Disabling session replication in JBoss AS5/EAP5

Today is the official annoucement of JBoss EAP6 (based on AS7.1), so I was thinkig that it was a good day to write a blog on AS5/EAP5.
Probably, not the most read article, but it will probably help someone…

Why would you disable session replication ?

Believe it or not, but everything has a cost. My grand-mother used to say: “Only the scorpion gives for free”. And this is of course the case for session replication. It has a cost that could be adjusted using several techniques: Buddy replication, change granularity replication or synchronous/asynchronous replication mode.
In some rare cases, because your organisation is not ready yet, because your applications does not supports it, or because you simply don’t want it, you may want to disable session replication, while still having other clustering features available on JBoss like automatic cluster configuration, farm deployment, HA JNDI, HA Singleton, etc…

The easy way: Do not set your application distributable

The easies way to disable (HTTP and statefull session beans) sessions replication is simply to NOT set the tag in your web.xml file.

<!-- <distributable /> -->

The good point of this solution is that your JBoss configuration will remain untouched and fully standard. However, you are not protected against an application having a distributable tag. This of course will trigger session replication and that may have an unexpected impact on your overall cluster performance

The efficient way: Disable session replication on JBoss AS 5

To prevent JBoss from replicating sessions whatever the deployed application, you have to modify the way that JBossCache replicates HTTP sessions and SFSB Sessions. To do so, just edit the file $JBOSS_HOME/server//deploy/cluster/jboss-cache-manager.sar/META-INF/jboss-cache-manager-jboss-beans.xml and set the cacheMode parameter to LOCAL for the caches named StandardSessionCacheConfig, FieldSessionCacheConfig and StandardSFSBCacheConfig.

<bean name="StandardSessionCacheConfig" class="org.jboss.cache.config.Configuration">
  <!-- .... Some other parameters .... -->
  <property name="cacheMode">LOCAL</property>
  <!-- .... Some other parameters .... -->

The default value for these parameters are: REPL_ASYNC which mean that the cache replication is triggered and does not wait synchronously for the cache write confirmation.
The LOCAL value prevents the replication message to be sent and this blocks session replication when set on the relevant caches configuration.


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