About response header and request header condition

Jewel Nuruddin jewel.nuruddin at eastbeam.co.jp
Thu Feb 23 08:47:12 CET 2012

Nice explanation. Thank you very much.
This really clear some of my though about some vcl function.

On Thu, Feb 23, 2012 at 4:22 PM, Michael Alger <varnish at mm.quex.org> wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 23, 2012 at 03:29:42PM +0900, Jewel Nuruddin wrote:
> > in my VCL configuration
> >
> > sub vcl_recv {
> >
> > ### pass if http hearder response is "SMARTPHONE:1"
> >           if (req.http.SMARTPHONE ~ "1") {
> >                 return (pass);
> >                 }
> > }
> >
> > in my page I set the above header response so if the responses match it
> > will not cache
> > but it always cache? can some one help me why ?
> The "req" object refers to the headers sent in the client request.
> It's unlikely the browser on any device sends a header named
> "SMARTPHONE", so that's the reason it won't be matching.
> > One more question, can varnish identified for caching or not caching both
> > in http header "response" and "request"?
> Yes it can. The response object is generally called "beresp". However
> you can't access it in vcl_recv, since vcl_recv is called when the
> client request is initially received - there hasn't been a response
> from the backend at this point. vcl_recv is used to rewrite the
> request and tell Varnish whether it should try to look up the object
> in cache or go direct to the server, as well as selecting which
> backend to use. When you return (lookup) you instruct Varnish to look
> the object up in its cache, and if it fails to try to fetch it from
> the backend.
> You'll therefore want to make your determination as to whether or not
> to cache the response in vcl_fetch, which is called immediately after
> Varnish has fetched an object from the backend server. From here you
> can access the "beresp" object and decide whether or not you want to
> cache the response based on any attribute of it, including the
> response HTTP headers.
> However:
> It will still be possible for smartphones to have a page served to
> them from the cache. For example if the index page of www.example.com
> returns different content based on the user-agent, if a regular
> (non-smartphone) browser accesses the site, Varnish will cache the
> response. If a phone then requests it, Varnish will just serve the
> previously generated response from its cache. This is because you
> haven't told Varnish that requests from "smartphones" need to be
> treated differently - only that responses sent to a device the backend
> identified as a smartphone should not be cached.
> If you're able to, I'd suggest moving whatever logic the backend uses
> to determine if a device is a smartphone out of the backend and into
> Varnish, using VCL if possible. This way, Varnish can determine what
> it's supposed to do with the request, serving everything it can from
> cache and only going to the backend if it really needs to.
> If the determination can _only_ happen on the backend, then you're
> going to be forced to send every request that might _possibly_ be from
> a smartphone or other "special" device back to the backend, largely
> negating the benefits of having Varnish in the first place.
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