Web Connection
Runaway server processes under .NET Handler
Gravatar is a globally recognized avatar based on your email address. Runaway server processes under .NET Handler
  Stein Goering
  All
  May 13, 2022 @ 01:12pm

Getting odd behavior at one of our customer sites after switching them from ISAPI to .NET. We start the app, things work fine for a while, then pages start timing out with this error:

Unknown application error
Server aw3.acewebserver[4] failed to start in time.

Bringing up Task Manager from the server console shows an absurd number of active processes: There's no issue with COM server instances in the Handler Status Page: Though attempting to reload COM servers also throws an error.

It would appear the customer mucked something up when doing the .NET switch but I'm not sure what to have them look at. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

--stein

Gravatar is a globally recognized avatar based on your email address. re: Runaway server processes under .NET Handler
  Rick Strahl
  Stein Goering
  May 16, 2022 @ 08:56am

Unloading COM servers should release all instances, including ones that aren't currently active as it does a force reload after servers have been released via COM reference unload.

If that doesn't work here's another trick to unload all instances:

  • Briefly switch to File Mode
  • Go click on Unload Servers

This will unload all EXEs that are loaded for your server.

If you have this many instances it might be that there is perhaps another configuration being accessed and launching in file mode perhaps?

Orphaned instances either come from file mode launches, or from hard crashes of the IIS Worker process (the Application Pool) that prevents Web Connection from shutting down server instances as the server shuts down. If the latter is the case you should probably see some errors in the Web Connection server log (in the temp folder).

+++ Rick ---

Gravatar is a globally recognized avatar based on your email address. re: Runaway server processes under .NET Handler
  Stein Goering
  Rick Strahl
  May 17, 2022 @ 07:49pm

So when I asked the tech to check wcerrors.txt in C:\temp\WC he reported that there was no such folder. I had him create a folder with the proper permissions so we'd at least have a log file to check. But as soon as that was done, we stopped seeing those extra processes.

Evidently each attempt to write a log entry to a nonexistent location was generating an orphaned instance. After enough of those the system would bog down and we'd have to clear them. (BTW, that tip about switching to File Mode to unload the servers worked great - though hopefully we won't need to use it anymore.)

Thanks,

--stein

Gravatar is a globally recognized avatar based on your email address. re: Runaway server processes under .NET Handler
  Rick Strahl
  Stein Goering
  May 18, 2022 @ 03:00pm

This is in .NET Mode?

I would expect an exception in the handler, but not a crash that would fail and hang if the file can't be written to. Odd... But - the temp folder access is crucial for error handling so it's definitely a requirement.

WWWC will always try to create the file and folder if it doesn't exist, but if there's no permissions to do that that's not going to work obviously 😄

+++ Rick ---

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