Home > programming > How Does Varnish Caching Speed Up Cloud Hosted Websites?

Cloud Server Hosting is considered by many the best hosting solution to handle high-end dynamic and e-commerce websites. Not being dependent on a single server makes the cloud system redundant. Also, It does not overload the server preventing the site from frequent downtime. Cloud Hosting provides unmatched performance and speed for your website. However, to further optimise and speed up the process, Varnish cache has gained much traction in recent years. This article will help you understand everything you want to know about Varnish caching.

What is Varnish caching, and how does it work?

Varnish caching, also known as HTTP reverse proxy, is a web application server that is used to speed up a website by almost 1000%. To understand Varnish caching, it is important to have a brief idea about how websites to load. The website and server work in a request-response system, where when a user tries accessing the website from their browser, HTTP requests take place which goes to the server to fetch that website. The server goes through a tedious process of decoding, understanding and then assembling the request to send it back to the browser. With Varnish caching installed, a response may be returned through Varnish’s virtual memory without having to make the trip to the server. It comes with VCL, its own configuration language.

The idea behind using Varnish caching is to make it the first in line from where the data can be fetched. Therefore, to realise the full potential of Varnish caching, it is essential to install it before the application server like Apache, Nginx, etc. This way, all HTTP request would go first to the Varnish server. If it is not found there, it will redirect it to the Cloud Server Hosting. While sending it back to the browser, Varnish first makes a copy of it for itself. If the same page is again asked for, it will promptly request the page without redirecting it to the server.

Many of the Cloud Server Hosting comes with Varnish caching enabled. A common question which may come to our mind is that for dynamic websites won’t Varnish caching be a problem? However, the answer is pretty simple.  The purging feature of Varnish allows it to delete all the contents stored and recreate the static contents for a website.

Benefits of using Varnish caching with Cloud Server Hosting

  1. Better performance: The primary reason to use Varnish is that it can boost performance by a significant percentage. As explained, the mechanism of Varnish caching is as such that it reduced over-burdening of the server. Only those requests are redirected to the cloud server, which is not already present with it, thus relieving the server going through the whole process every time. Although Cloud Server Hosting does allow scaling of resources, if you are on a traditional hosting, your website may load slower with a surge in traffic. Varnish caching may be the best solution for the smooth handling of peak traffic.
  2. Speed boost: Furnishing the HTTP request from Varnish drastically improves page loading time. It does so by creating static files of the web page and producing it for the browser every time a user asks for that page. With a few recent updates in Google’s SEO algorithm, the benefits of improving page load speed cannot be ignored. Not only it will rank your website higher but also improve user experience. That means higher the page load speed, the more probability of the users sticking with your website.
  3. Ensures your website is running all the time: Cloud Server Hosting may guarantee the best uptime compared to other traditional hosting types, but nonetheless, if the server hardware which stores the data may malfunction the website may face downtime. Using Varnish caching prevents the website from going down by producing the last cached data of the website. The importance of uptime score of a business website cannot be understated.
  4. The final up-gradation: With Cloud Hosting and Varnish caching installed, you may never require the need to upgrade to any other hosting. This can handle any type of website and any amount of traffic seamlessly.
  5. Environmental benefits: Cloud Hosting with Varnish caching also helps in reducing carbon footprint by eliminating the need for numerous physical servers. That would be your contribution towards a greener planet.

The final word:

Varnish cache is an open-source server application which enables HTTP reverse proxy accelerator mechanism. Although any website can benefit from it, dynamic and e-commerce websites may be the most suitable candidates who can benefit from Varnish caching application. Cloud Server Hosting with Varnish caching can handle any amount of traffic. Also, the option to configure VCL to define your caching policy fits in perfectly for users who like to customise everything as per their own demands. Hope this post would have cleared all your doubts about Varnish caching.