Presentations

Caching Behavior of Web Browsers

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Executive Summary

It is interesting to note how the contents of a web page can be stored in the browser's cache so it doesn't need to be re-requested and re-downloaded. Thus, efficiently using the browser cache can improve end user response times and reduce bandwidth utilization. The cache-ability of an item on the browser is determined by the response headers returned from the origin web server and a validator such as an ETag or Last-Modified header which must be present in the response and a valid expiration time that is still within the fresh period. The use of the browser cache is dependent on three main things - browser settings, the website (HTML code and HTTP headers), and how the user loads the page. The paper gives in detail steps to use cache behavior of a web browser and its settings. It concludes by proving that eliminating the need for the browser to download content on repeat visits can greatly improve the performance of web applications. The study also explores the benefits of the BIG-IP WebAccelerator by using recommended settings such as modifying browser settings to explore SSL contents which are cached, use of an iRule to remove random parameters, and enable caching. It mentions that a new browser session must be initiated to see the differences of the application with and without acceleration.

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