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Load balancing the application

Very often applications need to encrypt the data exposed to the client, for example:

  • authentication cookies
  • antiforgery token
  • Hydro is encrypting the state of the components

For that purpose ASP.NET Core apps use tools that are a part of Data Protection, which provides a cryptographic API to protect data. It's using a cryptographic key for the encryption.


On hosting with only one node such a key is stored locally in DataProtection-Keys directory and everything works without additional configuration. When using load balancing, so when having multiple nodes with the same application, we have to provide the same cryptographic key for all the nodes, so the encrypted data looks the same no matter which node generated it.


Use a shared storage to keep the key in one place and available for all the nodes. There are several kinds of storages you can use:

  • Database
  • File system pointing to a network share
  • Azure Storage
  • Redis

Example of configuration using Entity Framework Core: