httpd-dev mailing list archives

Site index · List index
Message view « Date » · « Thread »
Top « Date » · « Thread »
From Bryan McQuade <>
Subject Re: Fast by default
Date Tue, 01 Jun 2010 14:17:59 GMT
On Tue, Jun 1, 2010 at 5:38 AM, Graham Leggett <> wrote:
> On 01 Jun 2010, at 2:30 AM, Bryan McQuade wrote:
>> I had a conversation with a well known hosting provider recently and
>> they told me they use the default Apache configuration for their
>> shared hosting service. When I asked if they provide gzip as an option
>> for their users, they said no, since it was not enabled by default.
>> When I explained to them that enabling gzip has significant benefits
>> for end users they were very interested in turning on gzip. This
>> company just used the default Apache config, assuming that it was
>> reasonably well tuned by default. You can claim that they're making
>> bad, uninformed decisions, or whatever you want to, but the fact
>> remains: some Apache users assume that the default config is a
>> reasonably good config, and use it as-is.
> The very definition of "tuned" means "tailored for your local setup".
> The default httpd configuration works reasonably well out the box. It is
> only when your site has special needs that it should start changing the
> setup, and the site should understand what their needs are and whether it is
> appropriate to turn it on.
> Zooming into mod_deflate, mod_deflate only makes sense if you have the CPU
> to support it. If you don't have enough CPU support (think virtualised
> hosts), mod_deflate will be a performance drag, not a boost. Typically, you
> would want to front a mod_deflate with an HTTP cache, such as mod_cache (or
> equivalent). Here mod_cache only makes sense if you have the disk space to
> support it, and there is no real one-size-fits-all cache setup.

I agree that there are cases where the CPU costs are too great for
mod_deflate, but I claim that this is a very small minority in 2010.

Paul Buchheit (creator of Gmail, Friendfeed) did a nice analysis of
the cost/benefit tradeoffs of enabling gzip about a year ago. His
finding was that enabling gzip is a significant cost saver for most

> The next problem is that you only want to enable mod_deflate on compressible
> content - that means "not images" for most people, but might not be. Again,
> not every site has the same content, and therefore not every site has the
> same setup for mod_delate.
> This said, our default config is 15 years old, and attempts to disable
> deflate for browsers that don't support it, like "Netscape 4". Unless there
> are modern browsers that have broken protocol support for transfer encoding,
> these obsolete examples need to be removed.
> Regards,
> Graham
> --

View raw message