Intermittent 503's from Varnish

AD straightflush at
Mon Nov 7 16:52:14 CET 2011

Hmm that seems strange.  So if you dont set grace mode, saint mode just
offers you the ability to use an alternate backend and take one out of
rotation?  Grace mode seems to be a different use case where it will serve
stale while multiple requests are requesting the same object to prevent
request queueing.

Otherwise cant you achieve the same result with a director + healthchecks?

On Mon, Nov 7, 2011 at 9:51 AM, Steve Webster <steve.webster at>wrote:

> On 7 Nov 2011, at 13:31, AD wrote:
> > Hmm Steve, not sure, here is the snippet from that wiki link.
> >
> > Saint mode enables you to discard a certain page from one backend server
> and either try another server or serve stale content from cache
> >
> > When we set beresp.saintmode to 10 seconds Varnish will not ask that
> server for URL for 10 seconds. A blacklist, more or less. Also a restart is
> performed so if you have other backends capable of serving that content
> Varnish will try those. When you are out of backends Varnish will serve the
> content from its stale cache.
> If you set saintmode without also setting grace on both the cache object
> and the request, Varnish will simply end up returning 503 errors when
> you're out of working backends.
> Cheers,
> Steve
> --
> Steve Webster
> Web Architect
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