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Can a connection timeout interval can be set for idle connections at ArcSDE 8.0.2?
No. We have considered adding an idle-disconnect parameter, but one problem with it is that there is no simple way for the client to determine what happened. The client would simply receive a network I/O error upon trying to use the connection after a timeout. That would be the same as if the process was killed by the SDE administrator, if there was a major network failure, or if ArcSDE crashed.
At ArcSDE 8.0.1 we added a TCPKEEPALIVE option to detect crashed or dead client connections. When TCPKEEPALIVE is set to TRUE, it turns on a form of probing, which after usually two hours of idle time sends a packet on the idle connection to see if there is anything on the other end. You can activate TCPKEEPALIVE in giomgr.defs.
You can use the following to determine which users own the crashed connections, and to remove them:
sdemon -o users
sdemon -o kill