Cloud Computing: Google Speeds Up Web-Page Downloads with SPDY Protocol

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-06-20 Print this article Print
Pronounced Just As It Appears

Pronounced Just As It Appears

SPDY (derived from the word "speedy" rather than an acronym) is a TCP-based application-level protocol for transporting Web content. It is proposed by Google and is being developed as one of their Chromium open-source projects. A white paper on SPDY states that it is intended to augment, rather than replace, HTTP.
SPDY (pronounced "speedy") could become a staple within the next wave of improvements in the Internet and World Wide Web. This is a Google-led, open-source, TCP-based application-level protocol for transporting Web content faster than it has ever traveled before. SPDY is currently in its second year as an experiment run by Google's Chromium group with the simple goal of reducing the latency of Web pages. Speeding Web-page delivery is achieved by prioritizing and multiplexing the transfer of several files so that only one connection per client is required. The average Web-page download entails 28 connections; thus, there is great opportunity for a hiccup somewhere that can slow a page down page loading. Also, in SPDY, all transmissions are encrypted and compressed by design, in contrast to HTTP, where the headers are not compressed. Google Chrome and Chromium browsers already use SPDY when communicating with Google services, such as Google Search, Gmail, Chrome sync and when serving Google's ads. Google acknowledges that the use of SPDY is enabled in the communication between Chrome and Google's SSL-enabled (Secure Sockets Layer-enabled) servers. Up to now, SPDY is limited to the application layer. It does not require kernel changes, and applications do not have to be rewritten. New Web servers and clients are needed, however. Thus, SPDY is still years away from general use. Chromium software engineer Mike Belshe and Cotendo Vice President of Product Strategy Ido Safruti offered an information session on SPDY at the recent O'Reilly Velocity conference in Santa Clara, Calif.; highlights are in this eWEEK slide show.
Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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