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PHP Webpage Persistence Load balancing problem

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I'm having a webpage Persistence problem, it is intermittent. I suspect it is caused by load-balancing. Specifically:
Users are connected to a webpage form to complete. Generally, everything is OK if they take a minute or even more to complete the form. However, sometimes they report to me, and I've seen it myself, the connection has been dropped by the server in a short time. They enter the data and Submit it to the server, and the page just reloads and their data is lost.

I have the PHP ignore_user_abort(true); etc. Is there anything I can do to fix this or is it a server issue that you must fix?

posted May 29, 2013 by anonymous

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2 Answers

0 votes

Are you using sessions for persistence? If so, is your session storage in a location that is shared between servers behind the load balancer? (Shared network path, database, etc.)

answer May 29, 2013 by anonymous
0 votes

Well, either way, it would be up to you to fix it. We wouldn't have anything to do with the server (well, unless you were hosted with my company, but the PHP project itself isn't any way related to the corporate stuff). Of course, it could just be the ambiguity of the term "you" in the sentence throwing me off here.

That said, is this a standard HTML page displayed in a normal, modern-era browser, or is there a different frontend, such as Flash, a mobile client, an API, or something of the sort? And is the page being timed-out with JavaScript, or simply timing out with the sessions?

Lastly, if you suspect that it is the load-balancing, and the balancer isn't capable of persistence itself (such as if you're using round-robin), and sessions themselves are breaking, it's probably because you're relying on file-based sessions, which do not (by default) synchronize between servers. Instead, you'll need to centralize your sessions in a database, memcached, or similar option.

For some hints on session management and how you can manage it across server clusters, check out the session_set_save_handler() function http://php.net/session_set_save_handler

answer May 29, 2013 by anonymous
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