the answer to that one!

I’m not sure what part of the load is caused by what problem at this point…

I’m carefully monitoring the load on one Blingy based server to see if I feel comfortable launching two websites that are ready to go (but are, unfortunately in a server in the Blingy cluster).

My experience is the same as your wife’s … it gets better to some degree and for a while, but the load is consistently too high for me to put a site up and expect to have it function reasonably well.

The best it has gotten for that server in the last few days is a load in the high teens and low twenties … but it is often well over 50 and sometimes over 100. :open_mouth:

–rlparker


#11

Well, my site (the parts I got uploaded before I started having issues) has stayed up–at least when I’ve checked, but it runs pretty slowly. It’s not like it’s a source of income or anything, so I’m not losing money by it being down, but it’s really getting on my nerves.

I’m really annoyed that I was immediately assigned to a problematic server; that gave me a great first impression of Dreamhost. It’s especially annoying me because this week I have the time to really get some work done on the site, but I can’t, since I can’t upload to my server. After this week my time will be much more limited.

How long should I have to wait for this? It’s been 5 days of obsessively checking the status site, and it’s tempting to take my refund and move elsewhere, but then I’d have to deal with DNS propagation and re-upload my files all over again–in the time that would take, I’d like to think DH might have fixed their issues. I’m willing to give DH a chance here, but thus far they’re really making a poor impression.


#12

This is related to the email not working, correct? We are a small company that just switched over to dreamhost after it was highly recommended. Wow, was that a mistake! After switching to dreamhost, our email has been down for 2 weeks and has literally crippled our business. At this point, we are trying to figure out solutions at a) fixing our business and then b) getting off of this cursed server. Does anyone have any suggestions? I keep getting the same tech support answers. Seriously one of the biggest mistakes our company has made.


#13

Well, I know nothing at all about your company of your business, so I don’t have any meaningful suggestions as to “a) fixing your business”. :wink:

As for b) “getting off this cursed server” my advice is to make a business decision on how quickly you want that to happen, and to what lengths you want to go do accomplish that.

If you need to “get off the server” you are on now (or as quickly as possible) I suggest obtaining a new hosting account somewhere, uploading you site to it, and changing the DNS entries for your domain to point to it. That won’t necessarily get your site or email up as fast as some other alternatives, but it will get you off the server right away.

If you want to do much of anything else, you are going to have to deal with DreamHost tech support, as they will have to be the ones to get your sorted. IF they can do that, you have a chance of being back online faster than changing servers, but there is no guarantee of that.

Is both your POP3/IMAP EMAIL access via external client and your webmail broken? Have you ever received email at your Dreamhost account?

If you have other email accounts that are functioning (separate from your broken DH accounts), and if your domain is properly set up with DreamHost’s DNS and that is working, you could simply forward all your email to those other email account (set up forwarding in the panel -> Email -> Manage Email screens) so that you can at least get email sent to you at your domain as a temporary workaround.

Other than that, since you haven’t shared your domain name (is it reachable at all?), or any other particulars of your situation ( can you reach the email server?), or what tech support has told you, so I don’t know what else to suggest.

Good luck.

–rlparker


#14

No offense, but a business that stares at a problem for two weeks was already crippled and just hadn’t realized it yet.

If email is what’s most important, than run that through a mail host like tuffmail.com, fastmail.fm, etc… regardless of where your domain is hosted. That way email is still up if there are site problems.

The web is the wrong place to be if you don’t have any backup plans in place. Count on things going wrong at any host, but don’t put your entire life in their hands when they do.

As an example of how things aren’t always better somewhere else, I monitor a site that fails over between two hosts with 99.9% uptime guarantees. The site itself shows 100% uptime (30 minute interval checking), but… Both of the hosts it loads from currently show less than 99.4% each with the same monitoring service. That’s not good! But it has no effect on the site’s availability.

