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Modeling the performance of HTTP over several transport protocols

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3 Author(s)
Heidemann, J. ; Inf. Sci. Inst., Univ. of Southern California, Marina del Rey, CA, USA ; Obraczka, K. ; Touch, J.

This paper considers the interaction of HTTP with several transport protocols, including TCP, Transaction TCP, a UDP-based request-response protocol, and HTTP with persistent TCP connections. We present an analytic model for each of these protocols and use that model to evaluate network overhead carrying HTTP traffic across a variety of network characteristics. This model includes an analysis of the transient effects of TCP slow-start. We validate this model by comparing it to network packet traces measured with two protocols (HTTP and persistent HTTP) over local and wide-area networks. We show that the model is accurate within 5% of measured performance for wide-area networks, but can underestimate latency when the bandwidth is high and delay is low. We use the model to compare the connection-setup costs of these protocols, bounding the possible performance improvement. We evaluate these costs for a range of network characteristics, finding that setup optimizations are relatively unimportant for current modem, ISDN, and LAN users but can provide moderate to substantial performance improvement over high-speed WANs. We also use the model to predict performance over future network characteristics

Published in:

Networking, IEEE/ACM Transactions on  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 5 )