Symptoms: No response to HTTP, FTP, SSH. Usually the problem "resolves" itself within a minute or two of my first attempt to connect, and I can then connect by any method. Symptoms come up suddenly, but generally seem to occur after the server has not been accessed for at least a few hours, almost like the server has "gone to sleep" and is awakened by repeated requests. But I don't think it is the server's problem.
Potential reasons for the problem: 1.) Software No, we have similar setups with other dedicated server providers and have never had such a problem.
2.) ISP I don't think so. Connecting through AT&T or Comcast makes no difference, tested from 3 different cities.
3.) Issue with that server (hardware/software) Not likely, we have 3-4 servers at a particular hosting company and it seems like all of them occasionally have this same problem.
4.) Nameservers I don't know. Are they an issue when connecting to IP addresses rather than host names?
The outages are "short" (1-2 mintues, apparently), but unacceptable for a production e-commerce server. I'm worried that our production server may suffer from the same problem, but since it gets a lot more traffic perhaps that somehow keeps it from going out, like the testing servers. Or, if it is having the problem, then it may be potential customers experiencing it.
To me, it seems like a routing issue. Somewhere along the route, someone is losing track of the route, and I am inclined to blame my host for that. It's almost certainly not our fault. But we need the issue resolved and maybe if someone out there has an idea of what it is then we can actually get it fixed.