Samba access gone... any alternatives?


#1

Since Dreamhost recently decided to silently axe Samba access to a user’s home directory, I was wondering, does anyone happen to know what other methods are available for mapping you DH home directory to a Windows drive letter? (WebDAV won’t work as can only map to a subdirectory in one of Apache’s DocumentRoot, not to the home folder)

Also, any head dreamhost people know why Samba got axed, and why it’s still listed on the signup page: http://www.dreamhost.com/shared/comparison.html


#2

Samba is actually still running on the machines, but is blocked at our border currently (you’d be able to access it via a VPN). My recollection is that we did announce this, though we didn’t intend it to last so long.

We were noticing sites which were attempting to brute-force login to servers via Samba (probably a worm of some sort), and this was significantly affecting server load in many cases. The thing that surprises me is that even before we announced it, there were /very/ few customer complaints (as in almost none – which is rare for any type of system change, even the most minor).

When we re-enabled it again, we were still seeing these problems. It’s still an issue under discussion. We will announce (and update the site accordingly) when a decision has been made.

I do really wish someone would make a great (preferably free) sftp or scp client which worked really transparently for Windows clients.


#3

This brings up an interesting point. For quite some time, DH has advertised “price freezes” and “feature freezes” meaning the features of my plan will never go down, and the price will never go up as long as I stick with that plan.

If DH permanently removes SMB support, wouldn’t that be in violation of the hosting agreement?


#4

[quote]If DH permanently removes SMB support, wouldn’t that be
in violation of the hosting agreement?

[/quote]

While we do advertise (and stick to) our price freeze pledge, we can’t guarantee that if insurmountable problems pop up with a given feature that it will remain available. As far as I know, while a price frozen plan as a whole will remain unchanged, we’ve never referred to this as a “feature freeze”.

Perhaps we need to add some more fine print to clarify that, I don’t know.

Oddly enough, we don’t often get many complaints when we bump up disk space or bandwidth allocations for frozen plans. :>

So, yeah, features can change. While 99.9% of the time this will work in the customers’ favor - we add stuff all the time, but don’t raise the customers’ plan costs - we do reserve the right to make changes if for some reason a feature negatively impacts the stability or security of our servers. Ultimately, this also works in the customers’ favor more often than not because if we were unable to do this you all would be experiencing a lot more downtime than you do now.

In any case, if someone signed up in large part because of our Samba support and wanted to switch to another host, they can contact us privately and we likely wouldn’t have any problem letting them out of their contract with a refund for the unused portion of their account. That sort of thing is the DreamHost norm, and is good business practice.

Now, as to whether this sort of thing would be used to pull a massive bait and switch on customers, well - we wouldn’t be in business for 7 years and have the gazillions of customers we have if we pulled that sort of thing. I can count on one hand the number of even mid-level features we have removed since I’ve been here (March of '99), and in all such cases we have done our best to either provide reasonable alternatives or help anyone displaced by the changes.

Off the top of my head: Samba support, JSP support… Actually, I’m drawing a blank on any others, and neither of these were used by all that many people. Can anyone think of any other significant services/features we’ve dropped?

BTW: As an aside, it looks like our plan comparison page still lists Samba. I’ll look into getting that removed ASAP.

  • Jeff @ DreamHost
  • DH Discussion Forum Admin

#5

It’s really hard to make you guys look bad :o)

The exact phrase, IIRC, was “plan freeze.” The announcements only go back to May 2001 so I can’t search them. No biggie on that. My main concern is the access methods have been chopped down.

  • Nested FTP users
  • There wasn’t a bandwidth cap when I signed up for my 10MB in 1997, second account in 1998 (that time I paid for a year in advance so I got the extra 20MB!! ;o)
  • iprotect
  • payment by check (or do you offer that again?)
  • josh used to reply to every support request
  • the web panel used to work in Netscape 3

:oP


#6

[quote]The exact phrase, IIRC, was “plan freeze.” The
announcements only go back to May 2001 so I can’t
search them.

[/quote]

It looks like the initial announcement can be found here:

https://panel.dreamhost.com/kbase/index.cgi?area=581

[quote]No biggie on that. My main concern is the access methods
have been chopped down.

[/quote]

Yeah, that’s understandable. Hopefully we’ll find some sort of solution for Samba.

[quote]- Nested FTP users

[/quote]

This is a good one, and one that generated a bit of anguish from some of our users. It’s not that nested FTP users were so incredibly useful (they caused a lot of trouble, actually), but because it was a bit of a pain for some people to transition to the new system.

[quote]- There wasn’t a bandwidth cap when I signed up for my
10MB in 1997, second account in 1998 (that time I paid
for a year in advance so I got the extra 20MB!! ;o)

[/quote]

I can’t remember when we added the bandwidth cap, but I’ll take your word on it as my memory can be kind of poor. I’m surprised that we didn’t have one, though we did a lot of stuff by the seat of our pants way back then. :>

A similar one I can add is database conueries, which was ultimately just an excuse for Josh to make up a funny word for the newsletter and was eventually nixed.

