A New Year’s Resolution

New Year Clock

We have always worked hard to provide the best hosting service you can get for the money and we’ve been pioneers in offering many unique features such as Jabber IM, WebDAV, Subversion, Phusion Passenger, and our One-Click Installer for popular web applications.  We love to play with all the newest Internet toys and provide them for you to play with also.  Our attention to all the “shiny new things” can sometimes distract us from the more fundamental aspects of our service, though, and that’s why…

The DreamHost New Year’s Resolution for 2010 is a renewed focus on performance and reliability.  Over the last few years, we have grown in leaps and bounds and our customers’ expectations of our service have grown along with it.  We have not always kept up with those expectations, and we need to put some energy into improving that.

Yesterday, I spent some time looking back at the past few years.  We’ve had our share of ups and downs and many of our loyal customers have stuck with us through it all.  We couldn’t ask for a better group of people to work for than you.  So, looking forward, we’re going to update our methods and systems to provide a more consistently high level of service.

Here’s some of the areas we’ve already improved on, and things we will be doing over the next several months…

  • We are now using a more flexible storage system so we can easily keep up with your awesome demand for data storage.
  • Additionally, our open-source next generation file system called Ceph is coming along nicely and will provide a great platform for our network storage needs in the future.
  • A lot of work has been done over the past year on optimizing and better organizing our network infrastructure.  Everything being done is laying the groundwork for major future improvements in the works.
  • By purchasing a major interest in Alchemy, our data center provider, we can rest easy knowing the relationship will be mutually beneficial for a long time.  Our system administrators are very happy to know that we will not be moving data centers again for the forseeable future.  We have plenty of spare data center space available and will be able to grow capacity at a comfortable pace.
  • Our network connectivity has always been redundant but we’re going to kick that up another notch this year as we go multi-homed.  Once this is in place we’ll be able to withstand the loss an entire network point of presence without losing connectivity.
  • We developed an internal system to help us manage individual server stability by improving communication and reducing wasted effort.
  • We have deployed Ksplice Uptrack across our system, making mass server reboots for kernel security holes a thing of the past.  The Linux kernel has been hit with a couple of high profile security exploits in the past few months and we found ourselves scrambling to patch and reboot quickly.  Never again!
  • We have a new mantra, “test, test, test”.  Some amount of testing has always been part of our procedures, but we are now making testing a fundamental component.
  • Increased focus is being put on optimizing our procedures at all levels to reduce duplicated effort and errors, while also increasing accountability.  This is not something that happens overnight and it will be an ongoing process.

Having now solved our most distracting problems from the recent past, DreamHost is now positioned to tackle the future better than at any time in our history.  It won’t be easy but we have the best team in the business and a few new tricks up our sleeves on top of it.  And with that, we wish you all a very happy new year and a great 2010 (twenty-ten!).