Published on February 18, 2014
Caching Solutions: Varnish with Bogdan Hadadea
1. General Description: Varnish • HTTP Accelerator • Caching reverse proxy o Sits in front of any HTTP server • Load Balancer • Fail Over System • Perfect Browser caching solution o Prevents hard refresh calls • Typical speedup: 300x-1000x • VCL – compiled to C • ESI
1. General Description: Varnish ESI – Edge Side Includes • Allows page fragmentation • Fragments with different TTL • ESI are serialized • Configurable depth of ESI calls • Doesn’t support alt and noerror attributes • ESI calls can’t set cookies
2. Usage: Varnish • Originally built for Norwegian newspaper • Current users: o o o o o Facebook Twitter Hulu BBC Wired
3. Architecture: Varnish - Overview
3. Architecture: Varnish Main methods: • • • • • vcl_recv – beginning of request vcl_fetch – after response from backend vcl_hash – how to create a hash key vcl_deliver – before a cached object is delivered vcl_error – when there is an error
3. Architecture: Varnish VCL_RECV: • • • • Manipulate/remove cookies Manipulate/add/remove headers Request standardization Cache bypassing
3. Architecture: Varnish VCL_FETCH • • • • • Enable ESI Manipulate headers Manipulate cookies Vary Set/manipulate cache times
4. Comparison: Squid Advantages of Squid over Varnish: • Built in SSL support • Better support for streaming delivery of objects • Support for antivirus plugins Advantages of Varnish over Squid: • Amazing configuration system – VCL • Better performance and scalability • Better invalidation support • Better module support
5. Conclusion • Simple and great performance increase • VCL is powerful but sometimes simple is better • Make sure you can still handle a cold start
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