We've always been trying to minimize asymmetric routing, in both design and implementation phase, as it impacts a number of IP services/features, including:
- Network Address Translation;
- Content-based Access Control (CBAC);
- Reflexive access lists;
- Redundant firewalls (at least until recently);
- IP Multicast;
In some scenarios, asymmetric routing can impact delay/jitter and consequently the perceived quality of service.
However, asymmetric routing is a reality within the Internet (it's close to impossible to guarantee symmetric routing even for multi-homed end users) and it might even help in some scenarios (low-speed/low-delay upstream link with high-speed/high-delay downstream link).
What's your opinion? Is asymmetric routing harmful? Should we strive to avoid it ... or do you just accept it as one of facts of life?