HTTP is a successful Internet technology on top of which a lot of the web resides. However, limitations with its current specification, i.e. HTTP/1.1, have encouraged some to look for the next generation of HTTP. In SPDY, Google has come up with such a proposal that has growing community acceptance, especially after being adopted by the IETF HTTPbis-WG as the basis for HTTP/2.0. SPDY has the potential to greatly improve web experience with little deployment overhead. However, we still lack an understanding of its true potential in different environments. This paper seeks to resolve these issues, offering a comprehensive evaluation of SPDY’s performance using ex- tensive experiments. We identify the impact of network characteristics and website infrastructure on SPDY’s potential page loading benefits, finding that these factors are decisive for SPDY and its optimal deploy- ment strategy. Through this, we feed into the wider debate regarding HTTP/2.0, exploring the key aspects that impact the performance of this future protocol.
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