Diagnosing "Request timed out" HttpExceptions

Here on StackOverflow, we’re seeing a few “Request timed out” exceptions every day.

The facts:

  • Request timeout is the default 90 seconds
  • Occurs only on POSTs
  • Data posted is text, usually small (< 1KB), but can range to a few KB
  • No Form data is captured in server variables
  • Client UAs are diverse: IE5.5 – 7, Firefox 3.0.5, iPhone, Chrome
  • Client locations are diverse: UK, France, USA – NC, OH, NE, IN

We’ve tested a server-based timeout (i.e. using Thread.Sleep) and all form variables are correctly captured in the exception log – this leads us to believe the client is having issues sending the request in the allotted time.

Any thoughts on how to trap/debug this condition are very welcome!

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