Sticky Cookies and Sticky Fingers

A load balancer deployed with OpenSSO must support sticky sessions. A sticky session specifies that once a session is created by a specific OpenSSO instance subsequent requests from the user will be routed to that same instance to preserve session information. If you have a deployment with a load balancer between 2 instances of OpenSSO, you can configure the load balancer for cookie stickiness by defining the value of the com.iplanet.am.lbcookie property to the name of the cookie; amlbcookie is the default name of the sticky cookie. When cookie stickiness is enabled, you will get better performance from OpenSSO by avoiding back channel communications, and the OpenSSO console will work properly behind the load balancer. More information on cookies and sticky sessions can be found in the official Access Manager 7.1 documentation. And since sticky cookies give you sticky fingers, here's a live video of The Rolling Stones singing a song (which shall remain nameless in this entry) from their 1971 LP, Sticky Fingers.

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Posted by sticky fingers on May 29, 2008 at 01:13 AM PDT #

Hi Doc,
you wrote in this post that: "A load balancer deployed with OpenSSO must support sticky sessions."
I've a question for you: so do all OpenSSO versions only support STICKY sessions?
I'm a newbie OpenSSO system integrator and I couldn't find out from the early access documentation if OpenSSO does also support load balancing without sticky session.
Thank you! Best regards,
Matteo

Posted by Matteo on September 03, 2008 at 11:05 PM PDT #

Hi Matteo.
The logic to handle misrouting is implemented in the components of OpenSSO (Session, Auth, Federation, etc.) therefore there should be no functionality problem. That said, without a stickiness configuration there will be potential performance degradation due to the back channel communication between the OpenSSO servers. (Almost verbatim from one of our deployment gurus.)
hth.

Posted by DocTeger on September 04, 2008 at 10:30 PM PDT #

Hi Michael!
Thank you for your precious help!
I really appreciate your blog, keep it goin'!
Best regards,
Matteo

Posted by Matteo on September 07, 2008 at 05:47 PM PDT #

Thanks Matteo. I appreciate hearing that. Haven't been able to blog much recently with the upcoming release schedule but here's some info on what I am working on for OpenSSO Enterprise 8.0.

http://blogs.sun.com/docteger/entry/opensso_8_0_technical_overview

atb,
michael

Posted by DocTeger on September 08, 2008 at 09:58 PM PDT #

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