4–7 Nov 2019

Fixing HTTP/2 and preparing for HTTP/3 over QUIC

Robin Marx (University of Hasselt, Expertise Centre for Digital Media EDM)
16:4517:25 Thursday, 7 November 2019
Location: Hall A6
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Network engineers, DevOps practitioners, and web developers

Level

Intermediate

Description

HTTP/2 has been standardized for four years now, and uptake is high. However, as recently highlighted by Andy Davies and Patrick Meenan, many multi-tier and cloud-based HTTP/2 deployments are badly configured, which leads to severe performance degradation as the HTTP/2 prioritization system fails to function correctly.

Robin Marx takes a concrete look at the issues and explains the technical reasons, detailing how to test your own setup’s behavior and how to mitigate any problems you might encounter with actionable solutions.

And after making sure your HTTP/2 setup is performing well, you’ll look to the future in the form of HTTP/3 and QUIC. As QUIC runs on top of UDP (as opposed to transmission control protocol (TCP)) and is fully end-to-end encrypted at the transport layer, deployments can encounter a slew of issues in terms of firewall, cache, proxy, load balancing, and routing setups. As not all networks will allow UDP, it also becomes necessary to run concurrent HTTP/2 and HTTP/3 stacks so users have a fallback option.

Robin walks you through the QUIC and HTTP/3 protocol internals and explores the provisions that help to deal with these issues (e.g., the connection ID). You’ll discover concrete approaches that large companies like Facebook, Google, and Cloudflare are taking in their setups, and you’ll see the next generation of QUIC and HTTP/3 tools that can help you test your cutting-edge setup. And Robin touches on aspects such as 0-RTT connection setup and resumption.

You’ll leave able to tweak and validate the performance of your HTTP/2 stack and start practically preparing and testing for the HTTP/3 madness.

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A basic understanding of HTTP/2 and difference from HTTP/1.1 and the OSI network stack (e.g., the difference between UDP and TCP
  • Experience setting up multi-tier systems with some of the following: (reverse) proxies, cache layers, load balancers, custom routing, and firewalls

What you'll learn

  • Understand the deep underpinnings of HTTP/2 and which aspects can lead to suboptimal performance and the basic underpinnings of QUIC and HTTP/3 and issues that can arise for initial practical deployment
  • Learn to assess and debug HTTP/2 performance and behavior even in complex setups and how to approach a first HTTP/3 + QUIC setup and how to assess and debug its performance and behavior
Photo of Robin Marx

Robin Marx

University of Hasselt, Expertise Centre for Digital Media EDM

Robin Marx is a web performance researcher at Hasselt University, Belgium. He’s the author of the academic paper on HTTP/2 prioritization and has been a contributor in the QUIC working group for multiple years. He focuses on creating tools for the QUIC and HTTP/3 protocols that helps others debug their behavior and performance. He often talks about QUIC and web performance at international conferences, trying to make the complex situations more insightful to the wider public. On the weekends, Robin likes to hit other people on the head with longswords.

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