Stateful vs Stateless

Stateful vs Stateless

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Anshuman
Anshuman Singh
Senior Executive - Content
Updated on Jan 17, 2024 16:18 IST

The main difference between stateful vs stateless is that in the stateful protocol, the server expects a response from the client’s end, and if the server does not get a response from the client’s end, it resends the request. On the other hand, in the stateless protocol, the server does not expect any response from the client’s end, and it also does not resends the request if no response is received.

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In this article, we will explore stateful vs stateless in great detail. But, before we begin exploring stateful vs stateless protocols, let’s first go through the topics listed under the table of contents (TOC) that we will cover in this blog.

Table of contents (TOC)

Stateful vs stateless 

For a better understanding, let’s explore stateful vs stateless in a tabular format:

Benchmark Stateful Stateless
Does this protocol expect a response from the client’s end? Yes No
Does this protocol resends the request if no response is received? Yes No
Is this protocol’s design complex and heavy? Yes. It is so because the server stores the responses. No. It is so because the server does not store the responses.
Are the server and the client dependent on each other? Yes No
Is the transaction handling speed slow? Yes No
Is it easy to implement this protocol? No Yes
Does this protocol work better after a crash? No. It is so because data needs to be restored once a crash happens. Yes. It is so because there is no need to restore any data.
Is it easy to code? No Yes
Does this protocol require the same server to process the request every time? Yes No
Examples of this protocol are Telnet, FTTP, etc. HTTP, DNS, etc.

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What is a stateful protocol?

Stateful protocol definition: In a stateful protocol, the server expects a response from the client’s end and saves it, and in the case when the server does not get a response, it sends the request again.

As stateful protocol stores information regarding the session or the transaction, this protocol’s design becomes quite heavy and complex. The stateful protocol also does not work smoothly after a crash, as all the data recorded or stored is lost, and now, it has to restore all the lost data in order to continue the session.

In the stateful protocol, the same server is needed in order to process the request every time, as the current request depends on the previous requests. Stateful protocols are being used in the banking sector (online banking) and communication sector (email). One of the essential features of this protocol which is also one of the reasons for choosing this protocol over stateless protocol by the banking sector is that this protocol provides excellent or robust security.

You can also explore: What Is A Network Protocol? Working and It’s Type

Advantages of stateful protocol 

There are various advantages of a stateful protocol. Let’s explore some of the most crucial advantages of a stateful protocol, such as:

  • Provides robust security in comparison to stateless protocol, which makes it ideal for the banking or finance industry
  • Provides better performance in comparison to the stateless protocol as it saves data and keeps track of the connection information
  • Ensures that a specific user’s requests always hit the same server, and along with that, these protocols are way more intelligent than stateless protocols

What is a stateless protocol?

Stateless protocol: In a stateless protocol, the server does not expect a response from the client’s end, and neither saves it and in the case when the server does not get a response, it does not sends the request again. 

As stateless protocol does not expect a response or store data, the working of this protocol is way faster than the stateful protocol. The stateless protocol even works smoothly, or we can say it works faster after a crash, as there is no need to restore all the lost data in order to continue the session.

In a stateless protocol, the server sends the relevant session state so that each request can be interpreted independently of previous requests’ session state. Each request in a stateless protocol is independent of the previous request, and as a result, when a session ends, the connection between the browser and the server is terminated.

Advantages of a stateless protocol 

There are various advantages of a stateless protocol. Let’s explore some of the most crucial advantages of a stateless protocol, such as:

  • Improves reliability as failures, such as crashes, do not affect this protocol
  • Bounces back rapidly in the event of system malfunction as no states are maintained
  • Improves visibility of the protocol in comparison to the stateful protocol as each new request is not dependent on the prior request

Key differences between stateful vs stateless

Some of the key differences between stateful vs stateless are:

  • A stateless protocol provides better visibility in comparison to a stateful protocol.
  • In a stateful protocol, a response is expected, but in the case of a stateless protocol, no response is expected.
  • Server and clients depend on each other in a stateful protocol, but it is not the same in a stateless protocol.
  • A stateful protocol sends the request again if no response is received. On the other hand, a stateless protocol does not send the request again.
  • A stateful protocol does not work smoothly after a crash and needs time to recover the lost data. On the other hand, a stateless protocol works quite smoothly even after a crash, and as there is no need to recover the lost data, no time is required.

 Conclusion

In networking or cloud systems, you can choose between stateful or stateless protocols per your requirement. But, you must remember that stateful protocols expect a response that may increase the duration. But the stateless protocol is different.

Hence, for every organization, it is very important to choose between stateful vs. stateless carefully. It is important to choose carefully, as various crucial factors, such as reliability and scalability, play a very important part in a smooth business flow.

If you have any queries regarding this topic, please feel free to drop your queries in the comment box. We will be happy to answer!

FAQs

What is the difference between stateful vs stateless?

The main difference between stateful vs stateless is that in the stateful protocol, the server expects a response from the client's end, and if the server does not get a response from the client's end, it resends the request. On the other hand, in the stateless protocol, the server does not expect any response from the client's end, and it also does not resends the request if no response is received.

Regarding stateful vs stateless, which protocol is complex and heavy?

In terms of stateful vs stateless, the stateful protocol is complex and heavy.

Regarding stateful vs stateless, which protocol provides better visibility?

In terms of stateful vs stateless, the stateless protocol provides better visibility.

Regarding stateful vs stateless, which protocol is HTTP?

In terms of stateful vs stateless, the HTTP protocol is a type of stateless protocol.

About the Author
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Anshuman Singh
Senior Executive - Content

Anshuman Singh is an accomplished content writer with over three years of experience specializing in cybersecurity, cloud computing, networking, and software testing. Known for his clear, concise, and informative wr... Read Full Bio

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