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Re: multiplexing -- don't do it

From: Brian Pane <brianp@brianp.net>
Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2012 09:17:21 -0700
Message-ID: <CAAbTgTtJwcZY7xT6x2=oL_RZmXVU2zJbqdHDrW_-f0RkJMwpsw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Peter L <bizzbyster@gmail.com>
Cc: "ietf-http-wg@w3.org" <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>
On Friday, March 30, 2012, Peter L wrote:

> Responding to Ross and Brian's posts mainly here...****
>
> ** **
>
> I agree that increasing concurrent connections will increase the burden on
> web servers and that is a serious issue for sure but since so many sites
> are already working around the 6 per domain limit via sharding, most site
> owners are willing to accept higher numbers of TCP connections if it
> results in faster page loads. Prevalence of domain sharding is a kind of
> vote in the direction of increasing the per domain limit.****
>
>
What I've found empirically is that most sites suffer from request
serialization--i.e., insufficient parallelism--despite all the investment
in domain sharding and image spriting. My article in last December's
PerfPlanet calendar
presents the data.

Transparency:****
>
> **         **SPDY compresses HTTP headers using an LZ history based
> algorithm, which means that previous bytes are used to compress subsequent
> bytes. So any packet capture that does not include all the traffic sent
> over that connection will be completely opaque -- no mathematical way to
> decode the HTTP. Even with all the traffic, a stream decoder will be a
> tricky thing to build b/c packets depend on each other.****
>
>
I know there's a SPDY decoder plugin for Wireshark, but I'll defer to
people more knowledgeable about packet analysis tools to cover that area.


> **         **Loss of transparency impacts intermediary devices (reverse
> proxies, caches, layer 7 switches, load balancers) as much as it does
> packet capture analysis. For load balancing, multiplexing requires
> maintaining state from one request to the next so individual object
> requests from a given user will need to be handled by the same
> de-multiplexing server.
>
>
For load balancing, you just have to ensure that all packets from the same
TCP connection go to the same place for L6-7 decoding. But that's already
required for HTTP/1.x.  A L7 proxy or load balancer that terminates either
HTTP or SPDY is then free to dispatch successive requests from the same
client to different backend servers.

 In general, increasing session orientation reduces the scalability of the
> overall service. Also, failover is less graceful as a load balancer will
> want to be more sure that the previously used server is in fact unavailable
> before routing to a new server.****
>
> **         **SSL kills transparency at the network level completely but
> also I think that SSL should be considered as an orthogonal thing to
> performance. So that site owners can make a decision based on the cost,
> security, performance tradeoffs of going to all encrypted traffic. So while
> I agree it's related, it seems like we have to consider these things
> independently.****
>
> ** **
>
> Increased Object Processing Latency:****
>
> **         **Multiplexing requires that objects are encoded serially --
> encode (Object1), encode (Object2), encode (Object3) -- and then decoded in
> that same order.
>
>
Object1, Object2, and Object3 need not be entire HTTP messages, though. In
SPDY, unlike pipelined HTTP/1.1, a server can interleave little chunks of
different responses.  That's what I consider SPDY's key design concept: not
just multiplexing, but interleaving.

 On a multi-core server, the three objects arrive truly concurrently, but
> due to multiplexing Object2 and Object3 will need to wait while Object1 is
> encoded. For SPDY, that encode step involves running an LZ-type coding
> function including searching the recent bytes for matches so even on an
> unloaded server this can add ~milliseconds of latency. ****
>
>
The last time I looked at gzip perf, the cost was on the order of 50 clock
cycles/byte on x86_64. (Anybody who's studied LZ perf more deeply, please
jump in with more precise numbers.) Given 1KB of response headers, that
works out to ~25 microseconds of latency at 2GHz, not milliseconds.

Having worked at a load balancer company in the past, I do agree that 25us
is a material CPU cost, but it's nowhere near milliseconds.

**         **Multiplexing creates the need for session state. Access to
> this state needs to be synchronized, thread synchronization reduces
> parallelism and so impacts server scalability and per object latency.****
>
> **         **CPU gains are increasingly achieved by adding cores and not
> making existing cores go faster. So processes that can run concurrently are
> friendly to these advances (such as increasing concurrent TCP connections)
> and multiplexing goes in the opposite direction -- requiring thread
> synchronization and so increasing serialization, and context switching.***
> *
>
>
With separate connections, though, you still have a serialization
bottleneck at the NIC. The locking neede to serialized writes to the
network doesn't go away if you forego multiplexing in favor of lots of
connections; it just moves to the other side of the kernel/userspace
boundary.

-Brian
>
>
Received on Friday, 30 March 2012 16:17:56 GMT

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