All hosts have downtime, but if you want to take a gamble on how much it will be, bet on something with better odds, like two hosts not being down at the exact same time.

Of course, those percentages fluctuate with the good times and the bad. Both have been at 99.9% before and both have been down in the 98% range, but the point is when you rely on one host, you accept whatever their performance is at any given time – not just what they advertise/guarantee, or how things are when all is running smoothly.


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#15

This is not only an email thing.

I’m on blingy too and my site’s been incredibly slow over the past 10 days, sometimes not working at all. And I don’t use email.

It’s not a businness it’s an NGO like site, and I’m the webmaster ‘pro bono’ so they can’t complain and it’s not like I’m losing money or anything. But my reputation as webmaster is on the floor :frowning:

I understand that sh^t happens… what I don’t get is how come it can take that long to fix.

Anyway, you get what you pay for I guess. That’s what I’m gonna tell my client in the end…


#16

Thank you for your replies. I will be the first to admit that I wrote that post in a bout of frustration. Trust me, it gets very frustrating when you switch over to a new company thinking your previous problems will be solved and you just exchanged them for a new one.

Allow me to explain my situation now that I’ve had my morning coffee. We are a small company that does a lot of wholesaling. Now, I used to work for corporate, and there were definitely a few things that I took for granted that I realized when I transitioned to small business. That being we lack a permanent IT person and a lot of cash. You often have to be resourceful when you try to solve these IT problems. I came onto this company as a marketing person, but frequently I’ve been called upon to try to solve any technology problems since I’m familiar with computers…however, I know I’m definitely not proficient with computers.

We did have two separate hosts previously - one to host our website and one to act as our email server. For some reason, the email server company (not sure if I should mention them here) kept threatening to disconnect our email unless we moved our website to their site. This led to a slew of problems - and whenever we needed technological support, the webhost and the email server company would point fingers at each other and refuse to help us. So we decided it would be best to combine the two so we could get adequate support. Unfortunately, we had to hire outside IT help to move our website and set up our email through IMAP (they charge $75/hour)…and that person recommended dreamhost. Moving all of our info is not something that is very easy for us to do.

Currently, I did peruse some solutions online so that we are currently forwarding emails and writing from our yahoo accounts. I do like the support from dreamhost since they do keep me updated - however, I can’t defend it from my employees who now know dreamhost as the place where the email server doesn’t work. (Although our website does work fine).


#17

The part of my site that I managed to upload is up…I was about half way through uploading when I realized I was on an affected server and had to quit.

I guess I’m better off than many clients who are losing money through this problem. Technically, however, aren’t we all losing money–what we paid to host our sites on a functioning, reliable server?

I really don’t want to give up on DH, since I just moved here. Maybe they really are a good host except for this one issue. It’s very tempting to go somewhere else, but I keep thinking, well, how much longer can this last? A lot longer, apparently…


#18

clank last week: http://img232.imageshack.us/img232/2203/top564my4.png

Maybe it’s all the data moving going on behind the scenes? I’m starting to think top is full of foo tho and posed a question about it over in the General forum hoping someone might shed some light on the weirdness for me.

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#19

Can anyone explain why it’s so time-consuming to move data or add capacity?

Not knowing much about clustered servers, I don’t understand why they can’t just hook up more disks to rapidly give temporary capacity and give the server some relief while they make the transition.

Also, something about the “we’re moving data, but can’t keep up with uploads” seems strange to me. How can uploads be higher than the rate at which they can move data off?

Thanks…


#20

This isn’t an “adding capacity” issue. The old hardware is dying and they need to migrate everything over. They trying to be non-disruptive, but with hundreds live sites and a terabyte+ of data, it’s not easy. Every time something changes, they have to track it down and migrate it.

The only alternative would be to freeze and move one account at a time, but that would also be time consuming. I’m sure they’re writing a volume of “lessons learned” from this experience. Next time they’ll probably just schedule a bunch of outages to migrate users in stages.

-Scott