Performance & Scalability

HTTP/2

All modern applications should take advantage of the performance benefits of HTTP/2, which was specifically designed to work with newer, resource-heavy websites.

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Use modern protocols for improved performance.

HTTP/2 is the updated version of the HTTP communications protocol used by the web. HTTP/2 has several benefits over HTTP/1.1, including the ability for browsers to accept more content from an application’s server at once, which improves application performance.

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HTTP/2 has several features which lead to faster page load times, including the ability for multiple resources to be loaded at once. Sites that use HTTP/2 have been proven to have faster load times than both HTTP/1.1 and SPDY.

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Modern browsers only support HTTP/2 when encrypted with HTTPS, meaning you will need to have a SSL certificate to utilize HTTP/2. This improves application security and visitor trust. Section provides SSL certificates for all users.

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With Section, you can use HTTP/2 for browser connections even if your origin servers do not yet support it. The connections between Section and your origin server can continue to use HTTP/1.1 regardless of the protocol the browser is using.

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Applications still using HTTP/1.1 often use multiple connections to get web content or “shard” content so that it is served from secondary domains. With HTTP/2 all content can be served from your primary domain.

Get an all-in-one solution with Section.

Section provides all users with HTTP/2 and the necessary SSL Certificates at no extra cost, meaning everyone can take advantage of the performance benefits that come with this updated protocol. Section provides several other performance improvements built into the platform, including Anycast DNS Hosting, dynamic caching and static caching, and a global edge network.

Section also provides you the ability to test before deployment and immediately identify issues via log management and real-time metrics, meaning that applications using Section cache more content, scale faster, and block more threats than with any other solution.

Technical Details

HTTP/2

Some of the technical differences with HTTP/2 which lead to better performing applications include:

  • It is binary instead of textual.
  • It is fully multiplexed which allows multiple request and response messages to be in transit at the same time.
  • It can use one connection to gather content instead of opening several connections.
  • It uses header compression to reduce the size of headers so they are delivered more quickly.
  • HTTP/2 will transfer multiple resources concurrently on a single connection. This reduces the TLS/TCP handshake cost traditionally involved with the browser establishing multiple connections to your site and also removes the need to implement domain-sharding to bypass the per-domain connection limits imposed by the browser.

HTTP/2 uses binary-encoding and header compression and when these are combined with the above multiplexing, the typical delays from having many small resources are significantly reduced. The decision to implement image spriting and/or JavaScript and CSS concatenation becomes much more a question of browser cache-invalidation patterns instead of the number of requests required.

Many of the features in the HTTP/2 protocol are focused on improving the browser experience. The connections between the Section platform and your origin server can continue to use HTTP/1.1 regardless of the protocol the browser is using.

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