Google’s vision of a faster web just got real. SPDY is Google’s internet protocol replacement for HTTP, which has some interesting features to speed up the internet. It was revealed for the first time back in 2009, around the time I joined Techie-buzz as a staff writer. Two years later, now, Mark Nottingham, the chairman of the HTTP working group has invited SPDY to be included in the HTTP 2.0 standard.
The Chromium blog defined SPDY as,
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 test results were impressive, with up to 55% speed improvement, over traditional HTTP. This was tested by developing top 25 websites using SPDY and HTTP. You can read all about it at this post. SPDY is also Open Source, allowing community-based development. The primary improvements in SPDY are
- 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
HTTP is an old protocol, and the web has improved by leaps and bounds since then. There could not have been a better time for a new application layer protocol.
The next step for Google is travelling further down the protocol stack, and it is already proposing an alternative for TCP. Besides SPDY, Google also proposed increasing the initial congestion window from three to ten, which has already been hacked by them internally as part of the TCP Slow start hack, and incorporated into their Google.com domain. If you have been wondering, this is one of the reasons why the Google.com website loads so fast.