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Codeigniter 3 session locking causing high number database connections

In codeigniter 3 sessions using mysql driver. SELECT GET_LOCK(sess,300) is called to prevent scripts from modifying session data at same time.

This works fine until a user goes crazy and makes a bunch of requests causing all of these connections to pile up and eventually slow down database until they are all released

1. If I use redis, files, or memcached driver, will this take load off database? How do these drivers lock? Which backend is recommend for ALB with 4 web servers?

2. Is there a sane way to stick with database driver and prevent query pileup?

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