Web Browsing Performance of
Wireless Thinclient Computing
Web applications are becoming increasingly popular for mobile wireless systems. However, wireless networks can have high packet loss rates, which can degrade web browsing performance on wireless systems. An alternative approach is wireless thin client computing, in which the web browser runs on a remote thin server with a more reliable wired connection to the Internet. A mobile client then maintains a connection to the thin server to receive display updates over the lossy wireless network. To assess the viability of this thin-client approach, we compare the web browsing performance of thin clients against fat clients that run the web browser locally in lossy wireless networks. Our results show that thin clients can operate quite effectively over lossy networks. Compared to fat clients running web browsers locally, our results show surprisingly that thin clients can be faster and more resilient on web applications over lossy wireless LANs despite having to send more data over the network. We characterize and analyze different design choices in various thin client systems and explain why these approaches can yield superior web browsing performance in lossy wireless networks.
Categories and Subject Descriptors
C.4 [Computer Systems Organization]: Performance of Systems— Reliability, Availability, and Serviceability
Experimentation, Measurement, Performance, Reliability
thin-client computing, web performance, wireless and mobility
The popularity of web applications and the increasing availability of wireless networks are fueling a growing proliferation of wireless and mobile computing devices. Furthermore, wireless thin
To appear in the Proceedings of Twelfth International World Wide Web Conference (WWW2003)
client computing systems are also beginning to emerge. A thinclient computing system consists of a server and a client that communicate over a...