WebSphere App Server 7 and openDNS Don't Mix

I just figured out a problem that has been bugging the bejeezus out of me. I could not for the life of me start of WAS7 in my RAD 7.5 dev environment. The startServer.log file always showed a port conflict, but I could not find the cause of it anywhere. I had shut down all my IM clients, Google desktop, hell, I even stopped iTunes, and a bunch of other miscellaneous processes.

Well, tonight, I decided to open a can of whoop ass on this problem and defeat it once and for all. I ran netstat several times but it never showed me the problem port (in this case it was port 8882). Then I got lucky and started WAS and immediately ran netstat. It showed a connection to IP on port 8882. Once the server finally bombed, netstat no longer showed this connection. Well, this IP is a resolver of openDNS. It looked like the WAS server was trying to resolve its own hostname, but having to connect to openDNS somehow to do so. I'm still not totally clear on the problem. It never crops up on my WAS 6 or 6.1 instances - only WAS 7.

Once I knew the problem, the solution was to turn my wireless card off (I'm on a Thinkpad T61), while the server started up. Sure enough, it fully started. Once I see the line "server1 open for e-business", I can confidently switch on wireless and proceed as normal.

Hope this helps someone else.

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