1 2 Previous Next 15 Replies Latest reply on Jul 28, 2017 1:00 PM by lumberjacklane

    Ghost connections

    FabriceNordmann

      Hi,

       

      We have a solution hosted on a Windows server with these characteristics:

      - multiple Files (1 interface + multiple data files, around 15)

      - around 100 users, all FileMaker Pro

      - mostly (almost only) scripted modifications (a user is almost never editing directly in a field, but clicks buttons that modify data), so records are rarely locked.

      - all clients using Windows 10.

       

      The problem: sometimes a user is locking records, causing not only 301 but also, often but not always, unusual slowdowns (general).

      If we look at the Admin console, the user is NOT connected.

      Using CLT to disconnect the user fails.

       

      If the user (same PC) connects to the DB, the old 'ghost session' is not killed and keeps locking records.

       

      The server cannot be stopped, even restarting the service isn't enough, we need to stop the service and then kill the remaining process in the windows task manager, which leads to files not being properly closed.

      Then the files need to be verified, which takes ages.

       

      Another issue regarding 'ghost connections' on the same server is that we sometimes see multiple connections for the same user (same IP…)

       

      Many thanks

        • 1. Re: Ghost connections
          CamelCase_data

          I've always found the Admin Console client report/disconnect to be shaky at times...

           

          I'm assuming this is all on the latest FM15 software, with decent hardware?

           

          Did you check CLI fmsadmin list clients to see if it reports the same info as the Admin Console?

           

          The scripted modifications run locally, not with with PSoS?

          I would also suppose that these scripts explicitly commit records - is that something you log (or could log for debugging purposes)?

          • 2. Re: Ghost connections
            Benjamin Fehr

            I'm not sure if this is of any help:

            I remember a PC issue where Get(SystemNICAdress) would show more than 1 address, as if more than 1 network card existed. I don't know much about FMServer but could imagine that such a occurrence with FMServer as well as with FMPro-Clients could produce some "Ghosts" …

             

            Since Get(SystemNICAdress) failed with iOS7 and with introduction of Get(PersistentID), I never used NIC again.

            Maybe any evaluation of NIC on Server AND on Clients could help to narrow this down.

            • 3. Re: Ghost connections
              TSGal

              FabriceNordmann:

               

              Thank you for your post.

               

              Once the 301 error occurs and the slowdown occurs, do you notice an increase in the number of "ghost" connections?

               

              Do you notice when any "ghost" connections occur?

               

              Did you enable the privilege to Disconnect user from FileMaker Server when idle?  Did you set a maximum idle time?

               

              Are all the "ghost" connections from FileMaker Pro clients?

               

              Do you notice how much CPU is being used for FileMaker Server at the time "ghost" connections appear?

               

              Are the "ghost" connections generally from a specific group of accounts?  Or, are the "ghost" connections from all accounts?

               

              What version of Windows Server is being used for FileMaker Server 15.0.3?

               

              Any other information you can provide may be helpful.

               

              TSGal

              FileMaker, Inc.

               

               

              • 4. Re: Ghost connections
                FabriceNordmann

                Thank you for these ideas and questions.
                Here are my answers.

                 

                 

                David, those clients do not appear either on the list returned by CLT. But regarding the last issue I mentioned (multiple connections for same client, you're right, CLT does not return that, and they're not displayed in the admin console after a fmsadmin restart adminserver); so this one seems 'minor'.

                No PSoS. We're talking only about very standard FileMaker Pro connexions on a LAN. There are some scheduled scripts though (SASE), but not involved in these ghost connections.

                 

                Benjamin, Get ( SystemNICAddress ) returns several addresses, which is normal if your have multiple networks ports on your PC (Ethernet, WiFi…)

                 

                TSGal, many thanks for the questions.

                The Server is currently in 15.0.1, so are the clients. (yeah, I know…). Will update but the environment is such that it has to be planned… Do you have any info that makes you think 15.0.3 would solve?

                 

                Once the 301 error occurs and the slowdown occurs, do you notice an increase in the number of "ghost" connections?

                 

                Hard to say. Not significantly (nothing exponential anyway, but the second always comes after the first )

                 

                Do you notice when any "ghost" connections occur?

                 

                No, no pattern that we could find out.

                Did you enable the privilege to Disconnect user from FileMaker Server when idle?  Did you set a maximum idle time?

                 

                Yes and yes (300 minutes)

                Are all the "ghost" connections from FileMaker Pro clients?

                Yes

                 

                Do you notice how much CPU is being used for FileMaker Server at the time "ghost" connections appear?

                Nothing unusual (RAM either). The server is a 16 CPU beast.

                Are the "ghost" connections generally from a specific group of accounts?  Or, are the "ghost" connections from all accounts?

