CDN77 Now Supports Brotli

1 minute read

Every byte matters, especially when you pay for it. That’s the reason we were so excited to learn about Brotli, a library developed by Google promising even better compression than Gzip.

While Chrome and Firefox developers are working hard to implement this tool into their next releases, so were we! Starting today, compatible browsers can ask for the data to be sent over compressed by the Brotli algorithm.

Our tests were in line with experiments made by 9to5google.com and Akamai and confirm that Brotli should bring 25% reduction in data size compared to Gzip for the most common assets like Javascript and CSS files. For HTML, Brotli promises up to 40% difference (with median around 25%).

Since you only pay for the data transferred with us, this should bring you not only an improvement in speed of your content delivery, but also significant savings.

Brotli and CDN77

Brotli development

Brotli is a compression algorithm introduced in September 2015 by Google. It has had a predecessor Zopfli – an algorithm which has been created in 2013 and served mainly for compression of web fonts.

We planned to bring Brotli to you about 2 months earlier, but we realised that some major browsers weren’t ready.  And what’s the point in providing Brotli support without your users being able to take advantage of it, right? While deploying, we found a bug in the code but the awesome guys from Chrome development team fixed it in light speed. So even thanks to them you can enjoy Brotli in Chrome today.

How to test Brotli?

Anything that makes your content delivery faster and cheaper is a high priority for us. That’s why we now offer the Brotli support for free to all clients. If you are our customer, there is no need to activate the functionality, it’s ON by default. Gzip and non-compressed transfers of course remain intact.

If you aren’t among our clients yet, feel free to sign up for our free 14-day trial. Our trial doesn’t limit the functionality, so you can also test Brotli.

As the first CDN provider to come with Brotli support, we wish you a smooth ride!

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  • I find it quite funny that the project follows bread names from Swiss bakeries. Most probably has to do with it being developed in Zürich. Do you know if this will be available also on NGINX as an add-on?

    • Jessica Collins

      Hi Brian, do you mean an nginx module? Unfortunately there is none publicly available that would work :/ But probably there will be one out later, once Brotli becomes more popular.

      • Tom

        There are a few ngx_ modules.
        Google publish theirs:
        https://github.com/google/ngx_brotli

        As do CloudFlare:
        https://github.com/cloudflare/ngx_brotli_module

        There are a couple of other implementations knocking about. Not sure if these will work with recent nginx-mainline version(s) that support run time modules, so you may need to recompile nginx from scratch.

        • Jessica Collins

          The fix to the issue is not included in Google’s version yet. Should be soon, but you need to do some hacking around at the moment.

  • Thai

    Brotli also needs a Java implementation (to be used in Java application servers), to be supported in Apache, nginx, IIS and nodejs as well.

    • For Microsoft IIS there is this free Brotli compression module

    • @Thai

      You’re 100% right, for a broader adoption Java servers needed to be enabled for brotli compression.
      I’ve great news for you: this is already done:
      https://github.com/meteogroup/jbrotli
      These are Java bindings for Google’s brotli library, as well as implementations for servlet filters and input&output streams. Jbrotli is a drop in replacement for many gzip use cases.

  • Eric Lawrence

    It’s important to note that Brotli can only be used over HTTPS connections. (Also, the bug in question was in the Brotli compression filter for nginx. Chrome gets brotli support on-by-default in version 50 beta; see https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=452335).

  • wow, nice!