Spacey Cluster Move


I got an email from DreamHost that says:

[quote]Due to space and power constraints in our primary datacenter we are moving
the entire shared cluster “spacey” to our LAX facility at 10:00PM PST (GMT

  • 8), two weeks from today, Friday, November 30th 2007. All webservers,
    mail servers, file servers, and MySQL servers in the spacey cluster will
    be unreachable during the move, which we expect to take approximately 8 hours.[/quote]
    2 questions:
  1. Is it possible to upload a small temporary page for my visitors to see during the downtime so they’ll know what’s going on and won’t panic?

  2. 8 hours is quite a long downtime. Is DreamHost going to compensate me for this downtime? I’m paying $8.95 per month for my hosting, so if I did the math right, they owe me $0.10.


1. No. That’s something you’d need to setup yourself. I suggest looking around google to pick-up a free, temporary host to show a “Site Down” (or whatever) message. You’ll still be able to use your control panel so you should be able to redirect your site to that.

2. No. Read the TOS. They offer no “Uptime Moneyback Guarantee” here.

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Is it possible to set up my site so that all pages redirect to the same “site down” message? If I’m not mistaken, the way redirects normally work is if redirects to, then would redirect to That would be a problem because the home page only gets 1.5% of my website’s total hits. Is there any easy solution?


I’m curious. What free hosting you suggest ? Can we set up third nameserver to that free hosting so when our site down they are looking for 3rd nameserver which point to our free host ?


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No you can’t (name servers don’t work that way) unfortunately and likewise I can’t recommend any specific free hosts as I personally have no need for such a setup, it was merely an idea.

What you guys might do, just before the move, is setup a C record for your domain (instead of the default A record) and point that to your free host addy (assuming it’s a subdomain) and then on whatever free host you’re using you could setup an .htaccess file with a rewrite rule in place to redirect any requests to the default “Sorry we’re down” page.
You’d have to actually find a free host that allows you to setup an .htaccess file which also has mod_rewrite enabled, but I imagine there has to be some out there. There are a lot “if’s” in this suggestion as they’re all based off of assumptions that your free host provider will give you a subdomain and allow you to use .htaccess and mod_rewrite. Hence it’d take you ages to even find a free host that offers those exact features.

Another possibility which would be much easier, but is not completely free ($25/yr), would be to again setup your primary domain with a C record and point it to a registered domain name (You have to be using their “Plus” package to use the “Offline” features). Their offline feature will redirect any requests to either another host or an “offline” page of your choosing. If I needed redundancy, I’d probably go that route myself, as it’d be a lot more reliable than a free host.

Chips N Cheese - Custom PHP installs and the like!


Instead of jumping through hoops as described, it would be nice if DH offered a “temporarily down for maintenance” page to affected domains for scheduled outages.

Don’t know how difficult this would be to implement, or if it provides significant value to us as customers. Better for visitors to know the site is down, and not gone. It is just a thought…



See if someone has already suggested such a thing in the Home -> Suggestions section of the panel. I don’t see such a thing listed, but if it’s not there, then you can submit a suggestion.



Finding a free host isn’t a problem for me. I have friends who have websites, so I’m sure I can find someone who’s willing to host the page and .htaccess file for me.

Sorry if this is a stupid question, but what’s a C record and how do I set it up? And how do I write the rewrite rule? I checked a tutorial already, but it seems kind of complicated.


Extra capacity or redundancy would be better. So they could have shorter down times. I’d vote for that instead fo Green Hosting.