Sun GlassFish Enterprise Server v2.1.1 Deployment Planning Guide

HTTP Session Size and Scope

The session size per request depends on the amount of session information stored in the session.

Tip –

To improve overall performance, reduce the amount of information in the session as much as possible.

It is possible to fine-tune the session size per request through the persistence scope settings. Choose from the following options for HTTP session persistence scope:

To use this option, the application must:

Table 2–2 Comparison of Persistence Scope Options

Persistence Scope Option 




Provides improved response time for requests that do not modify session state. 

During the execution of a web method, typically doGet() or doPost(), the application must call a session method:

  • setAttribute() if the attribute was changed

  • removeAttribute() if the attribute was removed.


No constraint on applications. 

Potentially poorer throughput and response time as compared to the modified-session and the modified-attribute options.


Better throughput and response time for requests in which the percentage of session state modified is low. 

As the percentage of session state modified for a given request nears 60%, throughput and response time degrade. In such cases, the performance is worse than the other options because of the overhead of splitting the attributes into separate records.