Mighty made a big splash recently with their HN launch.

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 different reason.

I think Mighty might work because of the effect of latency on networking round trips.

Most modern web based systems talk 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 a bad thing. Latency + round trips is what’s slowing everything down.

Streaming technology is free from these problems. There’s no round trips — 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 round trips.



In this example the resulting latency is 90ms vs 360ms for the "standard" setup.
And that's only with 3 round trips

I could see a future in which Mighty becomes a client for a network of Mighty-enabled websites where instead of an HTTPS load balancer you put a video-streaming (Mighty?) server in front of your backend.