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Note: All the posts are based on practical approach avoiding lengthy theory. All have been tested on some development servers. Please don’t test any post on production servers until you are sure.

Monday, November 29, 2010

ORA -3136 WARNING inbound connection timed out

The "WARNING: inbound connection timed out (ORA-3136)" in the alert log indicates that the client was not able to complete  it's authentication within the period of time specified by parameter SQLNET.INBOUND_CONNECT_TIMEOUT.
You may also witness ORA-12170 without timeout error on the database server sqlnet.log file.
This entry would also have the client address which failed to get authenticated. Some applications or JDBC thin driver applications may not have these details.
From onwards the default value of parameter SQLNET.INBOUND_CONNECT_TIMEOUT is 60 seconds, hence if the client is not able authenticate within 60 secs , the warning would appear in the alert log and the client connection will be terminated.
There can be three main reasons for this error -
  1. Server gets a connection request from a malicious client which is not supposed to connect to the database , in which case the error thrown is the correct behavior. You can get the client address for which the error was thrown via sqlnet log file.
  2. The server receives a valid client connection request but the client takes a long time to authenticate more than the default 60 seconds.
  3. The DB server is heavily loaded due to which it cannot finish the client logon within the timeout specified. 
To understand what is causing this issue, following checks can be done
The default value of 60 seconds is good enough in most conditions for the database server to authenticate a client connection. If it is taking longer, then its worth checking all the below points before going for the workaround:

1. Check whether local connection on the database server is successful & quick.
2. If local connections are quick ,then check for underlying network delay with the help of your network administrator.
3. Check whether your Database performance has degraded in anyway.
4. Check alert log for any critical errors for eg, ORA-600 or ORA-7445 and get them  resolved first.
These critical errors might have triggered the slowness of the database server.

As a workaround to avoid only this warning messages, you can set the parameters SQLNET.INBOUND_CONNECT_TIMEOUT
to the value more than 60.

For e.g 120. So that the client will have more time to provide the authentication information to the database. You may have to further tune these parameter values according to your setup.

To set these parameter -

1. In server side sqlnet.ora file add


For e.g

2. In listener.ora file -


For e.g if the listener name is LISTENER then -  


How to check whether inbound timeout is active for the listener and database server:

You can check whether the parameter is active or not by simply doing telnet to the listener port.
$ telnet
for eg.

$ telnet 1521

The telnet session should disconnect after 110 seconds which indicates that the inbound connection timeout for the listener is active.

Alternatively, check at the LSNRCTL prompt using:

LSNRCTL>set current_listener
LSNRCTL>show inbound_connect_timeout

To check whether database server SQLNET.INBOUND_CONNECT_TIMEOUT is active:

a. For Dedicated server setup, enable the support level sqlnet server tracing will show the timeout value as below:

niotns: Enabling CTO, value=120000 (milliseconds) <== 120 seconds
niotns: Not enabling dead connection detection.
niotns: listener bequeathed shadow coming to life...

b. For shared Server setup,
$ telnet
$ telnet  51658

The telnet session should disconnect after 120 seconds which indicates that the sqlnet.inbound_connect_timeout is active.
Ref: 465043.1

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