What is Website Caching?
In order to understand caching, let’s look at the request-response mechanism of a website. When a user requests any information from a website, the request is received by the web server. It first decodes the request, collects the data, converts the data into the required format, and starts transmitting it to the user’s browser. Since this is done for every single page visit, an increase in the number of visitors can result in a slow-loading website.
Caching is a way of creating stored versions of web pages. Therefore, when a user requests any information, the request is sent to the caching server. This server checks its cache to see if the information is available with it. If yes, then it transmits the required data to the user without going through the web server.
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Varnish Cache and its benefits
Varnish Cache is an open-source reverse HTTP proxy and is also known as a web application accelerator. It sits between the user and the server and fetches data from the server on behalf of the user. Here are some important benefits of Varnish Cache for Hosting:
By the virtue of its design, Varnish Cache can deliver up to 20 GBPS (Giga Bytes per Second) even on a regular hardware. This means that your website can speed up by around 300 to 1000 times. This speed is limited to the speed of the user’s network. For users with fast internet connections, Varnish Cache performs even better.
The architecture of Varnish is one of the primary reasons behind its success. Varnish stores data in the virtual memory. The user’s operating system decides between storing data in the memory and paging it out of the disk. This technique avoids situations where the OS starts caching data and the application moves such data to the disk.
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In Varnish Cache, a high amount of thread is available at every level. A worker thread manages every user’s connection. In case of the maximum configuration limit being reached, incoming requests are redirected to the overflow queue. Incoming requests are rejected after the limit of the overflow queue is reached.
Flexibility of the configuration Language
Varnish uses Varnish Configuration Language (VCL) allowing users to write policies determining receiving and handling incoming requests. These policies detail all aspects of managing incoming connections. Also, there is a command-line interface to modify, compile, load, or activate new VCL scripts without restarting.
If you are wondering why your website is not using Varnish Cache, it’s time to give your web host a call. If you are looking for a new hosting partner, then you might want to consider checking with the host before you sign up. Good Cloud Hosting providers include Varnish Cache in their hosting plans to ensure that you can offer your customers a high-performing website.