Dreamhost: Generators Caught Fire

OK, Dreamhost has had two outages due to power outages this week. Lots and lots of people are mad. Luckily this is the only site I host with Dreamhost, and this site doesn’t really matter so it doesn’t really upset me.

However, there are lots of people who try to run a business with Dreamhost. They either use Dreamhost to serve their company website or they resell web hosting. In either case, having two large periods of unexpected downtime in two weeks will have a negative impact on business.

On the Dreamhost Status blog, there was mention of a generator catching fire. The mention of the fire is no longer on the Dreamhost Status blog, but I copied the entire text of the post and quoted it at the Slackware Blog.

There has apparently been another power outage at the datacenter. One of the generators caught fire and they were taken offline. We’re waiting for more information and we’ll post here as soon as we hear anything.

I posted some stuff about the outage on the Slackware Blog, including some links to some comments made by some upset customers:

Lots of customers are pissed off, as they probably should be. Those links are to customers comments on the most recent post at the DreamHost Blog. I’m lucky enough that the only sites I have there are personal and don’t really matter. I feel for the people trying to run a business with Dreamhost. I had problems at work with Bluehost, but nothing like this.

One customer thinks Dreamhost should demand compensation from the datacenter in LA for the recent downtime:

I think Dreamhost should look at demanding compensation from the datacentre – and passing that onto affected customers.

A datacentre which says it provides “one of the most sophisticated, redundant power systems in all of Los Angeles” should never have this sort of problems. Sure – I can understand one power outage disaster (accidents happen), but TWO in the space of a week is just unacceptable.

Sounds like a good idea to me. There’s lots of interesting comments at the most recent post on the Dreamhost Blog. Most of the comments are pretty negative and a fair number suggest they’re going to drop Dreamhost and go elsewhere.


Well, now what?

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8 thoughts on “Dreamhost: Generators Caught Fire

  1. Wow – I can’t believe how quickly my comments are spreading across the internet. But seriously, these outages must be causing some financial damage to customers who are using Dreamhost’s services for business purposes. Luckily I only host personal and non-profit websites on my account, so it doesn’t really have a significant impact on me. In any case – two power outages in one week from a so called reputable datacentre is simply unacceptable, and compensation should definetely be on the cards.

  2. Oddly, I like your blog.

    One thing folks who have been around of “top” datacenters know is that if they haven’t ever failed, or haven’t failed in at least 5 years, they’re about to fail. It just happens.

    365 Main is a great datacenter, built like one of the best I’ve seen, and it failed. A stupid alarm monitor got faulty and somehow was able to create an Emergency Power Off situation. Nothing was actually wrong, ironically.

    The Westin building in Seattle holds a bunch of tennents and it lost power. Equinix in Chicago has had a major outage last year or so which then got worse when the generators flunked. Datacenters in NYC after 9/11 either failed over to generator only to have their HVAC get clogged, run out of fuel, or a myriad of other problems that happen when you run on GenSets for a long period of time.

    Bottom line, every datacenter loses power. I’d rather be in a datacenter that just lost power than one that hasn’t in seven years, even though, and is proof in the above, statistically I’m no better off. 🙂

    Actually, I’d like to be in a bunch of datacenters, anycasted. Oh wait. 🙂

  3. Yes – you have a point about datacentres inevitably failing. But doing a search on Google shows that Dreamhost had an incredibly similar incident last year, and the fact that there have been two major power outages in the last week is simply unacceptable. They posted information on their update pages that engineers had identified the problems, and had replaced potentially faulty components of the redundant power system.

    I’m happy to accept that equipment fails sometime – but failing after they took action to prevent it happening again simply isn’t right. Failing twice in a week, and less than a year after the previous failure where assurances were made that it should “never” happen again is just ridiculous. http://www.hojohnlee.com/weblog/archives/2005/09/13/more-on-dreamhost-and-media-temple-power-outage/

  4. David, I think you’re one of the first people to “like” my blog. I tend to offend people, whether it be due to a tech post or a political post, people like to hate me. OK, OK, I may try to antagonize certain groups in certain posts, but it provides for entertaining comments. 🙂

  5. Lots of incredibly good reading here, many thanks! I had been searching on yahoo when I observed your article, I’m going to add your feed to Google Reader, I look forward to additional from you.


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