Varnish on shared virtual server with limited memory

Ole Laursen olau at
Fri Oct 30 14:27:49 CET 2009

Hi fellow painters,

I'm using Varnish on a shared hosting site on a virtual server. Has been working
like a charm, however, I have for some time been wondering why ssh'ing into the
box and loading seldomly loaded pages seems to have gotten significantly slower
(maybe 10 seconds).

If I look at the memory usage, Varnish has allocated about 1 GB virtual memory
and 600 MB resident. I think there's about 700 MB memory available on the
virtual server. So maybe Varnish is pushing some of the less frequently used
applications into swap (or out of the file cache)? Is there some way to fix this
other than to decrease the cache size?

This is on a Linux server (2.6.9) with Varnish started with "-s

Coming to think of it, it's a bit odd that there's 600 MB resident. I don't
think the working set size for say a week is more than maybe 100 MB. The sites
hosted on this server are quite small, and all static data has a "pass" rule so
shouldn't enter the cache.


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