Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, PagerDuty Blog, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog

@DevOpsSummit: Article

Using Prefetch | @DevOpsSummit @Catchpoint #DevOps #APM #AI #Monitoring

It is very important to proactively monitor webpages to ensure if this performance optimization technique is working or not

Using Prefetch as a Proactive Approach
By Ashish Kumar

Paul The Octopus was known as an animal oracle who could predict the result of a football match. He made accurate predictions for the matches played in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

What if a browser could do the same thing? What if it anticipated the next page that the user was going to visit and downloaded it in advance? If that happened, it would help download critical resources ahead of time and significantly affect its performance.

One might say, ‘isn’t that what cache is for?’ Well yes, it is. Caching helps browsers avoid making expensive HTTP calls and delivers needed resources from the disk cache. However, it presents many challenges on modern websites and situations, where caching may not help:

  • First-time visitors: Cache only helps if the site is visited for a second or third time by a user. If you visit a site for the first time, caching would have not kicked in.
  • Expired cache: 69% of resources don’t have any cache headers or are cacheable for less than a day. If the user is visiting a page the second time and the cache has expired, then an HTTP request is needed to check for a fresh resource. Let’s assume that the web server states that the cache is valid, then network delays could factor in and make the pages load slowly.
  • Purged cache: If browser starts caching resources for every website, it’s possible that the browser will purge a website’s cache to make room for another.
  • Cleared cache: Cache gets cleared very frequently. It’s often done by the user, as well as some tools on your computer such as an antivirus program.

To address issues presented by caching, we need to do something more; this is where a pre-browsing or predictive browsing/prefetching, technique comes into play.

Prefetching defined
Websites today are driven by dynamic content and multimedia. A single webpage may load multiple images and videos from different sources which could result in long wait times and a poor user experience.

Modern browsers, such as Chrome, address this challenge by downloading the content in advanced. Different content, which will most likely be accessed by the user, gets downloaded in the background and becomes instantly available when the user needs to interact with it. This performance optimization technique is called pre-fetching, and it can help in reducing DNS lookup times, TCP connections, HTTPS handshakes, etc.

A few methods in practice today include:

  • DNS Prefetching
  • Link Prefetching
  • Prerendering

Types of prefetching
1. DNS Prefetching: Usually, a domain lookup takes anywhere between 1 milliseconds to several seconds, depending on caching done at different levels involved in DNS resolution process. DNS prefetching reduces domain lookup times by resolving different domains, such as Google Analytics or other social media domains a that need to load different resources on the webpage in advance.

Browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, etc., allow DNS prefetching by default; this allows a page to resolve different domains, which deliver content (such as eternal JS, images, etc.) on the page, in advance. Although modern browsers support DNS prefetch, it is still not available on mobile browsers and older IE versions. Also, if an external file has references to other domains, then the browser will not prefetch those until the external file has been downloaded and parsed. In such cases, we can explicitly ask the browser to do a DNS prefetch by specifying DNS-prefetch in your page’s <head> tag as shown below:

<link rel=’dns-prefetch’ href=’http://abc.com’>

Now, when the browser parses the page and comes across this HTML tag, it immediately performs DNS lookup in the background for the specified domain. When the resource from this domain is called, it only requires resource download and no more DNS lookup.

Let’s take an example of a user visiting Google Search and searching for “Flipkart iPhone 7.” It is very likely that the user will click on the link www.flipkart.com in the search results. In this case, Google can prefetch DNS for this domain which will help save DNS lookup time when the user visits www.flipkart.com.

The snapshot below illustrates DNS prefetch implemented on their pages:

2. Link Prefetching: It is a technique which downloads the entire resource including font, images, etc. If we are confident that the user will navigate to flipkart.com and we are aware of the site’s critical resources, then we can download these resources in advance using prefetch.

<link rel=’prefetch’ href=’http://www.flipkart.com/critical.js’>

Currently, its implementation is not consistent, and its specs are vague. So, you might see different implementation by different browsers such as:

  • Firefox downloads one prefetch at a time whenever it is idle. Chrome, on the other hand, downloads up to 10 resources in parallel.
  • Android browser, Firefox browser, and Firefox mobile browser starts prefetching after “window.onload” but Chrome does it immediately which impacts the page’s resource download as it utilizes current TCP connections.

It is best to prefetch only those resources that are critical to the page and cacheable.

3. Prerendering: This is a next level technique which downloads the entire webpage content and caches it in the background. With prerendering, the browser creates DOM tree, applies CSS, executes JS, etc.

In the same example that we considered above, if we are certain that the users next action would be to visit www.flipkart.com, then we can prerender the entire webpage like this:

<link rel=’prerender href=’http://www.flipkart.com/’>

When the browser encounters this, it will load the webpage and all the necessary resources in a hidden tab. If the user visits the specified URL, then the current tab is replaced with the new tab making the webpage visible instantly. Google Search has had this feature for years under the name Instant Pages. Microsoft recently announced they’re going to implement a similar feature for prerendering in Bing on IE11.

