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Tackling In-region Performance Issues

The success of any business is intrinsically linked to its website performance, regardless of the user-agent or user location.

The fact that a CDN can help you in delivering the content is a well-established fact. However, resolving in-region (where the origin server is located in close proximity to most end users) performance issues can still be a challenge.
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Moreover, a website's performance is not solely impacted by its owner, there are number of potential roadblocks at the customers end as well. These hurdles may include:

  • Connection speed of the end-user - Even if web site owners rectify all the challenges at the origin server, factors such as the connection speed of broadband and wireless networks is still a concern. For example wireless connections are often unreliable with high levels of packet loss.
  • Capability of end-user devices - Not all subscribers have access to the latest, most advanced gadgets. This means that many devices with limitations related to memory, version compatibility, screen size, etc. are accessing today's web sites.
All these factors can complicate the in-region delivery of web content. So, what's the solution?

In order to achieve optimum in-region performance benefits the following best practices should be applied:

1: Make sure the origin server supports "Persistent connections"
Persistent connection makes use of a single TCP connection to send and receive multiple HTTP requests and responses, as opposed to opening a new connection for every single request/response pair.
Enabling persistent connection support allows for:
  • Reduced network congestion.
  • Limited connections resulting in minimized latency.
  • Pipelining which enables clients to make multiple requests at a time, without waiting for the response.
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2: Look for SPDY Support. The newer SPDY protocol allows multiple concurrent requests/responses to be multiplexed over a single connection. Key features of SPDY include:
    • Single-connection, multiplexed, prioritized streams
    • Mandatory header compression
    • Support for server-push
3.Take advantage of the benefits of compression. Doing so can provide great benefit when it comes to transferring large amount of data over a network.

4. Engage in performance measurement... and make sure you are measuring it correctly. In the case on in-region performance measurement, it makes great sense to measure the last mile performance numbers as last mile tests gives the actual end user browsing experience, whereas backbone agents are connected from the internet backbone to the origin server.
Naturally, Akamai has number of products which can be implemented to make delivery of you web content fast, reliable and secure. Please visit http://www.akamai.com/html/solutions/web-performance-optimization.html to learn more about how Akamai's word class performance optimization products help in improving in-region web site performance.