HTTP Compression - Boost Your Server’s Speed

HTTP Compression - Boost Your Server’s Speed

HTTP Compression - boost your server’s speed - Improve latency and cost by enabling web-server compression. After reading this post you’ll be able to make a fast impact on your web-servers and improve your site’s performance! REST API (a subset of HTTP) is one of the most popular APIs.

Improve latency and cost by enabling web-server compression.

We are all working really hard for making an impact and once in a while there’s an opportunity for making a HUGE impact by a really small effort. After reading this post you’ll be able to make a fast impact on your web-servers and improve your site’s performance!

REST API (a subset of HTTP) is one of the most popular APIs. If you are working in a SaaS company you probably use it as an external API for communicating with your customers and you might also use it internally across your services. At  Dynamic Yield we are serving thousands of HTTP requests per second and we strive for easy wins such as latency improvements and cost optimizations. Compression is one of the ways that helped us by simply reducing the bytes on the wire.

Most of the modern web browsers today support compressions such as gzip and Brotli out of the box and asking for it by default.

It turns out that most of the web-server frameworks don’t respect “Accept-Encoding: gzip” header by default and we need to actively enable this compression feature. We will cover few frameworks below.

Enabling compression can help for better latency and cost reduction as fewer bytes are being transferred over the network. Here is what we get:

  • Lower latency internally, measured in AWS Load-Balancer by Target Response Time metric.
  • Lower round-trip time as fewer bytes need to be transferred to the end-user over the internet.
  • Cost reduction: Cloud providers charge for data transfer IN/OUT/across availability zones etc. fewer bytes means that you save more money.

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