A Performance Evaluation of Hyper Text Transfer Protocols
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CitationBarford, Paul; Crovella, Mark. "A Performance Evaluation of Hyper Text Transfer Protocols", Technical Report BUCS-1998-016, Computer Science Department, Boston University, October 23, 1998. [Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2144/1772]
Version 1.1 of the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) was principally developed as a means for reducing both document transfer latency and network traffic. The rationale for the performance enhancements in HTTP/1.1 is based on the assumption that the network is the bottleneck in Web transactions. In practice, however, the Web server can be the primary source of document transfer latency. In this paper, we characterize and compare the performance of HTTP/1.0 and HTTP/1.1 in terms of throughput at the server and transfer latency at the client. Our approach is based on considering a broader set of bottlenecks in an HTTP transfer; we examine how bottlenecks in the network, CPU, and in the disk system affect the relative performance of HTTP/1.0 versus HTTP/1.1. We show that the network demands under HTTP/1.1 are somewhat lower than HTTP/1.0, and we quantify those differences in terms of packets transferred, server congestion window size and data bytes per packet. We show that when the CPU is the bottleneck, there is relatively little difference in performance between HTTP/1.0 and HTTP/1.1. Surprisingly, we show that when the disk system is the bottleneck, performance using HTTP/1.1 can be much worse than with HTTP/1.0. Based on these observations, we suggest a connection management policy for HTTP/1.1 that can improve throughput, decrease latency, and keep network traffic low when the disk system is the bottleneck.