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8.1.1 Purpose Connected: An Internet Encyclopedia
8.1.1 Purpose

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8.1.1 Purpose

8.1.1 Purpose

Prior to persistent connections, a separate TCP connection was established to fetch each URL, increasing the load on HTTP servers and causing congestion on the Internet. The use of inline images and other associated data often requires a client to make multiple requests of the same server in a short amount of time. Analyses of these performance problems are available [30][27]; analysis and results from a prototype implementation are in [26].

Persistent HTTP connections have a number of advantages:

  • By opening and closing fewer TCP connections, CPU time is saved, and memory used for TCP protocol control blocks is also saved.

  • HTTP requests and responses can be pipelined on a connection. Pipelining allows a client to make multiple requests without waiting for each response, allowing a single TCP connection to be used much more efficiently, with much lower elapsed time.

  • Network congestion is reduced by reducing the number of packets caused by TCP opens, and by allowing TCP sufficient time to determine the congestion state of the network.

  • HTTP can evolve more gracefully; since errors can be reported without the penalty of closing the TCP connection. Clients using future versions of HTTP might optimistically try a new feature, but if communicating with an older server, retry with old semantics after an error is reported.

HTTP implementations SHOULD implement persistent connections.


Next: 8.1.2 Overall Operation

Connected: An Internet Encyclopedia
8.1.1 Purpose

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