Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tomcat keystore : too many open files - Continued

Further to my last post, it seems there was another, larger underlaying problem that was causing the exceptionally high number of connections to our servers. One of our clients "required" (I use that term loosely because they really didn't the information) extra information for transactions that was not included in the optimized change metadata that they had been instructed to query for in order to update their transactions. So instead of just querying for the update metadata, they would do that, and then they'd query for each individual transaction. Assume we page our metadata at 100 transactions / page. For example, if we were to have a batch of 800 transactions submitted by the client, instead of making 800 / 100 = 8 calls to our server to update the transactions in the batch, they'd have 8 + (800 * 1) = 808 calls to update their system. They were effectively launching a Denial of Service attack on our servers each time they wanted to update a batch of transactions. Needless to say I consulted with them on the issue and updated our change metadata to include the information they "need" (which they've already got in their system), and they've updated their system to take the number of requests down to the proper level to update their transactions. So let this be a lesson to anybody reading this blog post that has to develop systems that deal with external clients : ensure your clients fully understand the purpose and intent of all the features of our system before they start developing for it and using it.

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