Tag Archives: SPDY

SPDY/3 Support Comes To Google Chrome 22, Firefox Sandbox Builds

Google recently released 21 in the beta channel with support for Webcams and Gamepads. However, another important feature that Google has been working on is the introduction of SPDY (pronounced as Speedy) in the HTTP/2.0 specification. The SPDY protocol has gained a lot of momentum with committing to support the protocol yesterday and several other big players including Twitter and browsers such as 13 supporting it as well.

Chrome SPDY/3 Support

Google has been working on the SPDY protocol since 2009, with it being included in the HTTP/2.0 specifications in January 2012. Since then, several contributors have worked to release newer versions of the protocol with the latest being an experimental release dubbed SPDY/3. Google has also been testing the SPDY protocol on mobile as well. While the goal of the SPDY protocol is to speed up the web, it is up to websites and browsers to implement of the protocol.

However, it looks like two of the major browsers including Firefox and Google Chrome are already working on supporting the SPDY/3 protocol. While the SPDY/3 protocol is restricted to Sandbox builds of Firefox. Google Chrome dev and canary build versions also support SPDY/3 through a switch in about:flags. The support for SPDY/3 is available on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and .

The SPDY protocol is definitely a step towards the future of the web and with major browser support it could help speed up how we access content on the web. Right now, other major browser like Internet Explorer, Safari and do not support SPDY, but hopefully they should do it in newer versions of their browser.

SPDY on Mobile- Yay or Nay?

Over the last three years, we have heard a lot about SPDY and how it will change the Internet by replacing the current HTTP protocol. SPDY is fast indeed, and it ships enabled on both Google Chrome and Firefox beta, now. That makes over 50% of the world using SPDY, if they are on the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox.

Google has given a new meaning to the mobile space with its aggressive strategy with Android. Within a few years, Android has emerged as a potential competitor in the mobile space, and has bumped the mobile hardware world too. With mobile playing a crucial role in our everyday life, can the new HTTP 2.0 protocol specification be formulated without caring for mobile?

SPDY is bound to influence the new HTTP protocol in many ways, and its performance on mobile devices has to match the significant improvements it boasts of, on the desktop. So does SPDY do justice to mobile browsing? Google Developers Blog investigated into SPDY mobile performance and found that it really does make a difference.

The net result is that using SPDY produced a mean page-load time improvement of 23% across these sites, compared to HTTP. This is equivalent to a speedup of 1.3x for SPDY over HTTP. Much more work can be done to improve SPDY performance on 3G and 4G cellular networks, but this is a promising start.

http-spdy

According to the tests, SPDY gives an average speed improvement of 23% with a maximum of 50% over HTTP. This is an excellent start, and while Chrome on Android is already capable of using SPDY, Twist has managed to develop an open-source SPDY implementation for the iOS. Clearly, the mobile space is already showing signs of acceptance for the next-generation of HTTP protocol.

SPDY Gains More Acceptance with Twitter and Firefox

SPDY is an Open Source alternative to the HTTP protocol, and is being seen as a potential replacement for HTTP. Google has already implemented SPDY across its servers and if you are on Google Chrome browser, you are using SPDY to access Google services. SPDY is required on both the browser and the web-server for speed improvements. The current version of HTTP, HTTP 1.1, is almost a decade old and it was built for the requirements of websites that were a decade old. With SPDY, the web will get faster and will cater to the needs of faster web-applications.
google-logo

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.

SPDY was announced two years ago, and it was also invited to be a part of the HTTP 2.0 standard. With this recent acceptance, it probably got the much-needed attention. Recently, FOSS enthusiast and Google employee, Ilya Grigorik, has spotted that Twitter is using SPDY on its servers and has given ample proof of it.

It is interesting to note that Twitter is not the only going for SPDY. Recently, Firefox has started shipping its browser with SPDY and it can be turned on Firefox nightly of version 11 and 12 via the “network.http.spdy.enabled” key.

Google is working to speed up multiple layers on the network protocol stack. SPDY speeds up the application layer, it has plans for hacking TCP to speed up the transport layer and internet layers, and Google fiber speeds up the underlying physical medium. Although slow, the next internet upgrade is coming, and clearly, Google is driving it.

Google’s SPDY Invited to be a Part of HTTP 2.0 Standard

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 Nottinghamthe 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.