Saturday, September 20, 2008

Tip of the Day! || /etc/hosts is your friend

From time to time I find myself having to deal with tracking down the root cause of a bug in production. While this doesn't happen often, it is something that all of us have to deal with. Today I found myself in that very situation, where I needed to try and figure out the root cause of an issue people all over the world are experiencing.

After a number of hours it finally occurred to me to fire up my server on my dev machine and then edit my /etc/hosts file. Duh! Route all the requests to the prod server back into my local machine! This worked well in my case since I was dealing with a partner site, which uses web services through a flash client. ( I wrote the web services not the flash ). This was pretty much the best/only way to track down the issue, since we were not seeing anything unusual on the server itself. I could go and experience the partner site as anyone would but then when it came to the issue at hand I needed to simulate a particular situation, which I was able to do. So while this is not ground-breaking ( I know ) it is just something to keep in mind. Had I done this sooner I wouldn't have had to work on the weekend. Oh well...

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