North American Network Operators Group

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Re: decreased caching efficiency?

  • From: Adrian Chadd
  • Date: Thu Oct 19 11:09:35 2000

On Thu, Oct 19, 2000, Christian Kuhtz wrote:
> Hey gang,
> Has anyone else around here noticed a decrease in caching efficiency over say,
> the past year or so?  Seems we've seen a radical drop (order of magnitude).
> Seems popular sites are using more and more entirely dynamic, rapidly
> changing content..
> If there's indeed a reduction in efficiency, caches simply introduce more
> transactional latency and provide no benefit to offset cost.  What do people 
> consider reasons to be to keep caching in the network?  Have caching 
> infrastructures materialized as starting points for content distribution, or
> have you guys ultimately rebuilt your infrastructure to serve that specific
> purpose?

I don't know anything about the CDN guys (as I don't work for a CDN
company directly or indirectly, regardless of what $BIG_NUMBER of
people say/think) but the decrease in caching "efficiency" has to do
with a very very poor understanding of what is actually possible
with caching, both forward and reverse.

I'm sure a lot of us cache people could go into great detail about
how even highly-dynamic sites like yahoo, slashdot and hotmail could
become cache-friendly, but it seems that:

* people are lazy / uneducated
* people *WANT* the traffic

> Faced with high hw cost, licensing fees, and reduced efficiencies, it appears
> business cases to keep the caches in the network (with all the effort and 
> uglyness it takes to maintain exclude lists) seems difficult to make.

Which cache products are you using? Some of the current and upcoming work
with squid will probably change this, if I get my way. ;-)

> PS: if you feel there's a place better suited to discussing this, shoot me
>     a pointer. thx.

Hrm. Perhaps the wrec ietf group might be a better place to ask this
type of question?

In general, I think that theyre are way too many web-developers out there
who are ignorant of just how simple yet powerful the caching primitives
in HTTP/1.1 are, and too many companies who are just interested in more
damned traffic. :-)



Adrian Chadd			"It was then that I knew that I wouldn't
<[email protected]>	    die, as a doctor wouldn't fart in front
				      of a dying boy." -- Angela's Ashes