Varnish minus VCL?

john allspaw jallspaw at
Thu Sep 27 06:09:50 CEST 2007

Not to take away from what sounds like a fun and sensible idea, but done correctly, 
the suggestions that Ask made (perbal, or an LB) don't have to be viewed as "bottlenecks"
or a single-point of failure.  Load balancers can be very good things to have. :)


----- Original Message ----
From: Luke Macpherson <varnish at>
To: Ask Bjørn Hansen <ask at>
Cc: varnish-dev at
Sent: Wednesday, September 26, 2007 5:29:12 PM
Subject: Re: Varnish minus VCL?

> How many servers do you have that this is a concern?

Enough. Though frankly, even if you had a small number of servers it
would still be nice to support pluggable load balancing and failover

> Have you considered just putting perlbal or a load-balancer appliance
> between varnish and your backend servers?  Then the dedicated device
> can take care of load-balancing, fail-over and all that fun - and you
> can use the management systems there to take backend servers in and
> out.   Varnish then will just have to do what it does so well,

Inserting a bottleneck and single point of failure doesn't sound like
a good idea. Having m varnish servers talking to n backends gives a
much better failover and redundancy model.

By the way, I'm not asking anyone to implement this for me. I am a
software engineer (not a network administrator), and since I have to
do this anyway it's worth doing it in a way that can potentially
contribute back to the project.
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