July 7, 2020
2 min read time

What are the differences between Varnish Enterprise and Varnish Cache?


This is the first in a short series of blog posts designed to help you understand the differences between Varnish Enterprise and Varnish Cache (check out post 2 on support services and post 3 on performance and security). It’s all about finding the right tool for the job; Varnish Enterprise and Varnish Cache are not in competition with each other. Whatever your content delivery goals, one of these Varnish solutions will be more suited to the task.

To begin, we’re talking about the differences between projects and products.


Are you looking for a project or a product?

This is a good question to ask as you evaluate Varnish.

Varnish Cache is a project, both in the way that it is developed collaboratively according to open source principles, and how it involves DIY effort by its users to deploy and maintain it.

Varnish Enterprise is a product. It is developed in line with commercial objectives and available with all the benefits of an enterprise product, like more features, long-term support, greater performance and responsive, industry-aware roadmap.

The Varnish Cache project is community-based but sponsored by the Varnish Software team, who have been involved in the project for a long time and make the most significant contributions to the software. The project takes a defensive development approach, which keeps things simple but comes with fewer incentives to move far beyond the standard functionality. Running Varnish Cache effectively also takes a certain amount of DIY.

As a commercial product, Varnish Enterprise is maintained by a team of full-time developers and engineers, and comes with fully stable and tested releases, predictable development lifecycles, SLAs, 24x7x365 support and professional services. With the resources to conduct R&D, Varnish Software develops new features and functionality in line with requirements of the content delivery market. Features and roadmaps are based on what customers need and are asking for.

Further differences in the approach between Varnish Cache and Varnish Enterprise are summarised in the table below: 

VC & CE Table


Look out for more blogs on the differences between Varnish Enterprise and Varnish Cache very soon! We've also created a guide to help you navigate the differences that is available to download →


For more information on Varnish Enterprise support services, contact us here or book a time with an expert below 👇