Perth, Western Australia - 6th to 10th January 2014

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A web page in seven syscalls

Project: Varnish Cache

Varnish Cache is a modern HTTP reverse proxy that takes advantage of the features found in modern CPUs such as multiple cores, massive threading, shared memory, virtual memory. The primary goals of Varnish are speed and flexibility. In terms of speed, Varnish delivers HTTP at wire speed and tens of thousands of requests per second. The flexibility comes from Varnish's domain specific language called VCL which is compiled to C and then loaded into the process. With VCL, the administrator has full control over how requests are processed, where they are sent and what, if any modifications they are exposed to.

Other features include Edge Side Includes, compression handling, very cheap invalidation of arbitrary objects, IP based ACLs and full IPv6 support.

This talk will cover Varnish's architecture and a the tricks it uses to go fast and be flexible. It will be contrasted with more regular ways of solving the problems and how Varnish handles today's challenges for web sites. It will touch briefly on how plugins integrate into Varnish, but the main content is about Varnish itself.

Tollef Fog Heen

Tollef Fog Heen is a long-time Debian developer and a member of the Debian System Administration team. He is also involved in other free software projects such as, Varnish Cache and Chef. His main professional interest is system administration and in particular scalability of both software and humans.

When he is not in front of a computer, Tollef enjoys brewing and drinking beer, taking pictures and hiking.