Load balancing server retry interval

ehudros2 nginx-forum at nginx.us
Tue Jan 4 18:41:13 MSK 2011

Hi everyone,
I'm setting up a load balancer with 2 backend servers using the
following configuration:
upstream backend{
        server max_fails=3  fail_timeout=20s;
        server max_fails=3  fail_timeout=20s;

location / {
        proxy_set_header Host $host;
        proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
        proxy_pass http://backend;
        proxy_read_timeout 20;
        proxy_connect_timeout 10;
        proxy_pass_header Set-Cookie;

When I bring one of the servers down for testing, I get a behavior that
is a bit odd. The first 3 requests timeout, and transfer to the second
After that, for 20 seconds, all requests automatically transfer to the
second server (as the first one is flagged as down).
However, after these 20 seconds pass, the server status is reset and all
requests are directed to it until it fails again.

The documentation says fail_timeout is also used as the interval before
another check is made, and that leads me to believe this behavior is by
design. The problem is, when 20 seconds have passed (and ip_hash is
activated) all users who were assigned to the failed server are directed
to it again, having their requests hang until they timeout again. 

Am I supposed to use a larger fail_timeout to imply a longer failed
status? It seems odd that nginx assumes a server is back up and waits
until it fails again (instead of checking in the background if it's back
online and only then set it to healthy).

Posted at Nginx Forum: http://forum.nginx.org/read.php?2,163404,163404#msg-163404

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