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Showing posts from March, 2012

Varnish and Drupal

Varnish is front-end web proxy that I've been using with my Drupal sites for 18 months now. I talked about it in a presentation at Drupal camp with Khalid.

A front-end web proxy means that instead of visitors directly accessing the Drupal site, they go through a caching layer. I like to think of varnish as a protective bubble around Drupal.

Using Varnish has a number of benefits, and in my presentation I was particularly interested in demonstrating how it enables a site to survive huge spikes of sudden traffic, beyond what a web server would normally be able to handle. So that's one of the benefits.

Another important benefit is to reduce the load on the server, enabling better response. Or more cynically, it would enable you to pile more sites onto your server. But to explore this more closely: by moving most of your 'easy' page loads out of the php/apache stack, you can tune your stack better to what it's got to do - and you're not wasting 128Mb or more of RAM…