Using Varnish Tools to visualize your most popular content

We just love it when our customers use our products in innovative ways that really help them create business value. One of the most recent examples of such use is how our customer (Norway’s most popular internet news provider) is using Varnish Tools in combination with D3 to visualize their most popular online content. uses two of our tools, Varnish Hashninja and Varnish Custom Statistics (VCS) in combination with D3 to generate real-time statistics on their most popular articles and push out visualized updated statistics every 5 seconds. This allows their journalists to know exactly what content is most popular at all times and respond accordingly.


How do I do this?

In their own tech blog one of’s developers, Espen Hovlandsdal, explains how they do this:

“We’re using Varnish Cache at VG, so we can’t just parse the webserver logs. However, a Varnish gold/platinum subscription will give you access to something they call “HashNinja”, “Secondary Hash”, “HashTwo” and a couple of other really weird names. Basically, it allows you to assign multiple hashes to requests. Then, using VCS (Varnish Custom Statistics), we are able to filter on these hashes and sort them by the number of hits per hash. This gives us real-time statistics, and also allows us to go a couple of minutes back in time, depending on bucket size and the number of buckets we have set up in our configuration.”


Why should I be doing this?

We recommend you follow’s recipe to visualize your own most popular online content whether that is news articles, videos or products on your e-commerce site. This will give your staff valuable insight into for example what news is most popular and you should be generating more content around.

You can sign up for a Varnish Plus trial here to try out Varnish Hashninja and VCS or you can contact to discuss with us the benefits of signing up for a Varnish Plus subscription.

Try Varnish Plus now

Topics: Varnish custom statistics, Varnish Plus, varnish administration console

3/7/14 2:00 PM by Hildur Smaradottir

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