How To Handle Long Running Http Request

Handling long running HTTP requests can be a challenge, but with the right strategies and techniques, it is definitely manageable. In this article, I will share my personal experiences and insights on how to effectively handle long running HTTP requests.

Understanding Long Running HTTP Requests

First, let’s understand what we mean by long running HTTP requests. Long running requests are those that take a significant amount of time to process on the server side. This can be due to various reasons such as complex calculations, data processing, or external API calls.

Long running requests can cause performance issues and impact the overall user experience. They can tie up server resources, leading to slower response times for other requests. Therefore, it is important to handle these requests in a way that minimizes their impact.

Asynchronous Processing

One effective approach to handle long running requests is to implement asynchronous processing. This involves separating the request handling and response generation into separate steps.

With asynchronous processing, when a long running request comes in, instead of processing it immediately, we can start a separate background task to handle the processing. This allows the server to free up resources and continue processing other requests.

Once the background task is complete, the server can notify the client that the request has been processed and return the response. This can be done using techniques like polling or websockets.

Timeouts and Retries

Another important aspect of handling long running requests is to set appropriate timeouts. Timeouts help in preventing requests from running indefinitely and causing resource exhaustion.

When a long running request exceeds the specified timeout, it can be terminated and an appropriate response can be sent to the client. This ensures that the server resources are not tied up for extended periods of time.

In addition to timeouts, implementing retry mechanisms can also be helpful. If a long running request fails or times out, retries can be attempted after a certain interval. This increases the chances of successful request completion without overloading the server.

Load Balancing and Scaling

When dealing with a high volume of long running requests, it is important to consider load balancing and scaling strategies. Load balancing distributes incoming requests across multiple servers, ensuring that no single server is overwhelmed.

Scaling involves adding more servers to the infrastructure to handle increased traffic. This can be done manually or automatically based on predefined thresholds. Scaling ensures that the server resources can handle the load and prevents bottlenecks.


Handling long running HTTP requests requires careful consideration and implementation of the right strategies. By leveraging asynchronous processing, setting timeouts and retries, and implementing load balancing and scaling, we can effectively handle long running requests without compromising the overall performance and user experience.

So the next time you come across a long running HTTP request, remember these techniques and put them into practice. Your server and your users will thank you!