Mighty made a big splash recently with their HN launch. Some people like it, some don’t, some even call the idea crazy.

Most commentators seem to be focusing on CPU / RAM savings as the pros and input latency / pricing as the cons. I find Mighty to be interesting for a completely different reason.

In my opinion, Mighty might work because of the effect of latency on back-and-forth communications.

Most modern web based systems chit chat a lot and exchange messages based on the information they received from prior communications. Examples of this are:

  • TCP + TLS handshakes
  • websites loading stylesheets and scripts after the main document loads



The effects of latency increase as you move users and servers further apart.


Latency in and of itself is not that bad. Latency + back-and-forth communication is the plague of modern day web.

Streaming technology is free from these problems. There’s no back-and-forth — streaming server just sends a video stream to the user. If you put Mighty streaming servers close to popular web services you massively decrease the amount of latency introduced by the back-and-forth communications.



In this example the resulting latency is 90ms vs 360ms for the "standard" setup.
And that's only with 3 back-and-forths

I could see a future in which Mightly becomes a client for a network of Mighty-enabled websites where instead of an HTTPS loadbalancer you put a video-streaming (Mighty?) server in front of your backend. How’s that for a crazy idea?