Re: Caching Servers Considered Harmful (was: Re: Finger URL)

Sarr Blumson (
Mon, 22 Aug 1994 16:45:42 -0400

Rob Raisch, The Internet Company, says:

I suggest that the only reason that caching servers exist is to improve
network resource usage, and by doing so, improve the responsiveness of
retrievals. This is for the benefit of the caching server's network usage

Well, no, actually. The primary beneficiaries are the publishers service
machine the network between the publisher and the cache, both of whom see an
n-fold reduction in the workload they have to process. Users of the cache see
improved response only in the indirect sense that the publisher wouldn't be
able to provide quality service because its systems and the wide area network
would either be overloaded or unnecessarily expensive.

and against the best interests of the publisher. There is no incentive on
the cache manager's part to acceed to the wishes of the publisher.

There are several possibilities I can think of:

1) honesty,
2) they would be breaking the law if they didn't,
3) publishers would refuse to let them cache their publications, upsetting the
caches customers and possibly costing them money.

Sarr Blumson
voice: +1 313 764 0253 FAX: +1 313 763 4434
CITI, University of Michigan, 519 W William, Ann Arbor, MI 48103-4943