SPDY (pronounced speedy) is an open networking protocol developed primarily at Google for transporting web content. As of July 2012[update], it is an open de facto standard protocol, the group developing SPDY having stated publicly that it is working toward standardization (available as an Internet Draft). The first draft of HTTP 2.0 is using SPDY as the working base for its specification draft and editing. Open source reference implementations of SPDY are available in Chromium, Mozilla Firefox and Opera. SPDY is similar to HTTP, with particular goals to reduce web page load latency and improve web security. SPDY achieves reduced latency through compression, multiplexing, and prioritization. The name "SPDY" is a trademark of Google, and is not an acronym.
The goal of SPDY is to reduce web page load time. This is achieved by prioritizing and multiplexing the transfer of web page subresources so that only one connection per client is required. TLS encryption is nearly ubiquitous in SPDY implementations, and transmission headers are gzip-or DEFLATE-compressed by design (in contrast to HTTP, where the headers are sent as human-readable text). Moreover, servers may hint or even push content instead of awaiting individual requests for each resource of a web page.
Relation to HTTP 
SPDY does not replace HTTP; it modifies the way HTTP requests and responses are sent over the wire. This means that all existing server-side applications can be used without modification if a SPDY-compatible translation layer is put in place. When sent over SPDY, HTTP requests are processed, tokenized, simplified and compressed. For example, each SPDY endpoint keeps track of which headers have been sent in the past requests and can avoid resending the headers that have not changed; those that must be sent are sent compressed.
The server push mechanism pushes content regardless of existing cache which can result in waste of bandwidth. The workaround is to use the server hint mechanism.
Protocol support 
Protocol versions 
SPDY is a versioned protocol. In its control frames there are 15 dedicated bits to indicate the version of the session protocol. Version 1 of SPDY protocol is not used anymore. As of April 2012[update], Version 2 is current, with version 3 being tested in Chrome version 19 and higher, with the aim of replacing Version 2 in Chrome 22. Firefox supports SPDY v3 in Firefox 15. SPDY v3 will bring support for flow control, update the compression dictionary, and remove wasted space from certain frames, along with other minor bug fixes.
Browser support and usage 
The browsers Google Chrome/Chromium, Firefox (version 11+, below 13 disabled by default) and Opera browser (version 12.10+) support SPDY. SPDY sessions in Chrome can be inspected via the URI:
chrome://net-internals/#events&q=type:SPDY_SESSION%20is:active. Firefox 15 added support for version 3 of this protocol.
While added in version 11 of Mozilla Firefox and SeaMonkey version 2.8, SPDY was not enabled by default until Firefox version 13 and SeaMonkey 2.10. SPDY protocol functionality can be (de)activated by toggling the
network.http.spdy.enabled variable in
Server support and usage 
As of April 2013[update], approximately 1% of all websites support SPDY. Some Google services (e.g. Google search, Gmail, and other SSL-enabled services) use SPDY when available. Google's ads are also served from SPDY-enabled servers.
A brief history of SPDY support amongst major web players:
- Twitter enabled SPDY on its servers in March 2012, at the time making it the second largest site known to deploy SPDY.
- In March 2012, the open source Jetty Web Server announced support for SPDY in version 7.6.2, while other open source projects were working on implementing support for SPDY, like node.js, Apache (mod_spdy), curl, and nginx.
- In April 2012 Google started providing SPDY packages for Apache servers which led some smaller websites to provide SPDY support.
- In May 2012 F5 Networks announced support for SPDY in its BIG-IP application delivery controllers.
- In June 2012 NGINX, Inc. announced support for SPDY in the open source web server Nginx.
- Cloudflare is also providing a beta of SPDY on their servers (using Nginx) from June 2012, though users who would like to use/test it must be paying customers as SPDY is built on top of TLS, and only paying customers can use SSL/TLS Certificates.
- In July 2012 Facebook announced implementation plans for SPDY. By March 2013 SPDY was implemented by their public web server.
- In August 2012 Wordpress.com announced support for SPDY across all their hosted blogs.
See also 
- HTTP pipelining
- HTTP persistent connection
- Microsoft SM
- QUIC, another experimental Google protocol
- MarioNet split web browser OPTIC protocol
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