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Chief Architect's Blog on software development

20 June 2011
.Net Application Logout by Server Clock
Two months ago, I encountered a very strange phemonenon.  I, therefore, want to share my experience with all of  you.

I developed a .Net application for a client, who does not own a server.  So, I rented a Hyper-V service plan of a web hosting company and put the application on that hyper-V server.  My application requires user login and it will log out the user automatically if the user left it idle for one hour (this is the default of most .Net application).  For the first two days, the application  worked correctly.  Unfortunately, after that users kept complaining that the application would log them out within a very short period of time.  I checked the application and web server.  I did not find any wrong settings.

Eventually, I found that the server clock goes extremely slow.  As .Net application will compare the client computer time with the server time to determine user's idle time, my application cannot get the idle time correctly.

I talked to the support of that web hosting company.  Unfortunately, his answer was that window servers will synchronize with internet time every week. I, of course, know that.  I tested that hyper-V server and found that every week it goes slow for approximately 25 hours! I cannot update server clock manually for my client every day!  So, my solution is to set the application idle time to two hours.  This temporarily solve the problem.



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