[thelist] aol, session tracking, and load-balacing

Shawn K. Quinn skquinn at speakeasy.net
Sat Jan 19 20:52:03 CST 2008

On Tue, 2008-01-08 at 13:04 -0500, Brian Cummiskey wrote:
> However, due to AOL's ip changes on the fly, the AOL customer's are 
> losing their carts.  The new ip hits the load balancer as what appears 
> to it as a new session, and may put it on one of the other web servers.

(I realize this is a bit old, but I'm not sure if you finally resolved

Anything (whether a load balancer, log analyzer, etc.) that assumes
something is a new session just because it's coming from a new IP is
broken, as this is an assumption one simply cannot make without running
into problems sooner or later. Users using Tor will also be affected by
this same broken behavior; this phenomenon isn't unique to AOL. However,
I think what is actually broken here is the assumption that the same
session will hit the same Web server every time when there is IP-based
load balancing in the mix.

Either share the session information across all three Web servers, or
get a load balancer which actually looks at cookies.

Shawn K. Quinn <skquinn at speakeasy.net>

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