SPDY: Google Redesigns HTTP, moving towards a Faster Internet

Google is a company which keeps redefining speed. Speed of information flow, speed of browsing, speed in its innovation, Google is truly all about speed. With this obsession, Google finally has thoughts of a faster Internet.

SPDY, as defined by the Chromium blog:

SPDY is at its core an application-layer protocol for transporting content over the web. It is designed specifically for minimizing latency through features such as multiplexed streams, request prioritization and HTTP header compression.

The Chomium blog says it came up with new ideas of web-browser and server interactions, in an attempt to speed up the browsing experience. The SPDY protocol delivers faster than HTTP and delivered 55% faster under test conditions at the labs. SPDY developers tested this by downloading the top 25 websites.

SPDY has been developed as a Google Code project and is Open Source. Google expects the Open Source community to respond to the project. HTTP was widely implemented around 10 years back. SPDY, built today will understand the need of the present day websites, which are significantly different from those that existed a decade ago.

Detailed technical information can be seen at this white-paper release.

Significant improvements in SPDY include,

  • A slash of 50% in page load time.
  • Communication from server end if the client needs resources and server can provide them.
  • Use of SSL as the underlying protocol, providing a secure web.
  • Use of header compression.
  • Allowing concurrent HTTP requests in a single TCP session.

Apart from this, SPDY also aims at making the switchover from HTTP to SPDY hassle free for web-authors. This will save them from making any significant changes in their websites for using SPDY.

SPDY, is just another of the innovations to create a faster web. There are other projects running parallel to SPDY and all aim at speeding up the Internet. Though, SPDY raises some concerns about making web-browsing more resource hungry for the client end. The client end will be forced to use SSL, which is not required more often. Google also claims that SPDY is not a HTTP replacement. Did they mean from the technical aspect or from an implementation point of view?

With the release of Google Chrome OS due this week, Chrome browser getting faster each day and now a Google application layer protocol for web-servers from which my favorite websites might be served, Google search being a primary resource for my research, Gmail being my primary mail client, I see Google taking up the whole of my computer usage. Should I be worried?

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Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.