OpenLiteSpeed 1.1 (With SPDY!)

Last Friday, we released OpenLiteSpeed 1.1. OpenLiteSpeed 1.1 introduces a big advance : SPDY.  Most of you have probably heard of SPDY, Google’s bid to improve upon HTTP protocol. SPDY aims to reduce page load times through a number of measures: SPDY compresses headers and works to reduce redundant headers. More importantly, SPDY works to reduce page latency by introducing a SPDY communication layer on top of SSL and below HTTP. This layer is capable of opening multiplexed streams, which means that many requests can be processed simultaneously through a single connection. SPDY also has advanced features allowing the server to push or hint to the client content that the client hasn’t requested. Normally, a server can only serve content the client has specifically requested, even if the server knows that a certain page will involve content the client hasn’t requested yet. (If this feature is allowed by the client) SPDY servers can push content they know the client will need, or at least hint at content the client should request.

The Chromium Projects people (the developers of SPDY) have “observed up to 64% reductions in page load times in SPDY”. Currently, though, only 0.9% of the Web supports SPDY. Now you can help change that with OpenLiteSpeed 1.1. OpenLiteSpeed 1.1 supports both SPDY version 2 and SPDY version 3, something which few other servers can claim. Besides increased speed and bug fixes, SPDY/3 introduces flow control, a feature meant to make sure the server can hold back certain streams that are becoming backed up. This should allow servers to serve multiple connections with more stability.

OpenLiteSpeed 1.1 does not come with SPDY enabled by default. To enable SPDY, you must configure OpenLiteSpeed with SPDY, using the ./configure --enable-spdy command when installing OpenLiteSpeed 1.1. Also, because the SPDY layers exists on top of SSL, SPDY requires SSL. Thus it works only on HTTPS sites. The Chromium Projects developers note that they “believe that the long-term future of the web depends on a secure network connection” and thus every site should use SSL. While there has been some discussion over the best way to improve HTTP and what will be included in HTTP 2.0, everyone agrees that SPDY is an improvement upon HTTP 1.1.

Welcome to a newer, SPDYer LiteSpeed!

Note: SPDY requires OpenSSL 1.0.1.

Related Posts