PDC 2009 Day 2: Scale Your Data Tier using Windows Server AppFabric Caching

In this PDC session, Muralidhar Krishnaprasad, Principal Software Architect at Microsoft, presented the caching functionality of Windows Server AppFabric, which replaces the project formerly known as “Velocity”.

What is AppFabric Caching?

AppFabric caching is an explicit, distributed in-memory cache for all kinds of application data. In a typical 3-tier application, one has three tiers: User/Presentation, Application/Web and Data. As the load on the application grows, things start to work slower and the DB becomes sluggish as more and more DB accesses are required. The solution for this situation is the addition of an additional Cache Tier before the DB.

Why Should You Use It?

  1. Share data across applications and save the need for sticky routing.
  2. Performance improvement.
  3. Scale out by adding more cache boxes.
  4. High Availability due to the distributed nature of the cache.
  5. Proven Technology – “Associated Press Custom News” is running live on CTP3, as well is “Dell”.
  6. Low Cost – Commodity hardware along with software shipped in Windows Server AppFabric.

The Bottom Line

If you’ve used “Velocity” before, you might be familiar with most of the content in this session. However, if you haven’t used it, I highly recommend familiarizing yourself with this technology, since a Cache Tier is an important piece of the puzzle in many server n-tier applications which is often overlooked.

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