Origin Content Acceleration is an emerging new technology that solves the issue of distance-related network latency on a webpage download by accelerating origin-served content from the server to the end-user using algorithms to fix inefficient network protocols.
OCA accelerates all content – dynamic and static – all the way to the end-user’s computer or mobile device. In fact, the greater the distance, the greater the benefit that OCA provides, resulting in fast-performing websites. In this blog post, let’s look at why transport latency is such a big issue and at a before and after example of an OCA-optimized website.
The advent of Web 2.0 technologies in the late 2000s encouraged interactivity and personalization. This changed nature of web traffic as synchronous transfer of static content yielded to traffic composed of static and dynamic content served up independently to allow a user to customize their web experience and allow the website operator to tailor ads and content to that user’s interests.
This also profoundly changed the web performance optimization (WPO) challenge. Cacheable rich media can be served from a regional server in a CDN, but dynamic content needs to be generated on demand and delivered from the origin server. When transport latency from server to user reaches more than 300 milliseconds, the quality of the end-user’s web experience can be significantly impacted.
OCA uses algorithms to fix inefficient network protocols to reduce the transport latency between the origin server and the user. (Learn more on the TCP’s inefficiency at the FastSoft website). OCA accelerates all content – dynamic and static – all the way to the end-user’s computer or mobile device. The greater the distance, the greater the benefit of OCA, resulting in fast-performing websites both in the U.S. and in other countries like China, India and South America, where congestion is high and where the transport distance can be very long.
Most websites today have origin-served content in addition to static files that can be cached. In many cases, it’s the origin-served content that must come first before calls are made for images, style sheets and other cached elements. Figure 1 shows the typical path of web data to a user’s computer, with cacheable content being served from regional CDN servers and non-cacheable content being delivered from an origin server.
Figure 1: Non-Optimized Web Delivery
In many cases, the origin-served content is the gating factor on webpage performance, because the whole page must wait on the origin-served content. An example of this is shown in Figure 2, where origin-served content is responsible for nearly 37% of the total transit time. Compare that performance with Figure 3, where the origin-served content is accelerated and is responsible for only 20% of transit time – shaving 1.5 seconds from the total transit time.
Figure 2: Non-optimized delivery
Figure 3: Optimized origin delivery
The cascading effect illustrated in Figures 2 and 3 shows the comprehensive impact OCA solutions can have on a website. It’s also important to note that because OCA solutions operate at the server and only impact the TCP headers in the data packets in a standardized way, they do not require any modifications on the computer or browser of the end user.
If your site depends on customization and content from origin servers, then your web user experience may be breaking down due to transport latency. The impact will be felt for all types of content, but can particularly noticeable for streaming media. In these cases, an OCA solution is an important addition to your web performance optimization toolkit to ensure that your content is loaded fast and your web experience is optimized.
Jerry brings more than 25 years of technical, marketing and executive management experience, much of which with venture-backed high tech companies. Most recently, Jerry was the principal consultant of Forge Strategic Marketing where he provided strategic and marketing consulting to high-tech start-up companies such as Amartus, AirHop Communications, RightWave, Tesaria, Jibe Networks, Rotor Communications, Antara Systems, and others.