DreamHost Migration Snafu Causes Outages

Network problems during a data center migration have caused lengthy downtime for customer of DreamHost this week. The Los Angeles shared hosting provider recently moved servers to Alchemy Communications after making a large equity investment in the company.

Shared hosting provider DreamHost has managed a lot of data center migrations over the years as it switched among Los Angeles colocation providers, some of whom were acquired along the way. The fast-growing company has opted not to build its own data center, but recently decided to take a large equity investment in Alchemy Communications and move the rest of its gear into an Alchemy facility.

So now DreamHost owns a bigger chunk of the problem, as the data center migration went poorly, with network problems leaving many customers offline for days. Additional details are available at The WHIR and the DreamHost status page.


"Never ones to be stared down, we got pretty good over the years at moving data centers," DreamHost's Josh Jones writes. "In fact, being unafraid to move data centers may actually have turned out to be one of our biggest competitive advantages. Of course, it may have been one of our biggest distractions too. Moving data centers has become such a huge deal that the planning for moving even just a third of our footprint now occupies our entire system admin team for the better part of a year."

DreamHost isn't the first provider to se a data center migration go awry, as ValueWeb and NaviSite can attest. But by this time, ongoing DreamHost customers must be accustomed to outages and overbilling, and newer customers who can use Google have plenty of information about the company's track record. DreamHost's continued growth suggests that despite predictions that cloud computing will make shared hosting obsolete, the cheap web hosting account will remain popular.

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