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HTTP2 Expression of Interest

原创 Linux操作系统 作者:jieforest 时间:2012-07-21 11:12:36 0 删除 编辑

This is Facebook's response to the call for expressions of interest in HTTP/2.0: http://trac.tools.ietf.org/wg/httpbis/trac/wiki/Http2CfI

1. Introduction

Facebook's mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.  Our web and mobile applications are used by well over 900 million users worldwide.

At Facebook, we serve HTTP/1.1 from a globally distributed infrastructure that operates at large scales.  We are interested in sharing our experiences and plan to actively participate in the development of HTTP/2.0.

We currently are implementing SPDY/v2, due to the availability of browser support and the immediate gains we expect to reap.  Although we have not run SPDY in production yet, our implementation is almost complete and we feel qualified to comment on SPDY from the implementor's perspective.  We are planning to deploy SPDY widely at large scale and will share our deployment experiences as we gain them.

The remainder of this response presents a protocol-neutral summary of what we need in the next generation of HTTP, followed by an assessment of each of the three current HTTP/2.0 proposals.

2. Criteria for the Next Version of HTTP

In order to provide faster and more secure online services to our users, the features we need in HTTP/2.0 are:

  * Multiplexing
  * Transport layer encryption
  * Zero-latency upgrade
  * Per-request flow control
  * Server push

2.1 Multiplexing

Like many large web companies, we have invested in content packaging mechanisms to reduce the number of round trips required to download a web page.  While this has worked reasonably well for us, we see two problems:

  * Many of the best practices in web performance optimization. For example, image spriting and domain sharding are workarounds for HTTP 1.1's lack of widely usable pipelining. The next version of the HTTP should fix that.

  * The complexity of these workarounds has limited their adoption. We want the whole web to be faster, not just our own site.

Thus we recently rebuilt our internal HTTP framework to support multiplexing of many independent requests per connection, and we plan to use this framework to support SPDY and the eventual HTTP/2.0 standard.

2.2 Transport layer encryption

We feel strongly that HTTP/2.0 should require transport encryption, and we acknowledge that this position is potentially controversial.

RFC 2616 likely will be at least 15 years old by the time HTTP/2.0 is ratified. Comparing the Internet of today to the Internet of the late 1990s, two trends stand out:

  * The sophistication and surface area of attacks have grown dramatically.
  * The Internet user community has grown steadily, from a niche in 1999 to a third of the world's population in 2012.

We can't forecast what the Web will look like in 10-15 years, but based on history we can assume that more and more personal information will be flowing between users and applications, and that the user population will continue to grow.

Mandating transport layer encryption will make things harder for implementors such as ourselves, but in return it will offer greater privacy and safety to the billions of people who use the Web today and in the years to come. We think this is a good thing.

At present, TLS is the pragmatic choice for encrypting the transport due to its widespread implementation in the existing Web infrastructure. We do not see the need to mandate TLS itself; if there is an improved protocol in the future that supports both authentication and encryption, that would be fine to use as well.

Regarding our deployment experience, we have deployed TLS at a large scale using both hardware and software load balancers. We have found that modern software-based TLS implementations running on commodity CPUs are fast enough to handle heavy HTTPS traffic load without needing to resort to dedicated cryptographic hardware. We serve all of our HTTPS traffic using software running on commodity hardware.

2.3 Zero-latency upgrade

Some of the current HTTP/2.0 proposals use the HTTP/1.1 Upgrade header to negotiate the use of HTTP/2.0. We prefer the TLS NPN extension, because it allows the immediate use of HTTP/2.0 on a newly established TLS connection without an additional network round trip for the upgrade.

2.4 Per-request flow control

HTTP proxying is an inherent part of our large, distributed infrastructure. The ability to multiplex HTTP streams from many clients into a shared upstream transport is good for performance, especially if there is a high network latency between the proxy and the upstream server.  But different clients will produce and consume data at different rates, so it is important to have per-stream flow control.

2.5 Server push

We provide real-time, user-to-user text messaging on multiple platforms via multiple protocols. For HTTP clients, we use long polling and streamed, chunked responses (one chunk per message) as a lowest common denominator solution. This solution works, but it moves a lot of protocol processing complexity into client-side JavaScript.


