Here is a simple SPDY performance test and results I have created locally and I like to share my finding with you.

As part of Google’s “Let’s make the web faster” initiative, Google (and I guess Chromium team as well) is experimenting with alternative protocols to help reduce the latency of web pages.  One of these experiments is SPDY (pronounced “SPeeDY”), an application-layer protocol for transporting content over the web, designed specifically for minimal latency.  Today, Chrome and Firefox browsers have implemented SPDY supports.

To see how much performance gain I get from using SPDY over HTTPS, I created a local Linux Mint 13 virtual image running in VMware Workstation 8.0.  Basically, I compiled my own copy of Apache 2.2.22 directly from source, compiled the Chromium customized mod_ssl and mod_spdy based on the instructions (step 6 without using a package manager) from SPDY website (http://code.google.com/p/mod-spdy/wiki/GettingStarted), and obtained test results using Chrome 21 in the host machine.

The test HTML page itself was exactly 6206 bytes with about 7.2MB of JPGs. (48 JPGs total.)  The final results (after 5 browser refreshes each) was 133ms (HTTPS) vs 115ms (SPDY), or 13.5% improvement.

Note that I did not optimize Apache 2.2 at all in my installation, and I wanted to avoid using the Linux distro optimized version of Apache.  So there might be configurations or changes that I should have done in order to get more than 20-30% performance improvements that Google and Chrome teams had claimed in their tests and demonstrations.

I am not a full time (web) system administrator, there are many things I don’t necessary know about to optimize web servers.

Will I use it in my the future?  Yes, at least to improve the experience for Chrome and Firefox users in the near future.

Is it high priority now to use this?  Not yet.  I recommend people spend more time optimizing their website first.  HTTPS is hardly the bottleneck for most.  Tidy up those HTML and JavaScripts first!

Furthermore, mod_spdy only works on Apache 2.2 and not yet for Apache 2.4.  If you are already using version 2.4, I guess you can either wait for a while or contribute open source code to the SPDY project and make it work for version 2.4.

That’s it for now.  See you next time!

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After playing with Google’s Chromebox for a couple days, I was pretty impressed about its speed and responsiveness.  If you have everything running online through SaaS, then this may be good for you as a side computer.  The one I got, from Google I/O, comes with an Intel Core i5 2450M with 4GB RAM and 16GB SSD.  It is more powerful than netbook or some older tablets, but probably slower than your regular laptops.

Following the Rangers, streaming through the n...

What I like:

  • It comes with 6 USB ports, DVI, 2 display ports.
  • It comes with WiFi N and 1GB LAN.
  • It actually has built-in speaker.  So watching YouTube isn’t an issue.
  • It works with my 5 buttons Logitech mouse directly without needing a driver; it works with my KVM without any issue too.
  • No lag watching 1080p HD contents from YouTube.
  • As per usual, ChromeOS allow multiple profiles.

What I don’t like:

  • This is not the smallest netbox you will find.  Attaching it at the back of a monitor may be difficult, though it should be light enough.
  • Not everyone likes deep Google Service integration to the OS.
  • Audio / video sync when watching some YouTube videos
  • It is $329 USD.  So ya…

Where I would recommend people to use this for:

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