                Any (no one works in Full Access). But I'd say that in proportion, there are more cases for the few accounts that occasionally lock records by activating a field. To sum up : managers sometimes have to enter fields, whereas it's really an exception for other users.

                 

                What version of Windows Server is being used for FileMaker Server 15.0.3?

                Server 2012 R2

                 

                Thanks!

                 

                 

                 

                 

                • 5. Re: Ghost connections
                  Swedenborg

                  Hi Fabrice.

                   

                  We have experience similar ghost connection on Mac server running FMS 14 (I think). Same issue with not being able to stop the server. We have always suspected that a External ESS Data Source connected over a shaky WAN connection caused this problem and since the client upgraded their internet connection the problem seams to have disappeared. *knock on wood*. Is ESS/ODBC in any way involved in your setup?

                   

                  /Niklas

                  3 of 3 people found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Ghost connections
                    FabriceNordmann

                    Indeed. All users READ data from ESS, and scheduled scripts IMPORT data from ODBC sources.

                    We never WRITE or lock a record in the external sources though.

                    • 7. Re: Ghost connections
                      TSGal

                      FabriceNordmann:

                       

                      Thank you for the additional information and observations.

                       

                      Your last posting about ESS and ODBC is definitely relevant as one of our Support Technicians is actively working with a few other "ghost" connection customers, all of whom are using ESS and ODBC.  If possible, a copy of your database file and possibly a schema of your SQL database would be helpful, along with the steps taken by the clients so the Support Technician can try to replicate the issue, and have a script run overnight.  I have sent you a private message with instructions where to send the file(s).

                       

                      TSGal

                      FileMaker, Inc.

                      3 of 3 people found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Ghost connections
                        FabriceNordmann

                        Hello TSGal,

                         

                        it would be very difficult for me to send a copy of the files and explain to you how to get there.

                        Here are some facts and insights:

                        - the ODBC source is a set of mySQL views. updated very frequently by the SQL engine, and on which FileMaker only READS (as stated earlier, both in ESS and Import from ODBC)

                        - the connection to the ODBC source goes through a VPN.

                        - the accounts that have ghost connections do NOT use the import from ODBC, but some do ESS.

                        - import from ODBC is performed only by a SASE script and… occasionally a PSoS script (fmse anyway) (yes David, sorry, I forgot about this PSoS)

                        - I _feel_ that managers' ghost connections are like a 'frozen' application state on a layout that does not show ESS data (I deduce this from the fact that they lock records in a table which is more likely to be locked on their main layout, which has no ESS).

                        - But some other users also have ghost connections, and they use a layout displaying ESS data more frequently.

                        • 9. Re: Ghost connections
                          TSGal

                          FabriceNordmann:

                           

                          Thank you for the additional information.

                           

                          Without a file, I have sent all information to our Development and Testing departments for review and guidance.  When I receive any feedback, I will let you know.

                           

                          TSGal

                          FileMaker, Inc.

                          • 10. Re: Ghost connections
                            TSGal

                            FabriceNordmann:

                             

                            Based on the information available, Testing believes your issue is consistent with the other reported "ghost" connections issue and they have attached your post to that original report.  When more information becomes available, I will post again.

                             

                            TSGal

                            FileMaker, Inc.

                            1 of 1 people found this helpful
                            • 11. Re: Ghost connections
                              lem_alpha

                              Hi TSGal, David, Fabrice and everybody,

                               

                              I'm working with Fabrice on this project, so let me add some precisions, because we made some changes in the ESS / ODBC processes that Fabrice was not aware of :

                               

                              - there is no longer any direct display of ESS data on user layouts
                              - there is indeed a script (client side) going to an empty layout from ESS TOs (DSN server side, obviously)

                              - there is another script (PSoS) that does punctual import from SQL

                              these two are used maybe 5 to 10 times a day (meaning 24h here)

                               

                              and of course the main "permanent" scheduled script Fabrice mentioned, importing from SQL.

                               

                              and concerning duplicate entries in the client list :

                              there were times when restart adminserver did not clear them : they were still visible.
                              Didn't check though CLI client list, though, will do it next time they show up.

                              • 12. Re: Ghost connections
                                TSGal

                                lem_alpha:

                                 

                                Thank you for the additional information.  I have added your post to the original report.

                                 

                                TSGal

                                FileMaker, Inc.

                                • 13. Re: Ghost connections
                                  igattengo

                                  Hi TSGal,

                                   

                                  We suffer from an almost identical problem, and this is the first time I see where a common thread (ESS/ODBC) is suspected to be the issue by FMI Testing. Are there any updates on this?

                                  • 14. Re: Ghost connections
                                    TSGal

                                    igattengo:

                                     

                                    There is nothing new to report.  Ghost connections may still occur whether it is FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go, or Web Direct clients.

                                     

                                    TSGal

                                    FileMaker, Inc.

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