Windows Azure Cache Preview
September 3, 2013 Leave a comment
Well, it’s actually a preview of the new, and IMPROVED Windows Azure Cache.
You may recall that Windows Azure featured two flavors of caching capabilities in the past:
- Windows Azure Shared Caching: a multi-tenant memory space, separate from any instance. Connect via endpoints between any Windows Azure components. RAM-based, fixed size .. useful, but a bit pricey. This service will be decommissioned no later than August 2014.
- Windows Azure In-Role Cache: comprised of RAM that you choose to carve out of Role Instances that you deploy, joined into a single Cache cluster you can consume. This is a spiffy model: if your application runs at CPU capacity, but under the total instance memory, you have ‘wasted’ RAM. The In-Role Cache gives you a way to get more for what you are already paying. This feature continues to be fully-supported, so take a peek at your deployments and see if you can take advantage of this asset.
The new Windows Azure Cache Service (in Preview) performs caching by creating an isolated and dedicated cache in Windows Azure. Cache performance is completely under your control, whereas multi-tenant cache and processor-bound RAM access can be impacted by other tenants or your own operations. You access the new Cache Service using a secure and publicly addressable endpoint. With this endpoint, you can:
- Access the cache to speed performance for applications deployed on Windows Azure Websites and Virtual Machines.
- Share data securely, quickly and easily across instances to improve data access and performance.
- (As before): preserve ASP.Net Session State across multiple instances and workloads.
- Support across Windows Azure: while not exactly new (you can grant access from any asset deployed in Windows Azure to any other asset), there is a nice How to: Configure a Cache Client for Windows Azure Cache Service article available for your review.
- Eas(ier) Management: a new addition for Cache management (as the older Silverlight-based portal is being decommissioned), you can now create a cache, scale a cache, configure a cache, and monitor the health and performance of a cache directly from the Windows Azure Management Portal.
- The new Cache is quota-, throttle- and tenant-free. You can rely (and gauge) your performance impact whilst using the Cache.
- As with the other Windows Azure Cache offerings, the new Cache Service is memcached-compatible. If you haven’t migrated off MD servers onto Windows Azure Cache (variants), you can do so now with the same syntax.
Caching (in general) and the new Windows Azure Cache Service are solid and easily-deployable means to significantly improve the performance of your application while reducing impact on other components (especially your database) .. you should consider these in your Cloud or Hybrid architecture.
There’s more (there always is) .. write me if I may assist you in your journey to the Cloud.
I’ll see you there.