June 17th, 2008

I installed Varnish on my bart "Lenny" testing machine, its a reverse proxy, which as I understand it means it acts a lot like a regular web server, but instead of getting content off a file system, it redirects requests to other web servers, and caches the content.

About Varnish

The creators of Varnish put a lot of thought into this program, and I imagine that they've come up with a nice result. I'm interested in trying out the new ESI language (edge-side includes, similar to server-side includes, SSI), as well as the VCL (varnish configuration language). VCL looks like perl, but it is transformed into C and compiled into machine code. Cool!

Configuring Varnish

Trying out Varnish is easy. I edited /etc/default/varnish to route requests to bart:80, then loaded up bart:6081/. Bingo, same content served as from port 80. So what's the big deal? VCL can implement regexp url rewriting. :-)

Other Reverse Proxies

  • Nginx
  • Lighttpd
  • Apache w/ mod_proxy
  • Squid
  • Pound
  • Perlbal

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