In order to replace a COM component on a live web server, it was necessary to stop the entire website, copy the new files and then restart the website. This is not feasible for the web servers that need to be always running. .NET components are different. They can be overwritten at any time using a mechanism called Shadow Copy. It prevents the Portable Executable (PE) files like DLLs and EXEs from being locked. Whenever new versions of the PEs are released, they are automatically detected by the CLR and the changed components will be automatically loaded. They will be used to process all new requests not currently executing, while the older version still runs the currently executing requests. By bleeding out the older version, the update is completed.