Compression question / problem

Alex Tweedly alex at tweedly.net
Wed Jan 12 17:58:46 EST 2005


Chipp Walters wrote:

> It'll take only slightly longer to download 50 separate files than one 
> large file. I think I would make that design decision based on other 
> criteria than just time.

I have to disagree with that  -  it may take more than "slightly 
longer", depending on circumstances.

Multiple small files (assuming you don't parallelize them) will cost you 
at least one extra round-trip time per file (and possibly more depending 
on the server, firewall, proxy, nat box, etc.). So on a "typical" 
client, open a shell and "ping" the server. Take the average round-trip 
time reported, and multiply by 50 - that's the approx cost of multiple 
small files.

You have a base time of around 10 seconds in this case (50 x 10k over a 
512K DSL connection), so you can tell whether or not it would be a 
noticeable increase.

my house to my web server      
   round trip = 48ms, overhead = 2.4 secs.  10 sec vs 12 sec ? - not 
important.
my house to runrev.com
   round trip = 140 ms, overhead = 7 seconds.   10 sec vs 17 sec - worth 
worrying about.

-- Alex.


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