reference deployment

Varnish on AWS

Caching and HTTP acceleration for fast, reliable, scalable website content delivery

This Quick Start deploys Varnish Enterprise (VE) on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud.

VE is the commercial enterprise version of the open-source HTTP engine and reverse HTTP proxy, Varnish Cache (VC). VE provides usability improvements and performance enhancements over VC. Both versions of Varnish speed up a website by caching (storing) a copy of a page served by your web server the first time a user visits your page. The next time the user requests the same page, the cache will serve the copy quickly, instead of requesting the page from the web server again.

This Quick Start deploys VE into a Multi-AZ configuration on AWS with asynchronous caching data replication between Availability Zones. You can choose to deploy VE into a new or your existing environment. The Quick Start uses Ubuntu Linux as the operating system for the VE instances.

The Quick Start includes AWS CloudFormation templates and a guide that provides step-by-step instructions to help you get the most out of your deployment.

Note    An earlier version of this Quick Start was published under the product name Varnish Cache Plus (VCP). Varnish Software has renamed their product, and VCP is now referred to as Varnish Enterprise (VE).
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This Quick Start was developed by Varnish Software in collaboration with AWS. Varnish Software is an APN Partner.

AWS Service Catalog administrators can add this architecture to their own catalog.  

  •  What you'll build
  •  How to deploy
  •  Cost and licenses
  •  What you'll build
  • Use this Quick Start to set up the following configurable environment on AWS:

    • A highly available architecture that spans two Availability Zones.*
    • A virtual private cloud (VPC) configured with public subnets according to AWS best practices, to provide you with your own virtual network on AWS.*
    • An internet gateway to provide access to the internet. This gateway is used by the VE nodes to send and receive direct traffic, mostly for inbound Secure Shell (SSH) access based on an IP range you provide when you launch the Quick Start.*
    • An internet-facing Network Load Balancer to distribute HTTP or HTTPS traffic to VE nodes.
    • In the public subnets, a VE host in an Auto Scaling group to allow inbound HTTP and HTTPS traffic via the Network Load Balancer.
    • An Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS) Network File System (NFS) share point. Varnish High Availability (VHA) agents use this mount point to synchronize VE node information.

    * The template that deploys the Quick Start into an existing VPC skips the tasks marked by asterisks and prompts you for your existing VPC configuration.

  •  How to deploy
  • To deploy VE on AWS, follow the instructions in the deployment guide. The deployment process includes these steps:

    1. If you don't already have an AWS account, sign up at
    2. Subscribe to the Amazon Machine Image (AMI) for Varnish Enterprise 6 (Ubuntu) in AWS Marketplace.
    3. Launch the Quick Start. Each deployment takes about 30 minutes. You can choose from two options:
    4. Validate the deployment by testing that VE load balancing instances are in service and that the load balancer can contact the instances.

    To customize your deployment, you can configure CIDR blocks for the subnets, the number of instances in the VE Auto Scaling group, and your Varnish software settings.

    Amazon may share user-deployment information with the AWS Partner that collaborated with AWS on the Quick Start.  

  •  Cost and licenses
  • You are responsible for the cost of the AWS services used while running this Quick Start reference deployment. There is no additional cost for using the Quick Start.

    The AWS CloudFormation template for this Quick Start includes configuration parameters that you can customize. Some of these settings, such instance type, will affect the cost of deployment. See the pricing pages for each AWS service you will be using for cost estimates. Prices are subject to change.

    Tip   After you deploy the Quick Start, we recommend that you enable the AWS Cost and Usage Report to track costs associated with the Quick Start. This report delivers billing metrics to an S3 bucket in your account. It provides cost estimates based on usage throughout each month, and finalizes the data at the end of the month. For more information about the report, see the AWS documentation.

    The Quick Start requires a subscription to the Amazon Machine Image (AMI) for VE, which is available from AWS Marketplace. The AMI uses the Ubuntu Linux operating system and is provided with pay-as-you-go hourly billing, based on the instance type you select. You do not need to own any Varnish software product licenses. To estimate your costs, see AWS Marketplace.