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Shoot yourself in the foot with iptables and kmod auto-loading

August 14th, 2012 by Johannes 'fish' Ziemkefish

As some of you might know, we had an outage yesterday. We believe that in every mistake there is something to learn from, so after each outage we are writing post-mortems. Usually we do this internally because the issues we run into are very specific to our infrastructure.

This time we ran into a quite nasty issue which could affect everyone running a linux system with a lot sessions on it and we thought you might be interested to know about that pitfall.

What happened?

At 4:40pm CEST, we got reports about Yikes (503/504 errors) on SoundCloud. Around the same time, our monitoring alerted for a high amount of 503s at our caching layer and right after that one of our L7 routing nginx instances was…

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