Accelerating Dynamic Application Plone & Apache Traffic Server

What a system. Replace NGINX, Haproxy, Pound and Varnish. This is not Apache http, it's totally different and great for Plone administrators.


So we've been looking for something that in the Plone world usually is configured via nginx + varnish + haproxy setups. i.e. SSL, caching, and load balancing. Configuring them separate is doable but we wanted a tool that did it all, a true application caching accelerator that had SSL termination.

We came across a reference to Apache Traffic Server (ATS) aka YTS aka Yahoo Traffic Server aka Inkotomi Traffic Server a few weeks ago. Since that time I've read the documents online which are relatively sparse, but it seems to have some current development behind it.

What is it really and why do I want it ?

  • essentially three 'processes' i.e a Traffic Server watchguard, a client receiver and a request processor (which have their own worker processes)
  • SSL Termination
  • Cache Hierarchy RAM, SSD, Spinning disk
  • multi-tenant or 'mapping' capable i.e. configure FQDN mappings -> origin server and this can happen via DNS
  • 200k+ requests per second using a 'small' file request
  • ATS 3.0 came out in only 6/2011 it's latest rendition is new, but the technology has been around at Yahoo and Inktomi before the Apache 2.0 release (which added and removed features the documents hint at).  3.0 has speed increases over 2.0 by upwards of 277%
  • using some tests it's the fastest compared to varnish for caching, especially if you take into account you can configure ATS for SSL termination, something varnish can't do and faster than NGINX.  Maybe a comparison to aicache by someone is in order ?
  • is cluster aware. i.e. a configuration done via command line or editing files on one system, will bring the configuration into the cluster communication is over local broadcasts... that's just cool
  • shared cache amongst common cluster i.e. peering to local

3.1.x series looks to be VERY promising in some really neat features.  We are currently in progress of replacing all of our nginx + varnish deployments with it.

Coming soon we'll show you how to get running on Ubuntu, our favorite platform of choice.