jlongino has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

I have a program that has run without incident for 2+ years but now routinely hangs at random points during the data fetch cycle. It is a fairly simple program that fetches around 16000 records from an Oracle database on a different server and then builds a file from the results.

Unfortunately, no error or timeout occurs in the Perl program. This is the immediate problem since it is a cron job that kicks off at 7am and 11:30pm each day.

Since the Perl box is currently running Perl version 5.8.0, using $SIG{ALRM} is not an option. I'm looking at Sys::SigAction (there is a writeup on it here: instead but was wondering if any knowledgeable Perlmonks might know of a different or preferred approach.