Adopting a HTTP/2 compatible CDN to improve web performance

How a CDN supporting HTTP/2 can meet the demands of today’s websites and applications

HTTP/2 is the latest version of the HTTP protocol. It allows websites and applications to benefit from increased speed and performance, without making any changes to your codebase. CDNetworks supports HTTP/2 to deliver all the benefits associated with the new protocol, all at the click of a button.

As and when a web browser can support HTTP/2, CDNetworks will take full advantage of the latest protocol’s performance benefits to accelerate the delivery of your web content. For browsers that do not support HTTPs, or for non-HTTPS requests, CDNetworks will simply resort to HTTP1.1. By falling back on the HTTP1.1 protocol, CDNetworks will ensure that you never have to choose between better performance or backwards-compatibility.

CDNetworks will not change your website or applications to work with the new protocol. Your application code and HTTP APIs will continue to work uninterrupted. In fact, your web content is likely to perform better, consuming fewer resources on both the client and the server.

All CDNetworks users with qualifying products to deliver TLS encrypted web content can benefit from the increased speed and performance the HTTP/2 protocol provides.

For any questions, please get in touch with your customer representative, or click here to contact us.

Understanding HTTP/2

While the internet has transformed over the last 20 years, HTTP, the foundation of data communications on the web, hasn’t. This has created a number of limitations; performance suffers as full bandwidth isn’t utilised, web design and maintenance is made much more complex, resource consumption increases for both the client and server, and the ability to cache resources also suffers.

HTTP/2 is the first major upgrade to the HTTP protocol in more than 15 years, and aims to solve some of the challenges faced with HTTP1.1. With the number of external images, CSS and JavaScript assets continuing to grow on websites and applications, HTTP/2 aims to meet the needs of today’s web content, improving performance without complicated hacks such as domain sharing and file concatenation.  

HTTP/2 supports all core features of HTTP/1.x and in addition offers: 

HTTP/2 features

By compressing request and response header metadata using the HPACK compress format, HTTP/2 reduces overhead transfer by 500-800 bytes, improving the performance of web content.

The new binary framing layer in HTTP/2 enables full request and response multiplexing, improving web performance. By enabling the client and server to break down HTTP messages into independent frames, the processing and delivery of requests and responses no longer happen in parallel. This eliminates the need for multiple connections, and resolves the head-of-line blocking issue experienced with HTTP1.1

By giving each stream an associated weight and dependency, HTTP/2 intelligently manages the processing of streams, ensuring high-priority responses are delivered to the client.  

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