Http Caching In Depth Part 1 — Landscape

Well, they certainly should!Given what we just said about the unmatched performance of web browser caches, and the case we just argued in favor of CDNs, one might legitimately asks: why bother setting up these in front of my origin servers when CDNs can do much more, and browsers are closer to my end users?Well, this third and last solution in the HTTP caching landscape also comes with its fair share of advantages..As a matter of fact, we’ll argue that this should often be the first solution to look for..Let us examine a few bonus points of the most popular solutions.First, these solution are free and open source, which can be seen as a double edge sword..How many of such software that were once praised by the community suddenly stopped being maintained by their core committers due to a lack of interest, sponsoring, or both?.The fear of seeing a project’s main dependency (web framework, ui library…) going to the softwares graveyard is a real concern.Although when assessing this risk, one must always consider the maturity of the technology, how long it’s been around, which big company is using or supporting it — they usually do both — and how effective it is at solving a particular problem..Lucky for us, the proxies we’re talking about score pretty high on all levels.Another aspect simply comes from the performance gain..As mentioned previously, these softwares are what CDNs are made of..This has two consequences.First, it massively decreases the chance of termination of their usage, because CDNs whole infrastructure relies on it..This kind of stability is greater than when a company is just using a library as part of a larger system..In this case, the software is the system.Second, any hard gained knowledge about their installation, configuration and maintenance will directly be transferable the day you decide to switch or complement your caching infrastructure with a CDN, since they are the same servers!.In the software development world, where everything changes so fast, this is always good news.It’s the same reason why learning HTTP caching is a good bet, because it’s relevant in many different places..And will likely stay that way for decades, we shall see why in the end of this article.Browsers, edge servers, proxy servers… that’s a lot of caching intermediaries.. More details

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