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Re: Fragmentation for headers: why jumbo != continuation.

From: Roberto Peon <grmocg@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2014 17:34:37 -0700
Message-ID: <CAP+FsNdvVfGasbAp7hRztVfvfs+J7+14ug77OVuO1PhQzOf3PA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Willy Tarreau <w@1wt.eu>
Cc: HTTP Working Group <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>
On Thu, Jul 10, 2014 at 2:00 PM, Willy Tarreau <w@1wt.eu> wrote:

> Hi Roberto,
> On Thu, Jul 10, 2014 at 01:27:01PM -0700, Roberto Peon wrote:
> > There are two separate reasons to fragment headers
> >
> > 1) Dealing with headers of size > X when the max frame-size is <= X.
> > 2) Reducing buffer consumption and latency.
> >
> > Most of the discussion thus far has focused on #1.
> > I'm going to ignore it, as those discussions are occurring elsewhere, and
> > in quite some depth :)
> >
> >
> > I wanted to be sure we were also thinking about #2.
> >
> > Without the ability to fragment headers on the wire, one must know the
> size
> > of the entire set of headers before any of it may be transmitted.
> >
> > This implies that one must encode the entire set of headers before
> sending
> > if one will ever do transformation of the headers. Encoding the headers
> in
> > a different HPACK context would count as a transformation, even if none
> of
> > the headers were modified.
> >
> > This means that the protocol, if it did not have the ability to fragment,
> > would require increased buffering and increased latency for any proxy by
> > design.
> >
> > This is not currently true for HTTP/1-- the headers can be sent/received
> in
> > a streaming fashion, and implementations may, at their option, choose to
> > buffer in order to simplify code.
> Well, while implementations may do it in HTTP/1 at their option, in
> practice
> it's only used by low-end hacks which do write(fd, string, length) and
> write
> one header at a time. Indeed, doing so with TCP_NODELAY results in as many
> packets with a PUSH flag as write() calls, which is absolutely suboptimal.
> Also I tend to see it quite differently : the microsecond which is needed
> to process all headers at once is very low compared to the extra work the
> receiver has to do to retrieve the context of the request currently being
> parsed for each chunk of header received. That's one ugliness of the
> continuations frames in my opinion. I expect that a number of
> implementations
> will very likely read each frame, convert it to HTTP/1 and apply existing
> parser on the H/1 result, to discover that it's incomplete. And they'll
> rebuild and re-parse the whole incomplete H/1 request after each incoming
> frame. Just send one header at a time and you get an O(N^2) parsing.
> Do you have numbers showing the extra latency you'd expect from passing
> headers at once ? As I reported in an earlier e-mail, I'm seeing in the
> order of 1 microsecond to parse a whole HTTP/1 request, and I hope that
> H/2 will not increase that by orders of magnitude. Currently, operating
> systems incur a much larger granularity, even a switch port gives you a
> much higher granularity. I'd suspect that if you *measure* the difference
> between headers-at-once and one-at-a-time, you'd get a faster sending
> with all at once thanks to lower processing overhead and network overhead.
> Just my two cents,
> Willy
Thanks Willy.

The amount of latency induced depends mainly on size and bandwidth.
Assuming that the header size is 8k, and a link is 1Mb/s (as still happens
often for mobile devices), we're talking about 62ms of buffering before it
can forward, even if it has all of the headers necessary for routing within
the first few ms.
At a 1Gb/s, it is a much more reasonable .06ms.

I'm not particularly worried about the parsing
time/copying/allocation/buffer management time either-- it will need to be
done, and it is going to be measured in us.

As a concrete usecase, think of any entity that needs to forward requests
from a slow link to a fast link.
Additionally, in cases where there are multiple proxies as part of a load
balancing infrastructure, there is no need to examine the full set of
headers on any but one of them.. and for the response headers (of one
trusts the server, which can happen if one is running both proxy and
server), there may never be a need to examine them before forwarding.
Received on Friday, 11 July 2014 00:35:05 UTC

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