varnish giving error 503

Per Buer perbu at
Tue Mar 12 10:52:27 CET 2013

On Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 10:41 PM, Per Buer <perbu at>wrote:

> Hi,
> On Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 4:02 PM, Mike Franon <kongfranon at> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I am trying to get varnish up and running super fast for a production
>> website, we are hammered.
>> We only want to cache one URL, that is being hammered, and pass
>> everything else through, I know this is a just a simple config, but is
>> there anything I am missing to get a 503?  Is it because our servers
>> are being hammered that it is not even able to get pages to cache?
> I'm guessing your clients are sending Cookie headers to Varnish and
> Varnish isn't able to cache. Instead of forcing a lookup, which is a bad
> idea, you should try to unset the Cookie header and let the default logic
> handle it. You're already doing this with the response headers so you are
> half way.

Sorry, I was probably I bit tired when I wrote this. You are already
forcing a lookup so your VCL will store the reponse generated with the
request with a cookie (which is generelly a bad idea). What you need to do
is use varnishlog to look at failing request. If you can't figure it out
you can post it here and we'll probably spot the error right away.

 <> *Per Buer*
Varnish Software AS
Phone: +47 958 39 117 | Skype: per.buer
We Make Websites Fly!
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