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From Sam Crawford <samcrawf...@gmail.com>
Subject Gracefully handling half-closed connections (encore!)
Date Tue, 14 Apr 2009 13:20:16 GMT
Afternoon all,
A few months back we had an issue with handling half closed TCP connections
with HttpClient, and at the time I was advised to include something akin to
the IdleConnectionEvictor - which we did and it's working very nicely in
nearly all scenarios.

However, in the past few days we've encountered a few WebLogic based hosts
that aren't playing fair.

The following is one (extreme) example of the issue we're encountering:

Time (ms)    TCP action
0.0000         Client > Server [SYN]
0.5634         Server > Client [SYN,ACK]
1.2092         Client > Server [ACK]          <-- TCP session established
312.5276         Server > Client [FIN,ACK]
313.1309         Client > Server [ACK]
401.5089         Client > Server [HTTP POST /blah]
403.2986         Server > Client [RST]

In the above example, the server closes its side of the connection only
300ms after establishment (by sending the FIN). (As an aside I'm curious as
to why HttpClient is taking 400ms after the TCP connection has been
established to send the request - any suggestions are also much appreciated,
but this doesn't happen often).

But the above is an extreme example. We see other cases where the WebLogic
server is closing the connection of a keep-alive connection around 10-15
seconds after the last request. Our IdleConnectionEvictor doesn't run that
often, so we end up with unusable connections. We could just run
IdleConnectionEvictor more often, but that's not really desirable.

I'm going to be digging into the WebLogic side of things this afternoon (to
see if there's any limits we can modify there), but it does seem as though
there should be a nice way for HttpClient to detect such cases. I've got
stale connection checking enabled already by the way.

I'm interested in any feedback/ideas here! I can include a wire capture as
an example if it would be helpful.

Thanks again,


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