[quote]- iprotect

[/quote]

Ahh, yes - a recent one no less! Add that one to my list.

[quote]- payment by check (or do you offer that again?)

[/quote]

We still offer that, and as far as I know never stopped. We do require that such payments be made for 6 months of service in advance, though, due to the time it takes to process them.

[quote]- josh used to reply to every support request

[/quote]

That’s a feature?! :>

[quote]- the web panel used to work in Netscape 3

[/quote]

It still works. Log in with Netscape 3, “View Source”, copy and paste the URL you want to navigate to, and voila! ;>

  • Jeff @ DreamHost
  • DH Discussion Forum Admin

#7

[quote]It looks like the initial announcement can be found here:
https://panel.dreamhost.com/kbase/index.cgi?area=581

[/quote]

That looks like it. I’ll have to search more, I thought there was a mention at some point that the plan would freeze - otherwise you could keep the price the same and just lower functionality. Anyway…

[quote]This is a good one, and one that generated a bit of anguish from some of our users. It’s not that nested FTP users were so incredibly useful (they caused a lot of trouble, actually), but because it was a bit of a pain for some people to transition to the new system.

[/quote]

It was a method to allow multiple users to edit a web site without having to give them all the same login info. Sure one can do that with WebDAV, but the permissions are all screwy.

[quote]A similar one I can add is database conueries, which was ultimately just an excuse for Josh to make up a funny word for the newsletter and was eventually nixed.

[/quote]

Yeah, but that was added after mysql was added :o) I remember talking Josh into giving me one mysql db on my CID account. That made me happy :o)

[quote]We still offer that, and as far as I know never stopped. We do require that such payments be made for 6 months of service in advance, though, due to the time it takes to process them.

[/quote]

You used to have check payment online - now we have to mail it in. (Well, I would if I didn’t have so many referrals that I make money off of hosting with DH :o)

[quote]That’s a feature?! :>

[/quote]

Having him explain the web panel went down because the processor fell out gets funnier as time goes by.

[quote]It still works. Log in with Netscape 3, “View Source”, copy and paste the URL you want to navigate to, and voila! ;>

[/quote]

but the nav doesn’t expand like it does in current browsers.

Anyway, I probably shouldn’t give you guys so much grief in public. Someone may come along and think I don’t like you guys and not know that I wouldn’t have stuck with you guys for seven years if I was unhappy.


#8

[quote]Anyway, I probably shouldn’t give you guys so much grief
in public. Someone may come along and think I don’t like
you guys and not know that I wouldn’t have stuck with
you guys for seven years if I was unhappy.

[/quote]

Naw, I at least don’t mind it that much - every web host has its plusses and minuses, and it would be a bit presumptuous to pretend like we were without fail.

I think the fact that our customers feel safe giving us grief in our own forum is probably more reassuring than the actual contents of said grief (it’s the hosts that act like they have a lot to hide that I, as a customer, would be most worried about).

In any case, it’s all in good fun. :>

  • Jeff @ DreamHost
  • DH Discussion Forum Admin

#9

glad to hear :o) with dreamhost one doesn’t have to play any sorts of games to get support. if you guys can do something, you do. if you know it’s gonna be a pain, you say so. seems like you guy have no problem saying no, which is cool because then you don’t have a snowball effect of hack jobs (at least from my perspective :o)

I’ve had four more people sign up for the sale, now I’ve got 38 referrals (20 primary, 18 secondary)


#10

W/r/t Samba, as soon as there aren’t millions of infected Windows machines, we’ll gladly stop filtering at the border. Every time we reset and watch the counters on that ACL, we see thousands of samba login requests per hour. And the day we started filtering (out of pure necessity) we got literally two complaints.

We did stop supporting JSP. We supported JSP 1.0, but newer JSP engines and J2EE containers don’t work well in shared hosting, and nobody cares about JSP 1.0 anymore. Since I personally got JSP working (when we used to offer it) I can definitively tell you the number of people who ever used JSP were under 100.

Iprotect, while a nice feature for a while, got abandoned by its developer, doesn’t work with newer versions of Apache, and we’re too busy putting together goofball newsletters and watching our router’s ACL counters to write a replacement.

Hey, how about that spam filter? I figure that makes up for the above. There are already more users (even while its still in beta) than those three combined.

nate.


#11

Comcast forced me to upgrade to a new modem. An unadvertised feature was that it blocks smb.

No more JSP support is understandable. Anyone who wishes to benefit from what it does have to offer should probably have a dedicated box anyway.

Iprotect - never used it actually.

Spam filter… well, I have a rant about that too :slight_smile: The new one doesn’t work with catch-alls and making the old one work is no longer a priority. I didn’t even know about catch-alls until I got dreamhost, and seven years later here I am being told by DH not to use them and that a new feature is being implemented which intentionally, specifically excludes users who used the default settings.


#12

Samba is still listed as a feature in these ads:

http://www.dreamhost.com/rewardsicons.html

Might want to update those :slight_smile: