Take a look at the settings your load balancer is using to determine heathy/unhealthy. You can adjust these down to require fewer requests (or less time) to determine if an instance is healthy.
Make sure the URL/endpoint for your health check is available (returns a 200 response) as soon as your app is ready to use.
The Health tab in the beanstalk console will describe what is happening with the new instances, usually "Checking instance health". Minimizing the work you have to do when a new instance is started can make this shorter. Or using a larger instance size can help too since startup is rather CPU intensive. Or if you are downloading a bunch of stuff at startup (like yum/rpm packages), make sure these are located in the same AWS Region to ensure fast retrieval.
Thanks for the answer, we would try to look into it when we are back on Monday.
it just puzzles me that the current instance is not getting any requests. It makes sense that the new instance is building and would be available in a short time for the LB but why would the current instance not get any requests, the LB should know that the current instance is up and running, am I missing something?
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