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Evidently, just another Dreamhost trainwreck.

August 5, 2008

Well, so here’s the deal. It’s time I put this freaking blog to some use.

Hostfile.org, falconfour.com, whatismyrdns.com, and blockbusterforum.net (which I’m hoping to sell soon… hint hint) are domains I’m running off my Dreamhost account.

Curious what happened to Hostfile? Well, I’m sure most people are.
8/1/2008 7:56 AM: Dreamhost sends me an email.

We are contacting you to inform you that we have had to throttle the connections to your site (hostfile.org) as it was causing the apache server you are on to run out of available connection slots. While we attempt to avoid disruption of customer services in this case it was causing problems for other users so we were forced to take action. If you can redesign your site to be less process-intensive (we only throttle sites when they are causing load in the server in addition to having many connections – if you just have static content for example that’s easy for the machine to serve up and we can just give you more connections) we’ll be happy to review the case for you. It is also possible that you have outgrown shared hosting and are ready for your own private server:

http://dreamhostps.com

If you are interested in that option please contact support with any questions you have any we’ll be happy to assist you.

Please note the Dreamhost PS spam, and lack of information on what the hell was really done – i.e. what limitations. They were obviously pretty badly executed, because I couldn’t get to the site at all (503 Resource Temporarily Unavailable). Shit on that.

So the first thing I did was basically decide I’d had enough of Hostfile’s problems. I decided to close down the site, and temporarily serve an error message for all files. I wrote up the page, saved it via FTP (which still works fine), and changed the .htaccess file to redirect files there, instead of the file script. That at least brought the site somewhat up, except for the fact that each loaded page took 1-2 seconds to load, which obviously wasted all 5 (unknown at the time) connections for a single load. I emailed them back and told them all this.

Finally, several hours later I got a reply saying that, well, yeah, they did limit the connections (no shit), down to 5 simultaneous connections. Hmm, that’s a little fucking low, you think? Also had about 1/4 info, 3/4 Dreamhost PS spam (in very salesman-y prose). I email them back (after giving a “proper” rating on their support survey), and re-explain the problem in no uncertain terms.

I finally get another reply on 8/2/2008 5:10 PM:

Hello,

“Right now there are _no_ files being served. The site is at a standstill. Yet I continuously get 503 errors because of the page loading time”

The errors you’re getting have nothing to do with page “loading time”, so our servers aren’t quite as “terrible” as you make them out to be. You’re being limited by the number of connections/second, number of concurrent connections, and amount of throughput on the apache. I raised your limit to 50mbs, 50 connections per second, and 50 concurrent connections. If you’re still hitting that, then you’ll need to use an htacess file to block all traffic but your own, then you can work on your site.

Thanks!
B**** H

Yeah, well, the site’s still screwed up. 503 errors everywhere. I checked the log and there is no way I’m hitting 50 connections at all. There aren’t that many requests. So, I… as suggested, block everyone but me (hence the 403 errors for several hours). Still 503 for me. NO connections except my own, and 403. I guess they forgot to put the FIVE before the zero, and set ZERO connections for my site.

Fuming, I send another email, which hasn’t yet been replied to. I go into the panel and start a new support email, since from there I can assign the priority of “OMG everything is broken! People are DYING!” (no, really, it says that – actually, that’s one of the parts of Dreamhost I like). So I sent a second message with a higher priority.

I get up the next morning to see two automated emails saying that they had been assigned to a specific person, and that it may, in rare cases, take more than 24 hours to get back to me. Hmm, well… it’s been well over 24 hours since that message… WHAT THE HELL IS THE HOLDUP?!

So yeah, Dreamhost (lol nightmarehost) has fucked me all around backwards. But at least my personal site (hence this blog) is still online, and I was able to turn Hostfile.org into a full blown web redirect to my home desktop PC, which is now serving many files for Hostfile. Damn this crap is annoying.

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