How to set up Multi-Server ASP.NET Web Applications and Web Services?


This step-by-step article discusses how to set up multi-server ASP.NET Web Applications and Web services. For most uses of ASP.NET, a single server can handle all requests in a timely manner. However, many environments must deploy multiple servers to handle consistently high volumes of traffic, to support processor-intensive applications, to respond to sudden bursts in traffic, or to meet redundancy requirements.

In the simplest form, you can deploy Web pages that consist only of static HTML pages and images in a multi-server configuration by copying the files to multiple Web servers and then configuring a load balancing mechanism to distribute requests between the Web servers.

As the Web site complexity increases, the difficulty of synchronizing files and configurations between the servers also increases. Dynamic sites require multiple servers to have access to a single database and to share state information among themselves. This article describes how to design multi-server ASP.NET solutions that include databases and sessions.

Manage State
As a user navigates through an ASP.NET site, ASP.NET stores information about the user’s session state. The exact information that is stored in the session varies by application, but may include the user’s name, preferences, and shopping cart information.

By default, ASP.NET stores session information in the server memory. This configuration is known as in process. Although this configuration provides the best performance possible, you lose the session information if you restart the ASP.NET server. Additionally, in multi-server architectures, a single user’s request can be sent to a different server. A user may start a session at one server, but later requests are sent to a different in-process server. This results in a new session being created for that user and all earlier information that was stored in the session is lost.

ASP.NET provides two solutions for sharing state information between multiple servers: the ASP.NET State Server service, and Microsoft SQL Server. You can use either of these solutions to store state information between server restarts, and to allow users to move between servers during a single session.

Synchronize Configuration and Content
A Web site’s security, performance, and many other aspects of its behavior are defined by the configuration of the Web server. Multi-server sites must<

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