Site Performance Comparison - Apache / Varnish / CloudFlare

Just for fun, I decided to measure our site performance in three ways:

  1. Apache server
  2. Apache server + Varnish
  3. Apache server + Varnish + CloudFlare

I measured this by accessing the normal public site (through CloudFlare) then setting up alternative URLs to the same website.

I know there could be lots of metrics to use for this, but I focused on just the "time to first byte" type measurement. I measured this every minute using Rigor (, which is a great tool for this purpose and other purposes. After a couple of weeks of measuring this, here are the most recent results.

Recent performance measurements from Rigor

The chart is hard to read, so here are the details.

1. Apache

Performance Data for Apache  

2. Apache server + Varnish

Performance Data for Apache + Varnish  

3. Apache server + Varnish + CloudFlare

Performance Data for Apache + Varnish + Cloudflare  


As you can see, the Varnish solution is he fastest. Interestingly, the CloudFlare solution is the slowest. I don't know if that's because of how it interacts with Varnish, but I suspect it's another reason. I am guessing it's because the CloudFlare service is another webserver (nginx, I think) and it's doing a bunch of things to the web content "on the way out".