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PipeBoost Internet Information Server (IIS) Content Compression Product

Submitted on: 1/5/2015 11:24:00 PM
By: Ian Ippolito (PSC)  
Level: Beginner
User Rating: By 11 Users
Compatibility: ASP (Active Server Pages)
Views: 1622
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     Pipebost is a content compression product that dynamically compresses content served out by your IIS server before it gets to the browser. This dramatically reduces the time it takes the document to load in the user's browser as well as cuts down on bandwidth usage. For example, PipeBoost has reduced the bandwidth usage on by a whopping 27% --which is basically an entire T1! And the .asp pages load much quicker...about 50% faster than before. The slower your connection the more you notice PipeBoost.


How does it work?

How does it work? If you think about it the .htm, .asp, etc. files being served by IIS are not very efficient...they are basically bulky text files. If you could compress them before sending them out, your download times would be greatly shortened.

I didn't know this before, but the HTTP 1.1 standard actually already includes support for this sort of compression. This standard is supported in 95% of browsers...IE4.0+, Netscape 4.0+ and Opera 4.0+). However, you do need the right software on your internet server to recognize the browser and serve it out compressed content...and most servers don't have this.

Microsoft included such a feature in IIS...but if you've used it, you know that it's a little buggy and it only works on static HTM pages...not your dynamic ASP pages.

That's where PipeBoost comes into play. It can compress content on the fly and serve it to the browser, which un-compresses it and displays it. It is so simple to just run a short 3 minute install program and its ready to configuration required on either the server or the browser (of course if you want to get fancy you can tweak the server GUI for hours...but for most installations the default install will be more than adequate).

Test Results

Before rolling out PipeBoost, I tested it in the lab. I downloaded the trial version and installed it on a server here in Tampa, Florida. Then I put a test 9.12 Mb Excel Spreadsheet in a test directory and downloaded it from a browser located in Boston, Mass. (this was done via terminal server) and measured the results.

The improvement was eye-popping.

Time to download
No compression 1 minute 2 seconds
PipeBoost compression 23 seconds
Difference: 3.7 x speed increase

After rolling it into production, I immediately saw a 27% decrease in bandwidth usage...or about an entire T1 worth of data. Planet Source Code actually has alot more compressed .zip files than most sites do (which of course can't be further compressed by PipeBoost), so most sites should see an even larger decrease in bandwidth.

Trying it on your own

PipeBoost has a great tool on their web site that lets you test their product on your own web site, without having to install get an idea of how much it can compress your content and save you. Just go to PipeBoost and click on "Request Report" and then type in your URL. The Planet Source Code home page showed that it could be compressed 73%!

My Conclusion

This is one of the few 'must have' products for IIS. I your website does anything more than trivial traffic, you should seriously consider this program. To download this program , go to PipeBoost and click on 'Downloads'.

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