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Understanding Web Acceleration

web acceleration

Usually, a high traffic website must support hundreds of thousands or millions of users. Not to mention the demand of user for a fast and reliable website. Therefore, to meet such high volumes, some web developers prefer to add more server hardware.

However, this method can be expensive. So, in order to reduce your operational cost, you can use web acceleration as another option. Web acceleration produces better speed delivery of both static and dynamic content. Furthermore, it will enable your web servers to handle more client request without the need for more hardware.

In general, web acceleration is a content delivery network. It aims to speed up the transfer of content between web servers and client browsers by utilizing a variety of techniques such as caching and compression.

HTTP Optimization
Load balancer or reverse proxy server is one of the primary ways to accelerate web traffic as it flows between clients and backend servers. However, this can create inefficiencies in server utilization and cause poor performance for other users as well.

In HTTP optimization techniques, the load balancer is in between clients and servers. It forwards requests for content to backend servers in a streamlined and efficient way. Therefore, this method maximizes speed and server utilization.

Caching and Prefetching
Rather than fetching it over and over from back end servers, web acceleration server cache or locally store commonly requested information. This will avoid any wasted server resources and increase the speed of content delivery. In fact, to prevent serving content that is out of date, the web accelerator will refresh cached content at a specified interval.

Furthermore, the web accelerator is also able to prefetch and cache content that the user is likely to ask for, such as the next page of a document. This method will enable web accelerator to deliver the content immediately after the user requests it.

To reduce transfer times, a web accelerator will compress large files, such as image or video files.

SSL/TLS Processing
In order to serve content faster, some advanced web accelerators can offload computationally intensive processing from backend servers. For example, encryption and decryption of documents during transmissions secured with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS).