HTTP/2 is the latest implementation of the HTTP protocol which is primarily designed to provide enhanced performance by reducing latency between browsers and servers. HTTP/2 is an official Internet protocol and the standard has been published by the Internet Engineering Task Force as RFC7540.
Performance Enhancements in HTTP/2
Several performance enhancements have been introduced with HTTP/2 including:
- Data Compression
- Server Push
- Removal of blocking issues in HTTP 1.0
- TCP/IP Multiplexing of requests
Most current browsers support HTTP/2 and will negotiate the appropriate connection protocol with servers. Where a server does not support HTTP/2, the browser will revert to HTTP 1.1. HTTP/2 does not differ from HTTP 1.1 in terms of syntax but implements a different protocol for transfers between the client and the server. The main difference is that the server can push content to the client in anticipation of the client requesting the content which leads to faster rendering of pages in browsers.
TLS Security in HTTP/2
While TLS encryption is not mandatory in HTTP/2 according to the RFC, most browsers will only support HTTP/2 over a TLS secured connection. This means that TLS will essentially become the default when using HTTP/2 connections.
HTTP/2 Support in LoadMaster
LoadMaster supports HTTP/2 client connections and proxies requests over HTTP 1.1 to the application servers to deliver an enhanced user experience and improved site performance for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Load Balancing Outlook Web Access (OWA)
As a Microsoft approved solution for load balancing OWA, LoadMaster includes proven templates that simplify the deployment of Exchange services that are hosted across multiple front-end servers. OWA security is significantly enhanced as LoadMaster includes the Edge Security Pack (ESP) as a Microsoft Forefront TMG replacement offering authentication, logging, and single sign-on.