With web 2.0 and the growing popularity of social media, websites were put under a lot more stress. Delivering content fast and reliably is a relevant challenge. In the hosting industry (I work at Combell, the leading Belgian web hosting company) we no longer just talk about throwing servers at the problem. Offering fast, stable, secure, scalable and affordable solutions to clients has become the core business.
Varnish is key for delivering content at an incomparable speed. Nowadays, we talk about “the stack” and that sums it up quite well: a stack of tools, ranging from the operating system, all the way up to the HTML or JSON code that is emitted. And when the proverbial shit hits the fan, that’s where Varnish becomes the layer to keep a lid on it.
Helping you on your path to success with Varnish
Starting to use the reverse HTTP proxy can be tricky. I figured you might need some help. Which is why I teamed up with O’Reilly to write a book, which should help you get started, become fluent in VCL and make your job a bit easier. “Getting Started With Varnish Cache” is a very accessible and low-threshold book. It’s aimed at anyone who wants learn how Varnish works and how you can leverage its power. Developer, sysadmin, CTO, CIO? No problem! There are some takeaways for everyone. The book explains what Varnish is and why it is relevant. You’ll learn how to install and configure Varnish, but also how Varnish respects HTTP best practices.
In “Getting started with Varnish Cache”, I focus heavily on the built-in VCL behavior: you’ll learn how to make your software more cacheable without having to change a lot in Varnish. But if that doesn’t work for you, we’ll at least compensate for poor cacheability by talking about custom VCL.
If you’re a decision maker but not a technical guru, this book will give you the ammo you need to make better decisions when it comes to web performance.
I’m happy to be able to offer you a free copy of the book. Grab the opportunity, download it here, and go go and get started... with Varnish.
Thijs Feryn is a web developer and tech evangelist based in Belgium who works to bring technology to the people and people to technology. He focuses on bridging the gap between code and infrastructure. Thijs is also involved in many open source communities and leads the PHP Benelux community. He speaks, listens, writes, codes, teaches, organizes - and is an ardent Varnish enthusiast.