Varnish 5: what is new?

Dynamic websites with a lot of content and many popular APIs can no longer do without Varnish, a tool that makes it possible to display pages much faster by caching certain types of content. Varnish is used by high-traffic websites such as Wikipedia, online newspaper sites such as The New York Times and The Guardian, and social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo and Tumblr. Therefore, every new version of Varnish deserves our full attention.

Support for HTTP2 and TLS

In his latest blog post, Combell tech evangelist Thijs Feryn explains what the main new features of Varnish 5 are. This new version offers experimental support for HTTP/2. This would normally require encrypted connections via TLS, but the Varnish community went for an alternative with TLS terminators such as Hitch, a minimalistic terminator that supports both HTTP/2 and PROXY.

Other new features include the new shard director, which is responsible for load balancing, a change in the internal Varnish concept that does negative caching (hit-for-pass becomes hit-for-miss), and support for the Backend PROXY protocol and VCL label jumping.

Thijs explains everything in detail

You will find a more detailed explanation on Thijs’s blog; his vidéo YouTube video basically sums up everything you need to know about this subject. For further info, please refer to the release notes of Varnish 5.

Discover what future versions will bring

If you are looking forward to discovering what future versions (which are currently released every 6 months) will bring, feel free to check out Varnish’s releases page. As for our article entitled “Boost your website’s performance using Varnish”, it will tell you how you too can make your website faster using Varnish, and why Varnish has become a cornerstone of Combell’s performance hosting.