Varnish use for purely binary files

Michael S. Fischer michael at
Tue Jan 19 01:17:59 CET 2010

On Jan 18, 2010, at 4:06 PM, Poul-Henning Kamp wrote:

> In message <02D0EC1A-D0B0-40EE-B278-B57714E54BAE at>, "Michael S. Fis
> cher" writes:
>> But we are not discussing serving dynamic content in this thread
>> anyway.  We are talking about binary files, aren't we?  Yes?  Blobs
>> on disk?  Unless everyone is living on a different plane then me,
>> then I think that's what we're talking about.
>> For those you should be using a general purpose webserver.  There's
>> no reason you can't run both side by side.  And I stand by my
>> original statement about their performance relative to Varnish.
> Why would you use a general purpose webserver, if Varnish can
> deliver 80 or 90% of your content much faster and much cheaper ?

There's no question that Varnish is faster and that it can handle more peak requests per second than a general-purpose webserver at a near-100% cache hit rate.  I'm merely contending that the small amount of added latency for a cache hit, where neither server is operating at full capacity, is not enough to significantly affect the user experience.

There are many competing factors that need to go into the planning process other than pure peak capacity, among them the cache hit ratio, the cost of a cache miss, and where your money is better spent: installing RAM in cache servers or in origin servers.


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