Varnish use for purely binary files

Michael S. Fischer michael at
Mon Jan 18 23:27:36 CET 2010

On Jan 18, 2010, at 2:16 PM, pub crawler wrote:

>> Most kernels cache recently-accessed files in RAM, and so common web servers such as Apache can ?>already serve up static objects very quickly if they are located in the buffer cache.  (Varnish's apparent >speed is largely based on the same phenomenon.)  If the data is already cached in the origin server's buffer >caches, then interposing an additional caching layer may actually be somewhat harmful because it will add >some additional latency.
> So far Varnish is performing very well for us as a web server of these
> cached objects.   The connection time for an item out of Varnish is
> noticeably faster than with web servers we have used - even where the
> items have been cached.  We are mostly using 3rd party tools like
> to look at the item times.
> Varnish is good as a slice in a few different place in a cluster and a
> few more when running distributed geographic clusters.   Aside from
> Nginx or something highly optimized I am fairly certain Varnish
> provides faster serving of cached objects as an out of the box default
> experience.  I'll eventually find some time to test it in our
> environment against web servers we use.

I have a hard time believing that any difference in the total response time of a cached static object between Varnish and a general-purpose webserver will be statistically significant, especially considering typical Internet network latency.  If there's any difference it should be well under a millisecond.

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