Data and Network Optimization Effect on Web Performance
In this study, we measure the effects of two software approaches to improving data and network performance: 1. Content optimization and compression; and 2. Optimizing network protocols. We achieve content optimization and compression by means of BoostEdge by ActivNetworks and employ the SPDY network protocol by Google to lower the round trip time for HTTP transactions. Since the data and transport layers are separate, we conclude our investigation by studying the combined effect of these two techniques on web performance. Using document mean load time as the measure, we found that with and without packet loss, both BoostEdge and SPDY provide a significant improvement in speed over HTTP. When tested in various combinations, we find that the effects are more or less additive and that the maximum improvement is gained by using BoostEdge and SPDY together. Interestingly, the two approaches are also complimentary; i.e., in situations where data predominates (i.e. “heavy” data, and fewer network requests), BoostEdge provides a larger boost via its data optimization capabilities and in cases where the data is relatively small, or “light”, but there are many network transactions required, SPDY provides an increased proportion of the overall boost.