Well, it turns out that it was DNS and apache related. Our systems administrators changed our DNS server a few weeks ago, and updated the /etc/resolv.conf
file accordingly. They did not, however, stop and start apache (which was caching the DNS server value), causing gethostbyname() to fail. One of those cases where a restart does not cut it. DNS seemed like a likely source of the problem, as merlyn
pointed out, but the fact that it was limited to apache was throwing me. Anyway, many thanks to all (especially tachyon
) who helped me troubleshoot this (apparently OT) issue.