Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Amazon Silk: Web Browser in the Cloud

With the Kindle Fire, Amazon releases "Amazon Silk". This is a web browser which holds your browser session in the Amazon cloud, renders the pages in the cloud and transfers the result to the local browser.

Amazon Silk

Amazon uses a lot of techniques to speed up page load:
  • Amazon's data centers are located around the globe, and most pages are close to an EC2 instance. This allows low round-trip time for page and resource load.
  • Many web pages are already hosted in Amazon's cloud. No external access is needed.
  • Does page rendering on fast EC2 instances.
  • Keeps open connections to popular web servers.
  • Keeps an open connection between cloud and browser client.
  • Cache content in the cloud.
  • Prefetch content (pages) to client. What to prefetch is based on aggregated browsing patterns.
  • Update: Compile JavaScript to ARM machine code.

Opera Mobile already uses some of the same techniques. It will be interesting to see how good Amazon's solution is.

Tablets are becoming more integrated with the cloud, and less dependent on the PC. The Kindle Fire is the first tablet to only use the cloud, and this is its main strength. It will be interesting to see how the other vendors react to this.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This creates problems for sites that store browser session html storage, and/or anything that is designed around the beginning or end of a browser session being triggered by the browser "cloud terminal" being closed (which does not end the browser session up in the cloud).