in Challenge, Future, Performance

Varnish Cache v3.0 – What to Expect

Varnish, the state-of-the-art HTTP accelerator, v3.0 (up from v2.1.x) is scheduled to be released in a few hours. The folks at Varnish Cache have worked tirelessly to get the 3.0 release out of the door. Congratulations on work well done!

Here are some of the major changes and additions:

Plugin Support – VMOD

VMOD is to Varnish as loadable module is to a kernel.  The new Varnish provides a programmable interface that enables expanding the VCL (Varnish Configuration Language). This VMOD feature includes relatively advanced concepts like functions, pointers, and data types. I think this is the most complex piece to go in v3.0.

Streaming Support

This is a long awaited feature. Up until today, Varnish broke HTTP streaming slowing down adoption of the software in the multimedia space and content delivery. This feature makes it possible to accelerate HTTP streaming. Streaming is controlled via the boolean beresp.do_stream.

Compression and Decompression Support – ESI Twist

Having Varnish do compression and decompression adds flexibility and performance in one shot. The compression level is controllable via the variable gzip_level. With this feature, you can now compress what is not compressed should there be a legacy issue; Decompress on the fly for ESI and compress; Modify the compression level; Offload compression to a host of machines. And the list goes on…

Improved Documentation

The new Varnish boasts improved documentation that is “in much better shape than before.” This is excellent news because,  in my opinion, this used to be THE pain point.


UNIXY is a long-time Varnish Cache user and evangelist. They have been offering Varnish acceleration to their clients for more than three years. They have released the first cPanel Varnish plugin as well as spun a new startup, Fastlayer, the on-demand HTTP accelerator for the cloud.


That’s all folks!

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