MeshCentral - Compression & Cost Savings

As MeshCentral is increasingly popular as a self-hosted remote management solution, many may not realize that in addition to the hosting costs of running the server, hosting providers also change for traffic. In the case of Amazon AWS, inbound traffic is free but outbound traffic from the server is charged at $0.09 US per GB, the first GB being free. This means that even if you are using a 35$/mo instance to manage over 10k+ devices, the monthly costs of the network traffic can be significantly higher than server cost depending on usage.

With the latest published version of MeshCentral, many new features where added to help increase server speed, scalability and reduce hosting costs thru minification and compression. The sum of which can result in a significant reduction of hosting costs. This week, Bryan Roe added ZIP/DEFLATE support to the MeshAgent for compressed updates and traffic compression. In addition, the MeshCentral server now has addition support for traffic compression and web page minification and compression. In detail:
  • WebSocket Compression. In the latest release of MeshCentral, both server and agents now support RFC7692, pre-message deflate. When activates on the server, Browser WebSocket traffic will now be compressed. If also enabled on the agent, server-to-agent traffic will be compressed. So far, on Windows remote desktop session, there seems to be a 10% to 20% compression which is significant as much of the MeshCentral traffic is remote desktop.
  • MeshAgent Update Compression. When updating the MeshAgent, around 3MB of data must be sent to each device. This varies depending on the agent type, but when done at scale can incur significant traffic on the server. With the latest version, MeshCentral now pre-compresses the agents and sends compressed updates to the agents. This cuts agent update traffic in half and improves update performance.
  • MeshAgent Core Compression. In addition to the MeshAgent itself, MeshCentral runs JavaScript code on the agent and this is now also compressed. JavaScript code is already minified, but compression drops it to less than 1/4 the original size. Again, this is pre-compressed at server start and cuts server load and improves performance.
  • Web Page Compression + Minification. On top of all the optimizations done above, MeshCentral can serve minified web pages and apply traffic compression on top of this. When both minification and compression are using, the traffic caused by loading the main MeshCentral web application is cut to almost 1/4th the size.
As you see in the graphics below, the new features will help reduce the hosting costs of a MeshCentral server by a significant amount. Because MeshCentral can already run on a low-cost Linux instance starting under 6$ a month on AWS, it makes MeshCentral an outstanding value for your IT dollars.

Many thanks to Bryan Roe for agent ZIP/DEFLATE support and the GitHub community for their continued work. As usual, feedback appreciated. If you see any problems and need support on something, please create a new issue on GitHub or help other users


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