Java – Why would a “java.net.ConnectException: Connection timed out” exception occur when URL is up

connectexceptionconnectionjavaurlconnection

I'm getting a ConnectException: Connection timed out with some frequency from my code. The URL I am trying to hit is up. The same code works for some users, but not others. It seems like once one user starts to get this exception they continue to get the exception.

Here is the stack trace:

java.net.ConnectException: Connection timed out
Caused by: java.net.ConnectException: Connection timed out
    at java.net.PlainSocketImpl.socketConnect(Native Method)
    at java.net.PlainSocketImpl.doConnect(PlainSocketImpl.java:333)
    at java.net.PlainSocketImpl.connectToAddress(PlainSocketImpl.java:195)
    at java.net.PlainSocketImpl.connect(PlainSocketImpl.java:182)
    at java.net.Socket.connect(Socket.java:516)
    at java.net.Socket.connect(Socket.java:466)
    at sun.net.NetworkClient.doConnect(NetworkClient.java:157)
    at sun.net.www.http.HttpClient.openServer(HttpClient.java:365)
    at sun.net.www.http.HttpClient.openServer(HttpClient.java:477)
    at sun.net.www.http.HttpClient.<init>(HttpClient.java:214)
    at sun.net.www.http.HttpClient.New(HttpClient.java:287)
    at sun.net.www.http.HttpClient.New(HttpClient.java:299)
    at sun.net.www.protocol.http.HttpURLConnection.getNewHttpClient(HttpURLConnection.java:796)
    at sun.net.www.protocol.http.HttpURLConnection.plainConnect(HttpURLConnection.java:748)
    at sun.net.www.protocol.http.HttpURLConnection.connect(HttpURLConnection.java:673)
    at sun.net.www.protocol.http.HttpURLConnection.getOutputStream(HttpURLConnection.java:840)

Here is a snippet from my code:

URLConnection urlConnection = null;
OutputStream outputStream = null;
OutputStreamWriter outputStreamWriter = null;
InputStream inputStream = null;

try {
    URL url = new URL(urlBase);
    urlConnection = url.openConnection();
    urlConnection.setDoOutput(true);

    outputStream = urlConnection.getOutputStream(); // exception occurs on this line
    outputStreamWriter = new OutputStreamWriter(outputStream);
    outputStreamWriter.write(urlString);
    outputStreamWriter.flush();
    inputStream = urlConnection.getInputStream();
    String response = IOUtils.toString(inputStream);
    return processResponse(urlString, urlBase, response);
} catch (IOException e) {
    throw new Exception("Error querying url: " + urlString, e);
} finally {
    IoUtil.close(inputStream);
    IoUtil.close(outputStreamWriter);
    IoUtil.close(outputStream);
}

Best Solution

Connection timeouts (assuming a local network and several client machines) typically result from

a) some kind of firewall on the way that simply eats the packets without telling the sender things like "No Route to host"

b) packet loss due to wrong network configuration or line overload

c) too many requests overloading the server

d) a small number of simultaneously available threads/processes on the server which leads to all of them being taken. This happens especially with requests that take a long time to run and may combine with c).

Hope this helps.

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