Since launching the Akamai Connector for Varnish we have heard the question a number of times: “I don't use Varnish, but tell me why I should. What is the benefit of using Varnish with Akamai?"
It comes down to giving you more control, more flexibility and better cache performance all while getting the benefits you expect from Akamai. Enhancing Akamai with Varnish is more than just adding Varnish into the mix: the Akamai Connector for Varnish was purpose-built to integrate Varnish tightly with Akamai, making both solutions work at maximum effectiveness at what they each do best.
More often than not, we have talked to customers who are using both Varnish and Akamai but have not yet realized the benefits of using them together through the Akamai Connector. But the question we are facing now is from Akamai customers who don’t use Varnish Enterprise. What do you need to know about Varnish and how it will enhance your use of Akamai?
What will Varnish Enterprise add to your Akamai implementation?
At its most basic, Varnish is an advanced caching technology that ensures performance and scalability for content at any volume. Paired with Akamai, the power of Varnish is spread across your CDN. Integrating Varnish and Akamai cache layers, you offload extra work from the origin and send it to the edge, saving resources and boosting performance.
A real-world example of how the Akamai Connector for Varnish provided both performance enhancements and greater consistency and efficiency in day-to-day operations was CBC - the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. In CBC’s case, preparing to handle 2014 FIFA World Cup traffic, they synchronized their Akamai and Varnish caches at origin and achieved at least a 25% faster page load boost. They also saw a massive improvement in origin throughput, with significantly less traffic ending up hitting the origin.
Because the two solutions are tightly integrated, the pairing does not add extra or duplicative work. You can control and synchronize both Akamai and Varnish Plus settings and logic through the Varnish interface - meaning you do the work once but feel the benefits, such as granular cache control and finely tuned caching for specific use cases, of both solutions right away.
Need help getting started with Varnish Enterprise? Don't hesitate to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you are already using Varnish and Akamai and are ready to gain maximum efficiency, you can request access to the Akamai Connector for Varnish here.