We are interested in the development of a standardized server push mechanism to replace long polling in HTTP/2.0

A subtle but important requirement for applications such as web-based chat is that data sent from the server must be pushed without delay. We would like to see the inclusion in HTTP/2.0 of a "no buffering" flag at either the message or the chunk level, to indicate to the recipient and any intermediaries that the flagged content should not be delayed for buffering or I/O-coalescing purposes.

3. Assessment of the HTTP/2.0 Proposals

3.1 SPDY

We are implementing SPDY and plan to deploy it widely in two roles: speaking HTTP directly to users, and enabling faster communication between geographically distant web servers on our network. Of the three proposals, we believe it is the best basis for further work due to the variety of client and server implementations, its proven usage at large scale, and its full support for our HTTP 2.0 criteria.

Assessment using our criteria:

  * Multiplexing: supported
  * Transport layer encryption: While SPDY currently does not require an encrypted transport, current client implementations implement SPDY over TLS.
  * Zero latency upgrade: TLS NPN -- not required by the current SPDY draft, but used by current implementations -- allows the negotiation of SPDY or HTTP/1.1 with no extra network round trips.
  * Per-request flow control: supported in SPDY/3
  * Server push: supported

Additional considerations:

Of the three HTTP/2.0 proposals, SPDY currently is the one with the largest user base, due to its inclusion in Firefox 13 and Chrome.

SPDY's header compression is a good, general-purpose solution, and gzip is a good starting point, but we would prefer to see a more lightweight compression algorithm for the HTTP/2.0 standard.

3.2 HTTP Speed+Mobility

We have not implemented HTTP Speed+Mobility, and we currently do not plan to implement it. There is no sizable deployment of either clients or servers, and it is missing features we feel are required.

Assessment using our criteria:

  * Multiplexing: supported
  * Transport layer encryption: missing
  * Zero latency upgrade: missing
  * Per-request flow control: supported
  * Server push: missing, but highlighted as a recommended area for additional development

Additional considerations:

HTTP Speed+Mobility's dependence on the HTTP Upgrade header is a problem for us because it adds an additional network round trip in a very common use case: loading several small, static resources from a CDN. Section 1.4 of the HTTP Speed+Mobility proposal notes the need to tunnel the WebSockets stream over TLS when there is an "incompatible proxy" (i.e. a proxy not known to support HTTP/2.0)
between the client and server.  We agree, and therefore the following comparison uses TLS:

  * SPDY: 4 x RTT minimum elapsed time to fetch N resources on a new connection (without TLS session resumption or False Start) : TCP handshake plus 2 RTT for TLS handshake with NPN, plus 1 RTT to fetch the resources.
  * HTTP Speed+Mobility: 5 x RTT minimum elapsed time: TCP handshake, 2 RTT for TLS handshake, 1 RTT to fetch the first resource via HTTP/1.1 with "Upgrade: websocket," and 1 RTT to fetch the remaining N-1 resources.

3.3 Network-Friendly HTTP Upgrade

We have not implemented Network-Friendly HTTP Upgrade, and we currently do not plan to implement it, due to the incompleteness of the specification and the lack of client implementations.

Assessment using our criteria:

  * Multiplexing: supported
  * Transport layer encryption: missing
  * Zero latency upgrade: missing
  * Per-request flow control: missing; Section 2 suggests that this is a TBD item
  * Server push: missing

Additional considerations:

Network-Friendly HTTP Upgrade uses a Transport Header Frame. to communicate headers that will be the same for every request on the connection.  While this is a good solution for the connection between a browser and a load balancer it does not work between the load balancer and an upstream web server, where requests from different clients may be multiplexed onto the same connection.

The use of a registry for well-known header field names would allow for compact encoding of those names, but we foresee interoperability problems as new fields are added.  A client will not be able to use the assigned numeric code for a new field without knowing whether the server also knows about it.

4.0 Summary

We at Facebook are enthusiastic about the potential for an HTTP/2.0 standard that will deliver enhanced speed and safety for Web users.

Of the three proposals, we recommend the use of SPDY as the basis for development of the HTTP/2.0 specification, but feel that the requirement for a secure transport must be added. We plan to continue developing and optimizing our HTTP, TLS, and SPDY implementations and are deploying them on a global scale. We look forward to sharing our experiences with the community.


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