Whenever I search for implementation of Apache, HTTPS and Varnish I always find tutorials about terminating SSL-requests through Ngnix, Pound, HAProxy like, for example, https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2015/09/https-everywhere-with-nginx-varnish-apache (via ngnix), http://blog.ajnicholls.com/varnish-apache-and-https (via pound) and the Varnish creator recommends HAProxy on https://varnish-cache.org/docs/trunk/phk/ssl_again.html.

However, today I stumbled upon David's blog on http://davidbu.ch/mann/blog/2015-03-20/varnish-and-https-apache.html where he described a setup with just Apache and Varnish and, without running tests, I just wanted to hear server gurus' opinion on:

  • would David's method be considered viable?
  • does his way make the whole idea of serving static content faster pointless?

You can put pretty much anything that does HTTPs termination for the purpose. Even Apache. Bust mostly people use nginx for SSL termination (or pound, or hitch) because it's more lightweight.

Just because you have less software, i.e. Apache (SSL) -> Varnish -> Apache. It doesn't mean that the request flow would be any faster. It still has to go through 3 layers and travel as HTTP packet. So there's no speed up from using less software.

Using Apache as SSL terminator does not make serving static content faster pointless. You can configure it in a way that Apache SSL layer will serve static files directly whereas proxy forward to Varnish for dynamic content.

But overall, nginx is just better for serving static files.


I hight recommend for you a solution

You should give varnish listen to port 80, apache https port 403, HTTP port 8080.

You'll install a service HAProxy load balancer listen to everything request from client Haproxy should redirect it to port 80. varnish can cache or pass backend if need dynamic content

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