Varnish Cache Plus

Akamai Connector

Varnish 6.0


The Akamai Connector for Varnish allows for the integration of data and configuration between an origin Varnish server and Akamai’s CDN network.

The latest version of the Akamai Connector is 1.0.7.


In order to install the Akamai Connector for Varnish, you first need to setup access to the connector repo. If you have not already done so, please contact support at to get assistance with repo setup.

Ubuntu Installation

To install:

> apt-get install varnish-plus-akamai-connector

Redhat Enterprise Linux Installation

To install:

> yum install varnish-plus-akamai-connector


The following configuration steps are required to get the Akamai Connector running within your Varnish setup.

Automatic VCL Integration

include "akamai_auto.vcl";

This will automatically hook Akamai request and response logic into the appropriate vcl_* subroutines. All Connector functionality is enabled and no further configuration is required.

Purge Synchronization

If you would like to synchronize purge requests on this host to the Akamai network, the following Akamai CCU API fields need to be configured within the akamai-connector.conf file:

  • purge_host
  • purge_client_token
  • purge_client_secret
  • purge_access_token

Omitting these fields or removing this configuration file will cause the Akamai purge functionality to be skipped entirely.

You can also point Varnish Cache to an alternate configuration path by setting VMOD_AKAMAI_CONFIG_FILE to the alternate path. For example:

export VMOD_AKAMAI_CONFIG_FILE=/opt/akamai/.ac.conf

Starting in version 1.0.7, the connector supports purge by cache tag and CP Code.

Advanced VCL Integration

To selectively choose which features of the Connector you wish to use, you can use the following vcl subroutines (via akamai.vcl):

  • akamai_init_sureroute
  • akamai_recv_timeout
  • akamai_recv_esi
  • akamai_recv_device_detection
  • akamai_recv_true_client_ip
  • akamai_recv_sureroute
  • akamai_purge
  • akamai_deliver_edge_control
  • akamai_deliver_esi
  • akamai_deliver_vary
  • akamai_deliver_via

Each subroutines need to be called in the appropriate vcl_* subroutine as specified in the 2nd part of the name. For example, akamai_deliver_edge_control needs to be called in vcl_deliver. If multiple subroutines have the same functionality label, as specified by the 3rd part of the name, each one needs to be invoked. For example, both akamai_recv_esi and akamai_deliver_esi need to be called to integrate ESI with Akamai.

Sureroute Example:

include "akamai.vcl";

sub vcl_init {
	call akamai_init_sureroute;

sub vcl_recv {
	call akamai_recv_sureroute;

If you have unused subroutines, you can disable Varnish Cache from reporting this as an error by adding the following startup parameter to varnishd:

-p vcc_err_unref=false

Akamai Configuration

The Akamai Connector requires no additional changes to your Akamai configuration and is designed to operate with your current Akamai environment as-is.

For best results, ensure that your Akamai configuration classifies requests as cacheable by default and excludes those requests that are not cacheable. While the Connector, using VCL will correctly define the cacheability status and appropriate TTLs, the early classification will ensure that the Akamai Intelligent Platform will use SureRoute and Tiered Distribution for non cacheable and cacheable content respectfully.

To utilize Device Characteristics in Varnish you will need to enable the behavior for Device Characteristics on your Configuration.

Feature Overview

The Akamai Connector for Varnish offers the following functionality.

Object TTL and Grace

The Varnish Cache internal value of beresp.ttl, beresp.grace, and beresp.uncacheable will be synchronized with the Akamai CDN on each request. These values will supersede the Cache-Control header.

In your Luna Property Configuration for Akamai, set your caching behavior to honor origin cache control and expires.

Purge Synchronization

When a purge request is handled by Varnish Cache, the Connector will synchronize the invalidation request against the Akamai CDN. The Connector will use the value of req.url and req.http.Host for invalidation.

The akamai-connector.conf needs to have all of the purge_* fields filled in, otherwise purge synchronization is skipped on this host.

If purge synchronization is configured, Varnish Cache will relay the Akamai CCU API response as its purge response.

CCU API credentials need to be generated via the Luna Control Center.

Cache Tag and CP Code Invalidation

The connector supports Akamai calls to purge by cache tag and CP Code.

To purge by cache tag:

akamai.purge_cachetag("tag1, tag2");

To purge by CP Code:


CCU API Integration

The connector can make any call from VCL to the CCU v3 API:

akamai.api(STRING method, STRING url, STRING json);

The connector will automatically sign the request using the configured Akamai credentials in akamai-connector.conf.

True Client IP

The Varnish Cache value of req.http.True-Client-IP will always contain the True Client IP of the requestor.

In Luna, make sure the header used is True-Client-IP.


The Connector will respond to requests for /akamai/testobject.html with a native SureRoute response.

The response size is configured via sureroute_resp_bytes in akamai-connector.conf.

In Luna, make sure the SureRoute test object path is /akamai/testobject.html.


ESI processing in Varnish Cache is deferred to Akamai when requests originate from the Akamai CDN.

In Luna, make sure the ESI processor is enabled.

Device Characterization

Each characteristic in the X-Akamai-Device-Characteristics field will be put into its own header. The header name is X-ADC-[characteristic] where [characteristic] is the characteristic name. For example, the value of is_mobile will be put into the X-ADC-is_mobile header.

Connection Keep-Alive

Connections between Akamai CDN and Varnish Cache will be held open for 301 seconds.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I validate the Connector is installed and functioning?

Run the following curl command:

curl -I http://[host]/akamai/testobject.html \
     -H "Via: (AkamaiGHost)"

Substitute [host] with the name or IP address of the Varnish server running the Akamai Connector. You should see the following response:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Length: 20480
Date: Thu, 09 Mar 2017 23:19:41 GMT
X-Varnish: 2
Edge-Control: max-age=130
Cache-Control: post-check=120
Via: 1.1 varnish-v4, Akamai Connector/[version]
X-varnish-hits: 0
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Connection: keep-alive

In particular, verify you have a successful 200 response code or that the Via header states Akamai Connector.

What versions of Varnish Cache and Varnish Cache Plus are support?

The connector only supports Varnish Cache Plus 6.0.

Getting help

For general questions, please contact