Is LCI on the radar?

Lukas Kahwe Smith mls at
Mon Jun 27 16:41:18 CEST 2011

On 31.05.2011, at 12:58, Laurence Rowe wrote:

> On 31 May 2011 10:34, Per Buer <perbu at> wrote:
> Hi 
> On Tue, May 31, 2011 at 12:23 AM, Lukas Kahwe Smith <mls at> wrote:
> Hi,
> I assume some of you have stumbled over LCI by now:
> This is actually quite interesting. For an application we are building we are looking to create an invalidation service to which the various independent frontend server applications can register and which gets notified by the backend. Of course the frontends then have to figure out which pages all need to be invalidated. The original article will be easy. Some of the category overviews will also be easy to delete. What will already get harder is invalidating all articles that reference the given article and worse yet would be if we start caching search results.
> So I am wondering if you guys are looking at LCI for a future varnish impovement and if someone has build something like this on top of varnish today already that could maybe help us here.
> I'm pretty sure this can be implemented in VCL. No need to place it on the radar. I have an upcoming blog-post describing something similar. It might get a bit hairy with all the regular expression so it might be cleaner in a module.
> I experimented with something that sounds similar. Each page set a header recording the the content item ids that were used in rendering the page. They could then be purged with a regex including any dependents id.
> It works when you update or delete a content item, but it can't help the case where you add a new content item and want that to appear in listing.

So we are looking to implement this. However I have one question:
How well does this perform if you start to have 100k, 1M or more objects in your varnish cache?
Does varnish create some sort of index of all headers? I assume even if it did, it cant really leverage it with a regexp.

Just dont want to kill my varnish servers CPU/harddrive when I start to purge stuff. If someone could give me some indication of what to expect it would be very good. We will in the end of course have to do our own benchmarks, but it would be good to be able to control expectations :)

I guess in the long run if one would want to properly implement LCI it would be necessary to maybe use an sqlite DB and some inline C magic to parse the relevant headers in there and then use that for lookups when doing a PURGE.

Does anyone have an idea how much effort it would be to properly implement LCI in Varnish and how we could maybe organize funding among all interested parties?

Lukas Kahwe Smith
mls at

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