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That depends on the application server's concurrency model. If you have enough threads then it won't be a problem. While threads don't have the "web scale to 100,000 users!!!" reputation, you can still get very far with them on most workloads.

On evented application servers, you can integrate with the event loop API.

And, I'm not 100% sure whether the spec allows this, but it would appear that on application servers that are not evented, you can even offload the socket to a thread running an event loop. For example Phusion Passenger's implementation allows this.

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