Monthly Gateway Timeout

Maxim Dounin mdounin at
Fri Mar 4 13:02:56 MSK 2011


On Fri, Mar 04, 2011 at 04:12:59AM -0500, Marc Kramis wrote:

> Hi All
> I'm experiencing a very strange network problem that occurs every four
> to six weeks and lasts for approximately one hour. I can not manually
> provoke the problem and, during this very hour, I can not resolve it
> even with rebooting the server. Even stranger, two physically separated
> servers suffer from the same problem at the same time. Both servers use
> nginx as SSL reverse proxy. Each server has disjunct domains to handle.
> During one hour, we just see: Nginx - Gateway Timout. After one hour, it
> suddenly works again. It started around four months ago. Note that all
> other network traffic is not affected, only nginx HTTPS and HTTP.
> So, what's in common with both servers:
> 1) Hardware (UltraSPARC T2 Plus).

Some endianness issue?...

> 2) OS (Solaris 10 U9 latest patch level).
> 3) Time (both servers use the exact same NTP-controlled time).
> 4) Switch.
> 5) Firewall (I replaced the firewall four weeks ago, the error still
> just appeared).
> 6) Nginx 0.8.46-0.8.54, same configuration but for different domains
> internally hosted at different servers, compiled with Solaris OpenSSL.
> I observed that nginx, during this mysterious hour, mistakenly proxies
> the requests back to the original IP on random ports instead of the
> proxy IP and that these requests are blocked by the firewall.
> Because two different machines are affected at the same time and it
> cannot be resolved by a restart of nginx or a reboot of the whole
> server, and it resolves itself after approximately one hour, my guess is
> that some time-dependent error occurs in nginx.
> I will replace nginx with apache to verify the problem actually is nginx
> and not the OS, switch are whatever and then wait and hope :-)
> Does anyone have an idea how to locate or investigate this problem?

You may want to follow and provide 
config and debug log (if you are able to obtain one), as well as 
nginx -V output.  This may help to investigate the problem if the 
issue is actually in nginx.

Maxim Dounin

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