Flywheel: Google's Data Compression Proxy for the Mobile Web

Victor Agababov
Michael Buettner
Victor Chudnovsky
Mark Cogan
Ben Greenstein
Shane McDaniel
Michael Piatek
Colin Scott
Matt Welsh
Bolian Yin
Proceedings of the 12th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI 2015)

Abstract

Mobile devices are increasingly the dominant Internet access technology. Nevertheless, high costs, data caps, and throttling are a source of widespread frustration, and a significant barrier to adoption in emerging markets. This paper presents Flywheel, an HTTP proxy service that extends the life of mobile data plans by compressing responses in-flight between origin servers and client browsers. Flywheel is integrated with the Chrome web browser and reduces the size of proxied web pages by 50% for a median user. We report measurement results from millions of users as well as experience gained during three years of operating and evolving the production service at Google.