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Why would my HTTP Header packets be much larger for my remote users?

Posted on 2010-11-15
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
Greetings,

I manage a Documentum based java application that appears to be making much larger Cookie data in the HTTP headers for some users.  Specifically users overseas that have
Accept-Language: en-us,es;q=0.5

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set in IE 6 / Windows.  I think there may be an application firewall or client configuration that causes much larger HTTP packets for these users than local LAN users.

Of specific note is the Cookie data in the packets.  The en, es users in Puerto Rico seem to have much more data in the Cookie portion of the packet , which is making more packets, and contributing to latency.

Here's the cookie portion for a US Mainland user followed by a user in PR:

US:
Cookie: d6_wdk_pref0=eJxTMTS3TUvMKU61UVQxNLYFkibGtiVFqXkplUC2gTlIxNAUocQMzjSytLUyNLGw1Ckoyk9JTM/MB0kb2iLxDAxtkxOLE1OKDYEcUxPb0GB959S8kqLEHBtFANdJIkg.; JSESSIONID=463757EA5A4B0117BC527B457455AEB8; wdk_sess_cookie_0=eJxTMTGzzSvNydEDETaKKiYWtsUlRamJuTmZeakgvrmtiZmxuam5q6Opo4mTgaGhuZOzqZG5k4mpuYmpqaOrkwVQlYGhbXJicWJKsSFIi6WtjSIAUnIXXA..; appname=prodagio_ap; lockFresh=free; allFreshClient=%%cookieTS__client1##1288713288412%%__dmfFreshClient__client1##stale%%__dmfFreshForm__client1##1288713288411

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For a PR user:
Cookie: d6_wdk_pref0=eJyNkU1uwjAQhc+ClCVq7QRIqPCCig0bFnAA5NiTyKr/ajuo6elr0oQ2UNpurJnn8RvPN3iR5zizzjDw3hnuhE9RSf0LhCPnkqACpUWV4gLhZV5WxWqSzDISHGjexhjlZDXBnYeD1wZ8MG5wsbSGoxfvQtedFUZD6VU7ZmSj9NGDBBaE0eQQaGj8VNIS5IPQJyMYPHd/6jV4Y2DPpXug3uheZUYp0GF4qAwXVbuhAcZOt8quUSW4sbZWptFDP2tGJac4vXFbPkp3VF3ZHpoytBYuHvuBUK+4q7yiTEgR2lEvK2n8xroD4yPxdEme8KxYTiNETmth7kD9iX6CMBnuYzafkbUCJxh93EBwRoQo4jxut4G7W/3XskbwfoH8bRU327oPuYfxN7XP2NtabjWPY8YxzhNm5HzO+zkTvLhEmHxRTdKMMEm9F2w1+QBcLSDv; JSESSIONID=3C11293391614CC4605AFCAFAA0FE464; wdk_sess_cookie_0=eJxTMTGzzSvNydEDETaKKiYWtsk5icXFmckgjrmtsbOhoZGlsbGloZmhibOziZmBqaObs6Obo6OBm6uJmQlQlYGhbVF+SlFmsZEBSI+lrY0iAACHFnA.; appname=prodagio_ap; timeoutHandler3C11293391614CC4605AFCAFAA0FE464=1288715029743; lockFresh=free; allFreshClient=%%cookieTS__client2##1288714924368%%__dmfFreshClient__client2##stale%%__dmfFreshForm__client2##1288714924367

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Question by:eggm4n
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giltjr earned 500 total points
ID: 34144940
What is the cookie d6_wdk_pref0?

Just taking a wild guess it has something to do with user preferences.  Which if that is what it means, just means that the remote user has difference preferences specified.

I also noticed that PR user has a cookie that appears to be sometype of session timeout tracker/handler:

     timeoutHandler3C11293391614CC4605AFCAFAA0FE464

Also not sure if the PR user had had multiple sessions, but it also has cookes that refer to client2 vs. the US's session that has client1.

Is there client side code for this application?  If so the client1 vs. client2 could be the version of the client code and since PR has client2 this user may have new client code that has different preferences which makes the preference cookie larger and could have code to handle timeouts.
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by:eggm4n
ID: 34146467
This is great feedback.  I'm taking this to my dev team today.  So far I've confirmed that there was a recent upgrade and some client code may be old, and that d6_wdk_pref0 is indeed a user preference string.

My other question would now be, is this typical of a web application to have all of this cookie data in every HTTP Header GET?
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Expert Comment

by:giltjr
ID: 34148047
Cookies must be returned with every request from the browser.  This is how the server identifies each unique browser session.  Is not the application that does this, its the browser.  

Otherwise the server would not be able to tell the difference from my request and your request.
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Author Closing Comment

by:eggm4n
ID: 34157922
Thanks for the advice!
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