I have a droplet with nginx/node, some requests don't get to the server? Any ideas how to debug?

I have a nodejs server behind nginx. Sometimes, http requests get “timeout”. Checking both the access and error logs for both the nginx and node does’t even show the requests coming to either of them, let alone fail. Some of these requests are from the server itself (using curl via crontab).

I’m lost on how to even begin to start the problem. Any ideas?

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I would make sure that your connection from which you test is stable enough. Unstable connection can cause that request you sent doesn’t even get send. You can create script that will curl server and run it from multiple workstations/connections. Ping could also be good to test server responsiveness but curl would be better if available.

From server side you can verify that Droplet isn’t under heavy load. Check CPU and RAM. Test above and this in same time, you can get some pattern that’ll help debug issue. You can also see current I/O Bandwidth from DO Control Panel.

Can you post your /etc/nginx/site-enabled/ files ?