November 14, 2023
3 min read time

Mauve Mailorder's Need for Speed: A Success Story of Efficiency and Control with Varnish Enterprise


Mauve Mailorder Software (Mauve) stands out as a trailblazer in digitizing pharmacies and advancing the online pharmacy mail-order business model. Focused on developing tools, interfaces, and applications for the pharmacy of tomorrow, Mauve faced the imperative need for faster content delivery with reduced load on backend servers, given the unique demands of their primarily pharmacy-based clientele.

The Web Platform Scalability Challenge

Mauve had been utilizing Varnish open-source software for caching in their ecommerce services catering to pharmacies with significant traffic loads. While they initially sought a scalable solution within the open-source Varnish community, challenges arose. The inability to process Edge Side Includes (ESI) in parallel, the lack of direct HTTPS connection to the backend, and high performance costs associated with the ban function in cache invalidation compelled Mauve to search for a more robust solution.


The Varnish Cache to Enterprise Journey

Choosing to migrate from Varnish Cache to Varnish Enterprise was a strategic move for Mauve. The commercial version provided the feature set necessary to achieve the desired efficiency gains. Leveraging their prior experience with Varnish Cache, the migration was seamless, facilitated by a compatible Varnish Configuration Language (VCL) and configuration management via Ansible.

Varnish Enterprise's feature-rich environment, including parallel ESI processing, direct HTTPS connection to the backend, and the Ykey VMOD for efficient invalidation, addressed Mauve's specific needs. The switch allowed for simple caching based on cache-control headers set by the application and streamlined invalidation using YKey based on database events. Automation played a key role in warming the cache after invalidation, preventing users from experiencing unnecessary cache misses on frequently accessed pages.


“Time to First Byte is Key”

"For Mauve, it's all about speed of content delivery because for our customers, it's all about speed. Time to first byte is key," emphasized Daniel Czerwonk, Mauve's Head of Infrastructure and Operations.

In Daniel's experience, a superior user experience directly correlates with higher conversion rates in online sales, ultimately leading to increased revenue for Mauve's customers. Given the heavy traffic loads experienced by Mauve's customers, Varnish Enterprise proved instrumental in achieving their performance goals:

  • Reduce Backend Load. Varnish Enterprise significantly reduced the backend load, ensuring optimal server performance.
  • Faster Content Delivery at the Edge. The Varnish setup at the edge allowed Mauve to deliver content faster, meeting the critical need for swift content access.


Mauve's success story with Varnish Enterprise is a testament to the platform's ability to address complex caching challenges in demanding industries. For technology leaders, DevOps teams, and site reliability engineers seeking enhanced speed, control, and efficiency in content delivery, Mauve's journey with Varnish Enterprise serves as an inspiring example.  Read the full case study here, or get in touch with our team today.


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