Feeds

Google sees 15% speed boost with HTTP tweak

All Google SSL connections now SPDY

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

Velocity Google is now using its HTTP-boosting SPDY protocol to accelerate almost all SSL web traffic between Chrome browsers and its many web services, and according to Mike Belshe, an engineer on Google's Chrome team, the protocol is juicing performance by more than 15 per cent on average.

"We do not have any property that is not performing better with SPDY than without," Belshe said this afternoon at the O'Reilly Velocity conference in Santa Clara, California.

SPDY quietly made its debut with Chrome 6, and Initially, the protocol was only turned on for a limited percentage of SSL connections to Google services. But Belshe says the company is now using the protocol about 99 per cent of the time. The remaining one per cent, he says, is a necessary control group. "The only way we can measure how it works – the only way we can figure that 15 per cent [speed boost] – is to measure exactly the same usage case," Belshe told us following a conference presentation.

First unveiled as an experimental project in the fall of 2009, SPDY is an application layer protocol designed to improve the speed of the aging HTTP. The protocol has been available with Chrome since the sixth version of the browser, but at this point, it only kicks into action when the browser is used with Google services and a few other test platforms. At this point, Google services use SPDY exclusively with SSL connections.

Earlier this week, Strangeloop added SPDY to its flagship online service, which websites use to accelerate their load times, and the Israel-based Cotendo has said it will add SPDY to its content delivery network. Cotendo offers services for accelerating both desktop and mobile traffic, but SPDY is not yet available on mobile devices.

Mike Belshe

Mike Belshe

Belshe confirmed that the Google Android team is incorporating SPDY into the mobile operating system's browser, and he said that Mozilla is "interested" in using the protocol as well. Google also offers a public SPDY proxy, and there are now SPDY servers written in C++, Python, Go, Ruby, and node.js. The project is open source.

SPDY creates a session between the HTTP application layer and the TCP transport layer, using an HTTP-like request-response setup. It speeds downloads via multiplexed streams, request prioritization, and HTTP header compression. Multiplexing is the main change, Belshe says. With HTTP, you can only handle one request at a time, and though you can open multiple connection, if you open too many, you run into problems with TCP. Multiplexing is hardly a complicated change – "it's been done before, there's no new idea here," Belshe says – but it solves much of the problem.

At this point, SPDY is limited to application layer. It does not require kernel changes. You don't have to rewrite apps. You simply need new web servers and clients. But Belshe says that Google will eventually extend its work. "Because we can identify issues at the application layer, it made sense to try to address those first, develop an application protocol that works really well, that people agree works really well, and then start to dig down," he said. ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.