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Subject DO NOT REPLY [Bug 48301] Feature request: improved connection status reporting
Date Tue, 04 May 2010 15:55:14 GMT

--- Comment #4 from alanj <> 2010-05-04 11:55:10 EDT ---

Let me expand on the sort of cases where the server aborts the connection. I
will outline both the technical details and the business requirements to give
the issue some overall context.

A lot of companies now use the web to allow end users to download software and
this typically results in the end user's browser initiating a GET request which
 results in a response containing the software. For a company this means their
web site and back end web server is of extreme importance in serving their user

The HTTP response containing the software download may take a long time to
complete depending on the size of the download, the network latency and
bandwidth between the client and server.

If the connection is terminated, "X" appears in the access log but it's not
possible to know if the client terminated the connection or the server
terminated it.

If the client terminated the connection, well that's OK - it's a user initiated
decision, however if the server terminated it then it can indicate an
underlying problem with the Apache configuration or supporting infrastructure
which should be addressed. So it's very important to know whether it's client
or server initiated.

Some scenarios in which the server can terminate the connection are as follows:

(1) the client is on a high latency, low bandwidth connection (such as a modem)
and during the download it experiences periodic intervals in which no TCP ACK
is sent due to congestion as it attempts to empty its local receive buffer. If
the Apache Timeout directive is set too low in this situation then the Server
terminates the connection.

(2) when multiple clients are downloading simultaneously it's possible that
they may cause the bandwidth allocation of the web servers to reach capacity.
In this situation the Server terminates the connection as it cant receive a TCP
ACK due to congestion.

In the first scenario a change to the Apache config is required, in the second
an infrastructure upgrade may be required, but the important aspect is that the
network termination is due to an issue within the server domain and is not user

It may be true that in a lot of instances this type of abort does not appear
often but it also true that when it occurs it should be easily detected and the
desired metrics should be available to facilitate this.

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