"ExpBan: nnn was banned"

Martin Goldman me at mgoldman.com
Sat Jun 20 04:06:52 CEST 2009

Hi folks,

We have a newly deployed Varnish installation (v2.0.4 on Debian 5.0 64-bit).
Our hitrate is pretty good (80%+) and the load on the server is consistently
0.00. The cache size is 50G and the TTL is set to basically cache things
indefinitely (it's set to like 1000 years, I think).

I got a complaint from a user that some percentage of his page views seem
too slow to be coming from the cache. I brought up our home page and started
refreshing it over and over. Sure enough, while most of the page views are
in fact getting  cached, once every 5 or 6 times, I get a cache miss. When
this happens, varnishlog shows something like this:

   32 VCL_call     c recv lookup
   32 VCL_call     c hash hash
*   32 ExpBan       c 1607291667 was banned
*   32 VCL_call     c miss fetch

I apologize if my google-fu is broken today, but I can't seem to find a
description of what the message above means. I would certainly appreciate
any information (or links) that would help explain this message and how to
prevent the problem going forward.

Thanks and regards,
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