The following image illustrates the browser support for the pre-browsing techniques mentioned above:

It is very important to proactively monitor webpages to ensure if this performance optimization technique is working or not. Catchpoint’s digital experience intelligence platform helps you monitor it actively (synthetic monitoring) and passively (real user measurement).

The post Using Prefetch as a Proactive Approach appeared first on Catchpoint's Blog - Web Performance Monitoring.

More Stories By Mehdi Daoudi

Catchpoint radically transforms the way businesses manage, monitor, and test the performance of online applications. Truly understand and improve user experience with clear visibility into complex, distributed online systems.

Founded in 2008 by four DoubleClick / Google executives with a passion for speed, reliability and overall better online experiences, Catchpoint has now become the most innovative provider of web performance testing and monitoring solutions. We are a team with expertise in designing, building, operating, scaling and monitoring highly transactional Internet services used by thousands of companies and impacting the experience of millions of users. Catchpoint is funded by top-tier venture capital firm, Battery Ventures, which has invested in category leaders such as Akamai, Omniture (Adobe Systems), Optimizely, Tealium, BazaarVoice, Marketo and many more.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that SourceForge has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SourceForge is the largest, most trusted destination for Open Source Software development, collaboration, discovery and download on the web serving over 32 million viewers, 150 million downloads and over 460,000 active development projects each and every month.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
Elon Musk is among the notable industry figures who worries about the power of AI to destroy rather than help society. Mark Zuckerberg, on the other hand, embraces all that is going on. AI is most powerful when deployed across the vast networks being built for Internets of Things in the manufacturing, transportation and logistics, retail, healthcare, government and other sectors. Is AI transforming IoT for the good or the bad? Do we need to worry about its potential destructive power? Or will we...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SIGMA Corporation will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. uLaser flow inspection device from the Japanese top share to Global Standard! Then, make the best use of data to flip to next page. For more information, visit http://www.sigma-k.co.jp/en/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Daiya Industry specializes in orthotic support systems and assistive devices with pneumatic artificial muscles in order to contribute to an extended healthy life expectancy. For more information, please visit https://www.daiyak...
SYS-CON Events announced today that B2Cloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. B2Cloud specializes in IoT devices for preventive and predictive maintenance in any kind of equipment retrieving data like Energy consumption, working time, temperature, humidity, pressure, etc.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that NetApp has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. NetApp is the data authority for hybrid cloud. NetApp provides a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation. Together with their partners, NetApp em...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interface Corporation will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Interface Corporation is a company developing, manufacturing and marketing high quality and wide variety of industrial computers and interface modules such as PCIs and PCI express. For more information, visit http://www.i...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Mobile Create USA will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Mobile Create USA Inc. is an MVNO-based business model that uses portable communication devices and cellular-based infrastructure in the development, sales, operation and mobile communications systems incorporating GPS capabi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Nihon Micron will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Nihon Micron Co., Ltd. strives for technological innovation to establish high-density, high-precision processing technology for providing printed circuit board and metal mount RFID tags used for communication devices. For more inf...
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Suzuki Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Suzuki Inc. is a semiconductor-related business, including sales of consuming parts, parts repair, and maintenance for semiconductor manufacturing machines, etc. It is also a health care business providing experimental research for...
While some developers care passionately about how data centers and clouds are architected, for most, it is only the end result that matters. To the majority of companies, technology exists to solve a business problem, and only delivers value when it is solving that problem. 2017 brings the mainstream adoption of containers for production workloads. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben McCormack, VP of Operations at Evernote, will discuss how data centers of the future will be managed, how th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ryobi Systems will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ryobi Systems Co., Ltd., as an information service company, specialized in business support for local governments and medical industry. We are challenging to achive the precision farming with AI. For more information, visit http:...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
SYS-CON Events announced today that mruby Forum will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. mruby is the lightweight implementation of the Ruby language. We introduce mruby and the mruby IoT framework that enhances development productivity. For more information, visit http://forum.mruby.org/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusic will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Fusic Co. provides mocks as virtual IoT devices. You can customize mocks, and get any amount of data at any time in your test. For more information, visit https://fusic.co.jp/english/.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Greg Gorman is the Director, IoT Developer Ecosystem, Watson IoT, will provide a short tutorial on Node-RED, a Node.js-based programming tool for wiring together hardware devices, APIs and online services in new and interesting ways. It provides a browser-based editor that makes it easy to wire together flows using a wide range of nodes in the palette that can be deployed to its runtime in a single-click. There is a large library of contributed nodes that help so...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enroute Lab will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enroute Lab is an industrial design, research and development company of unmanned robotic vehicle system. For more information, please visit http://elab.co.jp/.