Limiting users to the website

Narayan, Roy Roy.Narayan at
Sun Nov 18 23:42:00 CET 2012

Hi Simon,

Thanks for your reply.

I am looking to achieve the solution within our existing infrastructure and without performing much changes to the current application deployment. 

I was trialling with "first_byte_timeout" which if reached will fall into "vcl_error" and then serving a busy page from there. However there are certain hurdles (how to distinguish a new user with existing and other things that I have not been able to think of)

Is there anything in this regard that you or someone may have done ?

Roy N.

-----Original Message-----
From: varnish-misc-bounces at [mailto:varnish-misc-bounces at] On Behalf Of Simon Lyall
Sent: Monday, 19 November 2012 9:17 AM
To: varnish-misc at
Subject: Re: Limiting users to the website

On Mon, 19 Nov 2012, Narayan, Roy wrote:
> I am looking to limit users to the website once we hit capacity. Any 
> new user will be directed to a “busy page” whilst existing users can continue on the site.
> How can this be achieved via varnish ?
> Any suggestions/solutions will be much appreciated.

Give everybody a short-lived cookie. If they have the cookie then serve them pages as normal.

"New" users won't have the cookie, so make the use a different backend and make that backend "fail first" with a pretty error page.

Simon Lyall  |  Very Busy  |  Web: "To stay awake all night adds a day to your life" - Stilgar | eMT.


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