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Very slow to hook up to MySQL db

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Hi all,
I have a java web app which connects to a MySQL database, using a datasource which i have defined in tomcat's server.xml, DefaultContext tag, as follows:

When I restart the web server with the java app, the connection works without problems. If I then go away and come back an hour later, and try to connect to the db again in my web app, it takes aaaaages to connect to the db. It doesn't time out, it just takes a looong time to connect and display the page with the results. (10 mins?) I am closing all my resultsets, statements and connections in my servlet code.
Once the connection is finally made, the web app seems to run OK. Any ideas what might be wrong?

[ March 15, 2007: Message edited by: joseph corner ]
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