Compression Proxy Server: Design and Implementation

Abstract: 

Automatic data compression in the web proxy server is an important mechanism that can potentially reduce network bandwidth consumption and web access latency significantly. However, unlike traditional data compression, web protocols and data have unique characteristics that make compression challenging. These include data block streaming, wide range of data object sizes and types, and real-time response. In this paper, we focus on automatic web data compression in the HTTP proxy server. A new classification of web data compression based on system complexity and HTTP requirements is proposed: stream, block and file compression. Then, the concept of hybrid web data compression is introduced. To understand the potentials of web data compression better, an implementation of the proposed hybrid compression in the Squid proxy server is described. The result is very promising, as about 30% of the bandwidth can be saved easily. Furthermore, even with a low end Pentium 266 MHz PC as the proxy machine, the compression overhead is less than 1% of the transfer time.