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18. Server Software > How Servers Fail

How Servers Fail

A preforking server with a fixed maximum number of processes (for example, the MaxClientsparameter in Apache’s httpd.conf ) handles that many clients at one time, and no more. Additional requests are not picked off the operating system’s TCP listen queue by the server, and the user is met with an annoying hang in the browser. Once the listen queue is full, clients may still hang waiting for the OS-level connections to be completed. The ignored connections have no impact on the server’s ability to handle the requests that it does accept. Similarly, threaded servers hit the maximum number of threads (for example, the MaxThreadsparameter in Netscape Enterprise’s magnus.conf ) and refuse to service any more. I wish the server would send an immediate reset to the browser, but I haven’t been able to get that to happen.


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