Citrix Netscaler 10.1 as a SPDY Proxy

At the end of May, Citrix announced version 10.1 of its Netscaler ADC. One of the new features is the support of Google’s SPDY v2 open protocol for any backend loadbalanced website (v3 is on the way). SPDY is like HTTP protocol with enchancements to reduce web page loading time, meaning faster Internet communication.

SPDY modifies the the way HTTP handles requests and responses. It uses compression, multiplexing and prioritarization to reduce the load latency. By multiplexing and prioritarizing the web objects of a page, only one connection is required. By compressing and deduplicating the headers the packet overhead size is reduced. A 30% to 60% performance improvement can be achieved by using SPDY.

Popular web browsers like Chrome, Firefox and Opera implement already this protocol and many heavy load websites have adopted his technology, like Google, Twitter, Facebook and WordPress to name a few. SPDY actually sits on HTTP layer, so the web applications on the datacenter do not need to be changed.  Now, even the web servers may remain intact since Netscaler’s SPDY proxy handles the SPDY client-server communication and translates it to HTTP for the backend servers.

You can check which websites use SPDY on a Chrome browser by typing

chrome://net-internals

at the URL address.

So, upgrade your Netscaler and enable the SPDY feature. More on this soon!

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