Techniques for managing state

Multiple machine scaling techniques rely on using multiple copies of an application server; multiple consecutive requests from various clients can be serviced by different servers. If each client request is completely independent of every other client request, it does not matter if consecutive requests are processed on the same server. However, in practice, client requests are not independent. A client often makes a request, waits for the result, then makes one or more subsequent requests that depend on the results received from the earlier requests.

This sequence of operations on behalf of a client falls into two categories:


A server processes requests based solely on information provided with each request and does not rely on information from earlier requests. The server does not need to maintain state information between requests.


A server processes requests based on both the information provided with each request and information stored from earlier requests. The server needs to access and maintain state information generated during the processing of an earlier request.

For stateless interactions, it does not matter whether different requests are processed by different servers. However, for stateful interactions, the server that processes a request needs access to the state information necessary to service that request. Either the same server can process all requests associated with the same state information, or the state information can be shared by all servers that require it. In the latter case, accessing the shared state information from the same server minimizes the processing overhead associated with accessing the shared state information from multiple servers.

The load distribution facilities in the product use several different techniques for maintaining state information between client requests:

Related concepts

Workload management for all platforms except z/OS

(zos) Workload management (WLM) for z/OS

  • Clusters and workload management
  • Sessions
  • Session management support

    Related tasks

  • Task overview: Managing HTTP sessions