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Great article (a little old but still relevant) about the inner workings of session management in ASP.NET: Underpinnings of the Session State Management Implementation in ASP.NET.


Using StateServer and BinaryFormatter serialization caused me quite the headache over the last few days. Curiously, it appears the w3wp.exe process actually consumes more memory when utilizing StateServer and storing somewhat large and complex data types in session.


Users began experiencing Out Of Memory exceptions in the production environment. Looking at the stack trace it related to serialization using the BinaryFormatter. Using remote debugging against our QA server I noted that the code in the application functioned without issue. The exception occured outside the context of the application itself when the request had completed and the web server was trying to serialize session state into the StateServer.


The short term solution is switching back to the InProc method. Thus far this has proven to consume considerably less memory and has caused no issues. Long term the complex object stored in session will be off-loaded into a web service used to access the information directly from the database outside the context of the object used to encapsulate it.

Posted on Monday, January 31, 2011 10:27 AM ASP.NET , Session Management | Back to top

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