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Self diagnosing internet proxy servers and plain English responses

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000010106D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Oct-23
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2002-Oct-23
Document File: 1 page(s) / 45K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

When browsing a web via a proxy or web cache it can be common to get an error page stating that the request page is unavailable. For most users this is very unhelpful and does not give any clue as to the source of the problem. In addition to this, it is often difficult for people managing such servers to know where the problem is located so that it can be solved quickly. A system is disclosed which attempts to identify the source of the problem, and provides a real human readable error message back to the user. At the same time a problem report can be sent to the system administrator detailing the problem, and what responses were tried by the automated system.

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Self diagnosing internet proxy servers and plain English responses

When browsing the web via a proxy or web cache it can be common to get an error page stating that the requested page is unavailable. For most users this is very unhelpful and does not give any clue as to the source of the problem. In addition to this, it is often difficult for people managing such servers to know where the problem is located so that it can be solved quickly. A system is disclosed which attempts to identify the source of the problem, and provides a real human readable error message back to the user. At the same time a problem report can be sent to the system administrator detailing the problem, and what responses were tried by the automated system.

     When the proxy/cache tries to connect to a remote system and fails the cache enters a problem solving mode. Several things can be tried to attempt to determine the source of the problem:

The system can try to ping known "good" sites to see if the network connection to the outside world is actually working.

It can try to identify failure in the local DNS system by querying the status of the DNS servers it uses. It can also check it's cache peers to ensure they are still operating correctly. It can try contacting the remote site by "pinging" port 80 to determine if the site is connected to the internet and accepting connections. It can perform a simple self status check to determine if the server is having problems.

     Failures at any one of...