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Which dot release of 8.51 are you on? I.e. 8.51.xx?
If you are using Weblogic, have a look into that note :
*Troubleshooting WebLogic Issues [ID 649428.1] -- TroubleShooting_WebLogic_103.pdf, issue #3: Issues with Session Stickiness*+
The symptoms are similar (if not same) as yours, they are few recommandations to follow.
we are on 8.51.07
Have you checked the doc I linked earlier ?
Make sure you have applied all available PeopleTools patches. We have seen this in 8.50. Some was fixed in tools updates/patches but we have had to work though a couple customizations and workarounds with Oracle to resolve some. I am not sure they are related to your problem exactly as many of ours had to do with using the PS Portal to expose content in other PS Apps (Campus Solutions 9.0).
Another item that may get you in an upgrade are java script cached in users browsers that had been changed but the browsers were not aware of it. We found other customers that solved this by updating the cache directories in the Web Profile configuration and restarting PIA. We changed cache to cache85020 and change it to the next version each upgrade. Works to make browsers reload the files since they are in a different path and we do not have to try and get all users to clear cache properly.
I am not sure about where you are balancing trafffic with the F5, but we only balance the traffic from users to the web servers and let the web servers connect to the app servers. We were advised to go with the old style connect strings in the configuration.properties of host:port,host:port,host:port and not the new options as they may have issues still, but they only had thin evidence for that, but we went that way all the same.
Also search Oracle support for kick out, 8.50, 8.51 known issues as there are several there. I an not sure how many will be relevant to 8.51.
We and your users have been through this pain and still see it on some occasions, I am not sure there is a single cause, but several places they are checking sessions and cookies and different issues that arise.
We are also having a hard time knowing if all our kick outs are related to our use of Portal. In our case what happens in the session timers and timeouts all run in the target Iframe and target application. Users can stay there all day if they never click back on a Portal link, but if they do and the session time has expired in Portal (regardless of activity in the remote app) they are instantly without warning kicked out into a login page. That happens because there is no Portal timer to warn them or to see their activity in the remote app. So they are actually out of the Portal at the timeout for that, but won't know it until they click back, and it will see like they were actively working and all of sudden the app kicked them out.