newbie questions

Martin Boer martin.boer at
Mon Sep 28 11:46:51 CEST 2009


I am looking into Varnish to see if it can replace Squid and so far that
seems fairly easy to do.
I've read the documentation and still have some questions/remarks.

- The documentation on the website seems to try to describe both the 1.1 
as the 2.0 syntax. Or more likely; not all the documentation has been 
upgraded to the 2.0 syntax.
The man pages were more helpful, but of course reading the man pages 
wasn't exactly the first thing I tried. :)

- At this moment I'm testing varnish using jmeter and browsing my brains 
out. It seems that varnish can easily handle everything I throw at it 
but it would have been nice if in the documentation there would be some 
performance figures.
Some figures with different cpu/power, memory, OS brand and 32/64 
versions would be nice. And of course how much bandwidth you can server 
before saturating varnish.
I understand that every situation is different but it would help when 
someone needs to convince management.

- I've seen that I could use -s file or -s malloc. What happens if I use
neither of them and what are the pro's and con's of either option.
The man pages describes perfectly -how- to use the options but not 
really -why-.
I'm now using the factory default
	-s file,/var/lib/varnish/$INSTANCE/varnish_storage.bin,1G
but don't really know if that's smart.
The same goes for some other options. Some, 'if you want <this>, you 
might try <that>' would help.

Our websites are very dynamic but a ttl of 300s
and grace period of 10m are workable. As most data except the pictures 
will be outdated very quick it wouldn't really be a problem if
there wouldn't be a file. If that would help performance on a daily 
basis that would be preferable to a faster startup in the unlikely event 
varnish crashes.

- I've seen that varnish also has load balancing features like pound.
Will more features be added so I could skip pound in the near future.
I know there's no way you can really answer that question for me, but 
never mind    that. I suppose dropping pound would decrease latency
which is always good.


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