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Phone Browser Users get "HTTP Error 504: Gateway Timeout" - PC Browser Users do not have this problem

Posted on 2009-04-02
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Last Modified: 2013-12-20
The application in question is written in Coldfusion 8 and has been used by office staff (PC Browser) and engineers (Mobile Phone Browser) without any problems of this natire. No changes were made to the application but this morning, all Mobile Phone Browser users got "The server, while acting as a gateway or proxy, did not receive a timely response from the upstream server it accessed in attempting to complete the request." when they tried to logon.

To try to isolate the problem I made a few tests:

i) PC Users have no problems accessing the application
ii) Mobile Phone Users can access a simple "hello_world.htm" page
iii) Mobile Phone Users can access the logon challenge page
iv) If Mobile Phone Users make a logon error the logon test page works fine and returns the user to logon challenge
v) Mobile Phone Users cannot access the application if they logon correctly

My HUNCH is that there is a server between the Mobile Phone and the webserver that is (has recently become) very sensitive to the time it takes to build a page on the webserver. Point i) above indicates that the webserver does not have a problem. Points ii) to v) above are examples of pages with increasing complexity that will take increasingly more time to build.

Any insights will be appreciated!

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Question by:simonlea
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azadisaryev earned 500 total points
ID: 24050873
are all mobile users with the same carrier?  maybe check with the carrier if they have started implementing a proxy server or some data channeling or something like that for all mobile data connections... ask them if there is a way to by-pass their proxies or if there is any particular upstream server response the proxy expects to keep the connection alive...

not that i really know what i am talking about, just some common-sense suggestions...

Azadi
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Author Comment

by:simonlea
ID: 24051023
Thanks Azadi,

I have already asked our Infrastructure specialist to start this dialogue and your "common-sense" post is appreciated and will get the points if we solve things this way! I'm throwing this open to expert advice just because I don't want to miss anything obvious. I will leave things open until we get a resolution so other expert comment is still very welcome.

Simon
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Author Comment

by:simonlea
ID: 24051464
Interesting feedback from my client just now. An engineer who uses a LAPTOP with a Vodafone "dongle" to make a connection also experienced the same problem. Mobile phones are also Vodafone. I have been testing all day with my regular (quite slow) BT Internet broadband with no problems and no LAN (inside Firewall) users have reported a problem. Two Mobile Phone users have reported sucessful connections today - but both at times when the webserver would be lightly used (earlier today immediately after a re-boot and later today when the webserver is lightly loaded). Working hypothesis is that Vodafone has a server that has become hyper-sensitive to delays from upstream servers (e.g. our web server). I am way outside my domain of knowledge here - just using logic - so posts from experts still very welcome.
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:azadisaryev
ID: 24051710
did you check your cf server logs for any clues?

Azadi
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Author Comment

by:simonlea
ID: 24218068
We have handed this over to the phone provider. Latest guess is that the problem is to do with network coverage. The problem is not fixed but the application does not seem to be at fault. I have awarded the points to Azadi.
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Author Closing Comment

by:simonlea
ID: 31565827
Thanks for your help. It does not appear to be an application problem.
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