Allow Varnish to point at ELBs, CentOS/RedHat 7 only.

Vincent Ambo



6,759 latest version

3.4 quality score

Version information

  • 0.2.0 (latest)
  • 0.1.0
released Nov 24th 2015

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tazjin/varnish_elb — version 0.2.0 Nov 24th 2015

Varnish + ELB + systemd

This repository provides a script and several systemd-units to allow for using Varnish in combination with an AWS Elastic Load Balancer, or theoretically any backend that has constantly changing DNS records.

The script itself can be used without systemd as well, but the units here are provided for convenience.

Script overview

The script is supposed to run periodically. It takes the target hostname and a name to use for the Varnish director as its arguments. The director name is also used for the VCL file name at /etc/varnish/${DIRECTOR}.vcl.

When run it will resolve the provided hostname and create a director with an entry for every A record that the hostname eventually resolves to.

The configuration is written to a temporary file and only replaced at the specified path if the records have changed.

Units overview

There are two pairs of related units included. To make this setup work two things need to be done:

  • regenerating the Varnish configuration periodically
  • reloading Varnish if the configuration changes

The two unit pairs tackle these tasks separately.

varnish-elb.{timer|service} provide a pair that will periodically run the script. This is configured to run every 30 seconds, half the TTL of an ELB A record.

varnish-elb[@].{path|service} provides a path unit that watches the specified VCL file (presumed to be in /etc/varnish) and triggers the reload unit if the VCL changes.


A simple environment file in /etc/defaults/varnish:

Puppet usage example

The Puppet module can be used as such:

include { 'varnish_elb':
    elb_hostname     => '',
    varnish_director => 'elb,'

Additional options provided by the module are elb_port, connect_timeout, first_byte_timeout and between_bytes_timeout. These are all set to the Varnish default values.