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I have lots of uptime problems with my Drupal hosting company this month. Most of the time my Pingdom monitor doesn't even alert of the problem because Varnish is still able to serve a cached homepage.

How can I bypass Varnish to check true health of the Drupal instance? They have a username/password option but I'm sure that's for the http username/password and not for a form based login. If I specify a fake session cookie I could bypass Varnish but then Drupal would just redirect me to the home page?

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I could bypass it by adding a "NO_CACHE=1" cookie to the request. Using a POST instead of a GET request will bypass Varnish as well.

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Varnish is just like a proxy, so you configured that to get data from something like 127.0.0.1:8080 I guess.

So you just have to configure your pingdom to check example.com:8080 if you allowed your webserver listen also public request.

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