Day 11 - Windows Azure Platform - Azure AppFabric Caching

by Kev Ritchie 11. December 2010 00:01


On the 11th day of Windows Azure Platform Christmas my true love gave to me the Windows Azure AppFabric Caching Service.

What is the Windows Azure AppFabric Caching Service?

The Caching Service is a collection of distributed in-memory caches that contain frequently accessed data from your Windows Azure application, the key being to improve application performance.

So how do you use it?

Well, to be able to use caching you first need to store data, to do this you need to programmatically insert the data into the caches using the Caching API.  With your frequently accessed data stored in the cache, you use a pattern called cache-aside to access it.  What this means is that you first check the cache for data before going to the database to retrieve it; here’s our performance improvement Smile.  What if the data isn’t in the cache?  Easy, retrieve it from the database and store it in the cache, so the next time your application needs the data, it gets it directly from the cache.

The great thing about using the Caching Service is that because it’s in the Cloud, your cache is distributed to multiple Windows Azure Instances giving you scalability, availability and fault tolerance, all of which is automatically configured and administered for you.  Less Work! Smile

Caching is not a new concept, but the provision of caching through the Cloud is and is a welcome feature to the increasingly popular Platform as a Service.

Tomorrow’s installment:  The Azure Marketplace, links and stuff

P.S. If you have any questions, corrections or suggestions to make please let me know. 

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