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What is the downside to sticky sessions with load balancers? [Resolved]

We have a web farm of IIS7 machines which work great. In front of them is an F5 Big-IP hardware load balancer, also working fine :)

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Currently we're using an ASP.NET State Service to handle our OutProc state. This is required when you have a web farm to maintain any type of session information.

I was wondering if we could have sticky sessions on the F5 Big-IP and therefore change from OutProc back to InProc? If so, what is the downside of this? I know the downside of InProc vs OutProc, so don't worry about explaining that. I'm more interested in the pros/cons of sticky sessions with out F5 Big-IP.

Can anyone shed some light and/or experience?

Question Credit: Pure.Krome
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Asked April 14, 2019
Posted Under: Network
3 Answers

I recently read a great article in TechNet regarding "Providing Scalability for ASP.NET Applications". It went into the pros and cons of each possible solution. Take a read:

TechNet June 2009 - Providing Scalability for ASP.NET Applications

credit: rojay12
Answered April 14, 2019

In addition to the excellent answer from Christopher, sticky sessions mean that you've lost a couple of the huge benefits of redundant servers -- the ability to take one or more down for maintenance, and transparency in the face of system failure.

I consider sticky sessions a strong indicator of poor application architecture and/or poor programming. "Avoid at all costs" is my motto.

credit: womble
Answered April 14, 2019
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