Difference Between Stateless and Stateful Protocol

Stateless Vs. Stateful Protocol: Know the Difference Between Stateless and Stateful Protocol

The network protocols for the available servers and browsers fall into two broad categories- the Stateful Protocol and the Stateless Protocol. One can differentiate between both of them based on server requirement along with server-side software requirement (for saving the information of a session or status). Let us look into more ways in which both of these differ.

What is a Stateless Protocol?

A Stateless Protocol is a type of network protocol in which their clients send a server request after which the server responds based on the current state. A Stateless Protocol doesn’t require a server to retain the information of a session or the status of every communicating partner in multiple requests. A few examples of Stateless Protocols are Domain Name System (DNS), User Datagram Protocol (UDP), Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), etc.

Here are a few significant features of this type of protocol:

  • They simplify the overall design of a given server.
  • It requires a very small number of resources. It is mainly because the system doesn’t require keeping track of communication on multiple links along with its session details.
  • Every individual communication in the case of a Stateless Protocol is unrelated and discrete to the ones that follow or precede.
  • Every package of information in a Stateless Protocol travels on its own. These packets require no reference to another packet.

What is a Stateful Protocol?

A Stateful Protocol is a type of network protocol in which the client sends a server request and expects some sort of response. In case it doesn’t get a response, it then resends the intended request. A few examples of Stateful Protocol are Telnet, File Transfer Protocol (FTP), etc.

Here are a few significant features of this type of protocol:

  • This protocol keeps track of the connection information.
  • Since it keeps a continuous track of information, it also provides better performance to its concerned clients.
  • A Stateful Application always requires backing storage.
  • The requests from a Stateful Protocol always depend on the state of the server’s side.
  • The TCP sessions follow a Stateful type of network protocol because both the systems in it maintain the session info during its life.

Difference Between Stateless and Stateful Protocol

Parameters Stateless Protocol Stateful Protocol
Requirement of Server It requires no server for retaining the session details or server information/ data. It requires the servers to retain and save the session details and status information.
Server-Client Dependency There exists no tight dependency between the client and the server in the case of a Stateless Protocol. In the case of a Stateful Protocol, the server and the client have a tight dependency on each other.
Simplification of Server Design The design of a Stateless Protocol simplifies the overall server design. The design of a Stateful Protocol makes the overall design of a server pretty heavy and complex.
Working after a Crash This type of protocol works better than the other one at the time of a crash. It is because it does not require restoring any particular state. Thus, a failed server can feasibly restart just after the crash. This type of protocol doesn’t work well after the crash. It is because the server needs to retain all the information regarding status, along with the session details of all internal states.
Speed of Transaction This type of protocol handles a given transaction very fast. This type of protocol cannot handle a given transaction very fast. The speed of transactions is very slow in such a case.
Implementation on the Internet It is very easy to implement a Stateless Protocol on the internet. It is very logically heavy. Thus, it is very difficult to implement a Stateful Protocol on the internet.

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