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Web Caching [Paperback]

Duane Wessels
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 59.95 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

July 7 2001 156592536X 978-1565925366 1

On the World Wide Web, speed and efficiency are vital. Users have little patience for slow web pages, while network administrators want to make the most of their available bandwidth. A properly designed web cache reduces network traffic and improves access times to popular web sites--a boon to network administrators and web users alike.

Web Caching hands you all the technical information you need to design, deploy, and operate an effective web caching service. It starts with the basics of how web caching works, from the HTTP headers that govern cachability to cache validation and replacement algorithms.

Topics covered in this book include:

  • Designing an effective cache solution
  • Configuring web browsers to use a cache
  • Setting up a collection of caches that can talk to each other
  • Configuring an interception cache or proxy
  • Monitoring and fine-tuning the performance of a cache
  • Configuring web servers to cooperate with web caches
  • Benchmarking cache products

The book also covers the important political aspects of web caching, including privacy, intellectual property, and security issues.

Internet service providers, large corporations, or educational institutions--in short, any network that provides connectivity to a wide variety of users--can reap enormous benefit from running a well-tuned web caching service. Web Caching shows you how to do it right.

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From Amazon

Web Caching explores the intricacies of implementing caching in Web server environments to reduce network traffic and improve performance. Like so many areas of Internet technology, the topic of Web caching comprises a number of architectural and practical issues that could take a career to learn the hard way. Fortunately, author Duane Wessels has organised all the nuts-and-bolts technical information in this short book.

This guide to turbo-charging the Web is primarily geared toward system administrators; however, Web developers can also learn much about the proper--and improper--use of caching their pages. The book begins with excellent chapters on the big picture of how Web caching works, including the various types of caches, hit measurements, validation, and cache refreshing. Before turning to this guide's core focus--designing and implementing caching--the author spends a chapter to explore the political issues surrounding the technology such as privacy, content distribution and copyrights.

Both client and server configurations are considered and the benefits of Netscape and Microsoft implementations are explored. The journey through the efficient travels of Web requests is fascinating as you learn about proxies, intercache protocols, cache hierarchies and benchmarking methodologies for measuring the efficiency of your solutions. Dishing up requests elegantly is a nontrivial task on today's Web, but this no-nonsense book is a great help toward that goal. --Stephen W Plain


'It provides a good general introduction to caching solution. If all web sites follwed the suggestions on cache-friendliness then the web could be a much faster and more efficient place.' - Andrew Cormack, new@UK, December 2001

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great in theory but lacking practical examples Feb. 16 2003
I bought this one because I knew I was using more server resources than I needed and I wanted to know what sort of things I could do to reduce unnecessary strain on the server.
After reading Web Caching, I soon learned that there was more to the topic than meets the eye. The chapter on politics of caching makes for interesting reading no matter who you are on the web; covering topics such as copyright, privacy and trust, offensive content and maintaining content integrity.
I also learned more about just how important caching is to the web, which convinced me that I really should make my web pages as cache friendly as possible. Not only does the creation of cache friendly pages speed up the delivery of content, but it can also reduce the cost of hosting individual web sites!
As you can imagine, there is a lot of discussion in the book about the communications between server and browser that many of us do not see. Most of this discussion focuses on the use of HTTP headers, but there is little discussion about using various scripting technologies to over-ride the default headers that are used by the server. Even an Appendix chapter to compliment the Perl example given would have been nice, as not everyone has access to their server's settings or knows how to use their language of choice to generate server headers.
All in all Web Caching is an interesting book to read as it certainly makes you think about the issues surrounding the subject. I can't help feeling however that this book was written mainly for the server administrators, as practical examples for those that have no direct control of the server are somewhat lacking...
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read Dec 29 2001
If you are looking for a configuration for the Squid Proxy Server, this is not the book for you; if you are looking for an insightful examination of the concepts, configurations and conflicts that surround the topic of content caching, read on.
Mr. Wessels book examines a number of different aspects of Web Caching, from the scope and syntax of basic cache control messages available in .../1.0 and ..../1.1 to the legal issues that surround the storage of Web objects in cache servers. This book is a must read, for Web designers and system administrators.
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In my opinion, this book's intended audience is for either a network/web administrator, or it's for a technical support engineer who supports networks or web sites.
This book really gives some thorough information about how caching proxies work in relation to the network. It also gives more information that you couldn't get for free from a web site, including performance tips.
However, if you are a developer that's looking for the "coding" details of caching proxies because you are writing a program that interacts with the caching proxy software, then you want to purchase "Web Proxy Servers" by Ari Luotonen.
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