Understanding the Process Flow for Varnish Caching

Understanding the Process Flow for Varnish Caching

Internet is the best medium to find out the required information. We all know the amount of time we spend on the internet, then be it collecting information or enjoying a stand-up comedy online. But, with increasing users on a website, sometimes we face problems like slow loading of the website, webpages crashing down due to scalability issues and many more.

To tackle this problem, we came up with a solution known as cache memory. The process of storage of data in a cache (temporary storage unit) is known as caching. Caching is the most important tool when it comes to website optimisation. Without any caching system, the website cannot be claimed to be perfectly optimised.

There are different types of cache memories used for different purposes. For example, a page cache stores the entire HTML code of a page. Then there is an essential type of cache known as a reverse proxy cache. Reverse proxy cache is implemented on the server-side that stores information on the client’s server.

We will be focussing on this reverse proxy server and understand a specific type reverse HTTP proxy known as Varnish Cache.

Reverse Proxy

Proxies or Proxy servers are placed in between the client and server. It filters the requests sent by the user to a specific web page based on a special set of rules.

Companies hide certain information on the website or block social media websites, so the productivity of the employee is not hampered. This is known as a forward proxy.

In contrast, a reverse proxy is placed between the company’s web server and the Internet. So, whenever Internet requests access to the company’s website, the reverse proxy server will filter the request before reaching the site.

There are many reverse proxy servers used these days to speed up the process of calling web pages. One of them is the Varnish Cache.

What is Varnish Cache?

Varnish cache is a reverse HTTP proxy also known as a web accelerator or front-end accelerator. It requires a dedicated server like NGINX or Apache and is not a standalone solution. You can capture both dynamic and static capture. Also, it helps in enhancing the server performance of your website.

Understanding the workflow of Varnish Cache

Again, before moving straight to the Varnish Cache, let us understand how it used to be and how Varnish Cache makes a difference when it comes to caching.

When we request any page to the server, the server collects the relevant information based on our search and then combine them to make the right picture and send it to us. If there are too many requests that need to be served by one single server, it messes up, and the whole procedure becomes slow.

Let us understand the step by step working of Varnish Cache and how it makes a difference:

  1. Request
    The process starts with the client requesting a web page. Ideally, the request should go directly to the webserver of the requested website. But since Varnish is placed in between, all your requests will be filtered by it.
  2. Analyse
    As soon as the request is sent to the Varnish cache, it checks if a cached copy of the requested URL is available in its memory or not. If the requested landing page is present in the Varnish cache memory, it accepts the request from the client and sends the requested page.
  3. Request to the webserver
    If the requested page is not in the cached, Varnish will forward the request to the webserver and cache the result and send a copy to the client who requested it. This process helps in increasing the efficiency and performance of the server.

Varnish cache does not forward all the requests to the webserver which helps you utilize the server only when it is needed. This way, it can focus on other requests, and varnish cache helps in easing up the job for the server and speeds up the process of bringing information from the webserver.

Good web hosting providers in India integrate Varnish cache or other caching mechanisms with their plans. There are various benefits of using Cloud Server Hosting and choosing the right service provider as per your requirement becomes extremely important. Cloud web hosting also comes pre-integrated with the Varnish Cache server which doubles the loading speed of your website. Varnish cache is becoming the need of the hour, and you know it, so invest in a web hosting that helps you stand out on the Internet.