Load balancer session timeout

jasonslogan used Ask the Experts™
Is there a downside to making a load balancer hold a session for a connected computer for an hour?  The only thing I can think of is if the web server they are connected to for that time fails they lose their session and have to log in again because they would be connected to a different web server after that.

I've tried storing the sessions in a db and in a shared folder and neither are great solutions.  DB server gets overloaded with requests and very occasionally the data doesn't replicate fast enough to the other db servers. The file sharing sometimes doesn't work either.  Not sure why but it was quirky so I quit.
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None whatsoever, that is what they are designed to do. Obviously it depends on your type of application but you should be able to achieve what you want with any half-decent hardware load balancer.

Kemp (good value, simple)
CoyotePoint (more cost, more features)
Zeus (getting towards top end)
Brocade, Cisco, F5 (big boys, big bucks)


Do load balancers have a way to retain the session if a web server fails?
I don't believe that is possible as the session info is against the web application, although I guess that depends on what web server you are running as some can be set up as distributed services. It's possible some of the top end application and content aware load balancers can manage session info. You may need to re-engineer the site code with this in mind however.

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