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Web acceleration protocol nears completion

Joab Jackson | Aug. 5, 2014
The HTTP/2 protocol will speed Web delivery, though also may put more strain on Web servers as a result.

The protocol also makes it possible to hide content, including malicious content, within the headers, bypassing the notice of today's firewalls, Wilkins said.

HTTP/2 could also put a lot more strain on existing servers, Wilkins noted, given that they will now be fielding many more requests at once.

HTTP/2 "clients will send requests much more quickly, and it is quite likely you will see spikier traffic as a result," Garrett agreed.

As a result, a Web application, if it doesn't already rely on caching or load balancing, may have to do so with HTTP/2, Garrett said.

The SPDY protocol is already used by almost 1 percent of all the websites, according to an estimate of the W3techs survey company.

NGINX has been a big supporter of SPDY and HTTP/2, not surprising given that the company's namesake server software was designed for high-traffic websites.

Approximately 88 percent of sites that offer SPDY do so with NGINX, according to W3techs.

Yet NGINX has characterized SPDY to its users as "experimental," Garrett said, largely because the technology is still evolving and hasn't been nailed down yet by the formal specification.

"We're really forward to when the protocol is rubber-stamped," Garrett said. Once HTTP/2 is approved, "We can recommend it to our customers with confidence," Garrett said.

 

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