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New Contributor
Ricky_B
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎01-25-2011
My Device: Curve 9300

Using a site on a load balanced Windows Server 2008 cluster

Hi all. I'm hoping someone can help with a weird issue i'm having.

 

We've developed a website which was "mobile friendly" which was tested on a number of different handsets (Blackberry, iPhone, Nokia, Android etc) and was working fine until we put the site onto a load balanced cluster of servers.

 

On the cluster the site works fine on all the handsets except the Blackberry which doesn't seem to be able to maintain the session and "jumps" servers in the cluster (causing the site to error as the session data is lost).

 

Has anyone experienced this or know of a similar problem? Is there a setting i need to change on the servers (which run Windows Server 2008) within IIS or is the problem with the handset?

 

Our site uses session cookies to store the session information and it worked fine when tested on the Blackberry when it was on a single server (again running Windows Server 2008) so it must be the clustering that's causing the problem.

 

It's not limited to the mobile friendly site we developed - the same issue happens on the Blackberry on any sites we have on this cluster.

 

Thanks in advance for anyone who can shed some light on this.

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BlackBerry Development Advisor
tneil
Posts: 3,708
Registered: ‎10-16-2008
My Device: Z10
My Carrier: Rogers

Re: Using a site on a load balanced Windows Server 2008 cluster

Can you post up the OS version of the BlackBerry(s) that are exhibiting this problem?

 

Also do you know if the BlackBerry(s) are Corporate BES activated or Consumer BIS activated?

Tim Neil
Director, Application Platform & Tools Product Management
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New Contributor
Ricky_B
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎01-25-2011
My Device: Curve 9300

Re: Using a site on a load balanced Windows Server 2008 cluster

Hi Tim

 

Thanks for coming back to me. We are seeing the issue using the default Internet Browser on a Blackberry Curve 9300 and a Bold (don't know the specific model number for the Bold) but both running version 5 of the O/S

 

I've just installed Opera mini on the Curve and browsing the site using this doesn't experience the same problem. It seems to be only happening when using the default Internet Browser.

 

I'm afraid i don't know if any of the phones are BES or BIS. I'm tempted to say neither as on one of the phones at least (the Curve) there is no email setup on it at all. It was purchased purely so we could test our websites.

 

Thanks a lot

 

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BlackBerry Development Advisor
tneil
Posts: 3,708
Registered: ‎10-16-2008
My Device: Z10
My Carrier: Rogers

Re: Using a site on a load balanced Windows Server 2008 cluster

How is your cluster maintaining a session?  by IP address, local cookies etc.?

Tim Neil
Director, Application Platform & Tools Product Management
Follow me on Twitter
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New Contributor
Ricky_B
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎01-25-2011
My Device: Curve 9300

Re: Using a site on a load balanced Windows Server 2008 cluster

We use the standard NLB software that comes with Windows Server 2008 which sorts it all out for us. Our cluster consists of 3 servers all with duplicate software/sites on them.

 

Our site stores data in the session, which we hold "in process" on the server so if the server you are connected to dies, your session is lost. IIS maintains the session on the specific server.

 

The load balancing works fine and has done for a number of years but this is the first time we've tried accessing on a Blackberry

 

Thanks

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BlackBerry Development Advisor
tneil
Posts: 3,708
Registered: ‎10-16-2008
My Device: Z10
My Carrier: Rogers

Re: Using a site on a load balanced Windows Server 2008 cluster

Yeah, my guess is the fact that you are using an "in process" session instead an "out of process" session is what is tripping up the BlackBerry connection. 

 

There would be no guarantee that between page loads that the BlackBerry would come back to the exact same box in the load.  I'm not sure how the "in process" management works in IIS if it is tracking based on the IP/port combination of the end device or not.

 

But the fact that all the web traffic is coming through the RIM Network Operations Center or through a BlackBerry Enterprise server, they may not work exactly the same as an ISPs Network Address Translation tables do.

Tim Neil
Director, Application Platform & Tools Product Management
Follow me on Twitter
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New Contributor
Ricky_B
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎01-25-2011
My Device: Curve 9300

Re: Using a site on a load balanced Windows Server 2008 cluster

Thanks for the information. Forgive me but i'm totally new to Blackberrys.

 

Are you saying that when I browse on my Blackberry to the internet, all the traffic goes through the RIM Network Operations Center (or an Enterprise Server if i have one set up)?

 

Thanks again

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BlackBerry Development Advisor
tneil
Posts: 3,708
Registered: ‎10-16-2008
My Device: Z10
My Carrier: Rogers

Re: Using a site on a load balanced Windows Server 2008 cluster

That is "mostly" correct :smileyhappy:

 

There are cases when on WiFi that you will go direct to the content.  However depending on how your device is setup, and its OS version, it may still direct through the NOC or a BES even if it is on WiFi.

 

The routing gets complicated.. on BB6.0 the browser picks the optimal route to get to the data.. if it can bypass the NOC and BES and go direct via WiFi it will.

 

On BB5.0 it depends on the browser you choose.. i.e. BlackBerry Browser vs Internet Browser vs Wap Browser.

Tim Neil
Director, Application Platform & Tools Product Management
Follow me on Twitter
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New Contributor
Ricky_B
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎01-25-2011
My Device: Curve 9300

Re: Using a site on a load balanced Windows Server 2008 cluster

So i guess this explains why it works in Opera mini on the handset but not the built in browsers.

 

Thanks for all the information - much appreciated

 

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