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Enabling Network Caching of Dynamic Web Objects

Garg, Pankaj K.; Eshghi, Kave; Haverkort, Boudewijn; Gschwind, Thomas; Wolter, Katinka

HPL-2002-58

Keyword(s): software performance monitoring; Web performance tuning; response time breakdown; application response monitoring; Web caching; dynamic Web pages; cache update policies

Abstract: The World Wide Web is an important infrastructure for enabling modern information-rich applications. Businesses can lose value due to lack of timely employee communication, poor employee coordination, or poor brand image with slow or unresponsive web applications. In this paper, we analyze the responsiveness of an Intranet web application, i.e., an application within the corporate firewalls. Using a new Web monitoring tool called WebMon, we found, contrary to our initial expectations, substantial variations in the responsiveness for different users of the Intranet Web application. As in the Internet, traditional caching approaches could improve the responsiveness of the Intranet web-application, we as far as static objects are concerned. We provide a solution to enable network caching of dynamic web objects, which ordinarily would not be cached by clients and proxies. Overall, our solution significantly improved the performance of the web application and reduced the variance in the response times by three orders of magnitude. Our cache enabling architecture can be used in other web applications.

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