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Stale Connection Exception.....  RSS feed

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(Thank you in advance to anyone that can help with this problem)
OK - we are currently running our application server environment as follows:
Windows 2000 Server sp3
SQL Server 2000 sp3
Websphere 4.0.4
Data direct JDBC driver version 3.1
Intel hardware platform
We have a number of BMP entity beans within the system.
We have no Session beans, instead we have straight java acting as the client to the entity beans, we also have a number of servlets that act as our entity bean clients.
With a sequential transaction test, the system will stay up for days. Our problems arise when we attempt to test the system with a number of concurrent connections.
The system will start up and continue to run for a length of time (this may be up to an hour for heavy volume testing). Over this time a number of StaleConnectionExceptions can be seen in the stdout trace file of Websphere. These are also picked up and reported by our code at the point when the connection is used for the first time after being got from the pool.
Initially the system recovers from these stale connections with no impact on performance.

Over time the number of stale connection exceptions increases, to a point where the system grinds to a halt.
The only recovery from the system is a restart of SQL Server, MSDTC and Websphere, and on occasion the whole server needs to be restarted.
We have used a number analysis tools, including the IBM performance analyzing tool. We can see that we are returning all connections to the pool, and the data source analysis does not show anything untoward. The memory footprint of the JVM does seem to be increasing - but is not reaching anywhere near a critical level.
We have been chasing our tails on this for some time now - it looks to us as though it is either a Websphere configuration thing, a bug in Websphere or a problem with either the JDBC driver or SQL Server itself.
If anyone can offer any advice - or if anyone else is having a similar problem please let me know,
Many thanks
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