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CSS Session persistence over SSL

Hi,

One of our customers is having a major problem with their Oracle ERP system which we are hosting for them. They have a high priority service request open which Oracle, who believe that our Cisco CSS 11501 load balancers has a problem with session persistence which causes timeouts for the clients.

The customer is using HTTPS from the clients to the servers and the load balancers do not terminate the SSL, but load balance the requests to four different servers. After requests from Oracle we have increased the flow-timeout-multiplier from our initial configuration of "6" to "1800", which corresponds to 8 hours.

I have listed what I believe is the relavant part of the configuration below. I would very much appreciate if someone could confirm if this is a good setup or if any changes are required. We are using version 08.10.4.01 on the CSS 11501s.


service server1.example.com-8100
  ip address 192.168.11.21
  protocol tcp
  port 8100
  keepalive type tcp
  active

service server2.example.com-8100
  ip address 192.168.11.22
  protocol tcp
  port 8100
  keepalive type tcp
  active

service server3.example.com-8100
  ip address 192.168.11.23
  protocol tcp
  port 8100
  keepalive type tcp
  active

service server4.example.com-8100
  ip address 192.168.11.24
  protocol tcp
  port 8100
  keepalive type tcp
  active

owner Example
  content www.example.com-8100
    primarySorryServer server5.example.com-8101
    vip address 192.168.14.20
    add service server1.example.com-8100
    add service server2.example.com-8100
    add service server3.example.com-8100
    add service server4.example.com-8100
    application ssl
    protocol tcp
    port 8100
    advanced-balance ssl
    flow-timeout-multiplier 1800
    active

group www.example.com-nat
  vip address 192.168.21.30
  add destination service server1.example.com-8100
  add destination service server2.example.com-8100
  add destination service server3.example.com-8100
  add destination service server4.example.com-8100
  active

Thanks in advance for your help!

Best regards,

Harry

1 REPLY
Cisco Employee

Re: CSS Session persistence over SSL

Harry,

The configuration looks good for SSL balancing, now regarding the session timeouts. Keep in mind that SSL stickiness is based on the SSL ID, therefore you need to make sure that you have no SSLv2 clients (where SSL ID is not in clear texr) and more  important that some browsers/applications will renegotiate the SSL ID many times during a single session, if that is the case stickiness will break and the flow will be balanced based on round robin algorithn wich will probably take the flow to a different server that the one handling the session already.

You may want to take frontend/backend sniffer traces in order to find what exactly is going on with those flows. Also, did you see any difference when changing the flow-timeout-multiplier value? Oracle is expected to leave iddle flows which will be garbage collected.

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