Magento and Amazon RDS - timeouts

I have a Magento CE 1.7 installation on an Amazon EC2 instance with the Magento database on an Amazon RDS Large database instance. Generally things seems to be configured ok.

However, when performing bulk import operations I am hitting some sort of 120 second failure. I kick off the import process and exactly 120 seconds in Chrome tells me:

Error 324 (net::ERR_EMPTY_RESPONSE): The server closed the connection without sending any data

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Sure enough the import has failed.

I have tried the often given advice of the php.ini settings:
memory_limit = 256M

max_execution_time = 1800

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But they don't fix it. I have tuned a number of RDS Parameter Group settings as well:

innodb_lock_wait_timeout=120

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for example - but again no success.

It is clear that there is some hard-coded 120 second limit somewhere (i've timed it many times!) but i cannot work out what parameter is causing the issue.

I have tried cutting up the import file into small sections and it runs just fine when i do that. So its not input data related either

Any help much appreciated - have pushed 2 days into this issue already :(

TIA!
arndale65Asked:
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GaryCommented:
This related issue
https://forums.aws.amazon.com/thread.jspa?threadID=33427

with a 'solution' but not a proper solution
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GaryCommented:
Have you looked at Magmi - may not solve the timeout but it is sure damn faster than using native Magento import.
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Ess KayEntrapenuerCommented:
htaccess?
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arndale65Author Commented:
GaryC123 -
I have tried an alternative to Magmi (another bulk import module) and that also hits to 120 second limit - thanks for the suggestion though

esskayb2d -
Yes i have tried the htaccess and php.ini for the parameters i mention in the post - same result - but thanks for the suggestion
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Ess KayEntrapenuerCommented:
try switching the php version
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arndale65Author Commented:
Yes the issue was around the related issue. Work around i have put in place is for back end access (i.e. for large batch jobs of any flavour) to be on a separate, directly addressable via  EIP sub-domain. Thanks a million for the pointer.
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