IETF’s Expected Inclusion of SPDY Protocol Highlights Growing Capacity Concerns

December 10, 2012

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has adopted Google’s SPDY protocol in a draft for the upcoming Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) 2.0 standard. SPDY was designed by Google to speed up way HTTP requests are processed and communicated between servers and clients. Specifically, SPDY allows request and response headers - which are often sent over and over during an HTTP transaction - to either be compressed, or suppressed if redundant. Additionally, SPDY allows multiple, simultaneous (multiplexed) HTTP requests over a single connection, preventing lower priority requests from trumping higher ones. Furthermore, SPDY allows the server to start sending code when bandwidth usage is low, like JavaScript and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) that the client will need to process the request. Google says implementations of SPDY improves web page load times by 15%, and is already used in Twitter servers and Chrome, Opera, Firefox and Amazon’s Silk browsers.

In order to meet the increasing demand of traffic, enterprises are provisioning almost 75% of WLAN capacity increases specifically for mobile device requirements.

BTA Bottom Line:

Evaluate using SPDY for your Intranet to reduce bandwidth usage. Adding SPDY code to your web servers will allow for SPDY-compliant browsers to take advantage of its improvements, without breaking HTTP requests for non-SPDY enabled browsers, i.e. iOS’ Safari.