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SPDY Support – Tools

#SPDY implementation, testing, and verification tools, SPDY implementation bits. Quickly, read this ;-).

I was researching something totally unrelated today, and happened upon a couple of things that made me decide to write a quick blog about SPDY support and the tools available to you relevant to SPDY.

First, I found a ton of administrators asking how they could verify that SPDY was being used on their website, and some regular users asking how they could tell a website had SPDY support.

Second, I found a nice collection of tools to help you determine just that – is a given website serving up SPDY, and does your browser accept it?

SPDY, for those who don’t know, is an enhancement to HTTP to serve it up faster. How much faster is debated, and to some extent depends upon the connection in question, but no one debates that it is indeed faster than HTTP. I won’t delve into the details here, many people – including myself and my fellow F5 bloggers – have done that. Visit the SPDY link above for the core documentation if you need more info about the details of the protocol.

So without a ton of discussion, here are the tools I happened upon. No doubt there are a ton more, but between them, these do the trick, I think.

SPDYCheckOrgIsSPDYEnabled – a website that tells you if your browser is currently configured to support SPDY. Quick and easy, the server just attempts to serve up SPDY, and if your browser accepts it, reports that to you.

SPDYCheck – another website, this one attempting to determine the SPDY support available on a website of your choice. Just enter the URL and get a pretty detailed report. For Admins determining the level/quality of their SPDY support, this is probably the best of these resources.

SPDYIndicator – a Mozilla Firefox plugin that shows in your location bar whether a site has full SPDY support, partial support, or no support through the use of a lightning bolt icon. Fun to wander around the Internet with this one enabled.

mod_spdy – for those just looking into implementation, the Apache Module for SPDY. Note, you might try www.modspdy.com, but at the time of this writing, its certificate had expired, and I didn’t want to send you there, just in case. No doubt the expiration is temporary (two weeks old on day of posting), so in the future it will likely be fine.

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And because I work for F5, I will point out that our gear offers a SPDY gateway for those who have not implemented yet also. It does offer the advantage of not updating/maintaining modules on every Apache server in your web farm..

F5 BIG-IP Family – simply sits between web servers and the Internet, providing a SPDY endpoint and translation to HTTP. If you’re in a hurry, or don’t want to update each one of your webservers, it’s worth a look.

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I installed SPDYCheck in FireFox and cruised around the web a bit, I think I’ll leave it on. It’s unobtrusive, and shows you what the various websites out there have done for SPDY support.

The adoption of SPDY by the largest of websites and most popular browsers kind of insures it will be around for good, so no doubt there will be more and more sites implementing it over time.

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Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.