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[SYN] [SYN-ACK] [ACK]General Network Error! Check your network documentation. is dedicated to dispelling the myth that the network is usually the source of unknown and errant behavior in applications. This is rarely the case in a well-designed network.  The difference of application to network errors is usually orders of magnitude, and geometrically increases with load. 

We will explore various networking topics from real-world experiences, ranging from L2-L3 configuration and troubleshooting to L5/L7 load-balancing to the infamous general network error.  Although many possibilities exist to accomplish a given task, tried and true methods will be presented, but these should only be taken under consideration for use in your own network after proper vetting for fit and function.

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Magic cookie to toggle backend server farm from prod to stg

Normally, testing against a staging environment takes place with hostnames for that specific purpose and which differ from the production hostnames.  These hostnames align with different VIPs (Virtual IPs) on a load-balancer to direct the traffic flow to the appropriate backend server farm.  This works well when the client can easily and manually switch the hostname between staging and prod. Testing mobile apps and third-party sites that may link back to yours poses an issue:  How do you control the hostname linked to you so it hits your staging environment for testing?  Not easily.  On a desktop or laptop, testers happily </sarcasm> modify their local hosts file to get a production hostname to use the VIP (or IP address) for the staging (STG) environment.

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