Thursday, August 25, 2011

What is azure appfabric cache and why azure app fabric caching required

What is azure appfabric cache and why azure app fabric caching required
Need for Caching -
Web applications are accessed by multiple users. A web site is used to say having low load when number of clients accessing the site is less, where as a web site is used to say having heavy load when number of clients accessing site is very high. Heavy load on the web site slows down the server processing and ultimately latency and response time is reduced. Slow access is the most common problem for any web site when it is accessed by a large number of clients simultaneously. One of the most common reasons for slow access of web site is database operations. Data base operations are the slowest operation performed in web site applications. Hence frequent visits to database slow down the web site performance. To minimize the database hits, provide faster data access and to provide performance improvement, Caching is used in
Need for Distributed Caching -

ASP.NET today has become really popular for high traffic applications and it is very common scenario to see 10-20 servers’ load balanced web farms or sometimes even more. These are nothing but distributed applications.

As you increase load, you can add more servers to web farm but you cannot do the same thing with database. Therefore, we can implement caching on a standalone server in web farm applications. However, “In memory caching” used on a standalone server in case of distributed applications, proposes many limitation due to restriction of RAM size existing on single server.  This leads to the implementation of “Distributed Caching”.
Distributed caching is a form of caching that allows the cache to span across multiple servers so that cache can grow in size and transactional capacity. Distributed caching is scalable because of architecture it employs. The work is distributed across multiple servers but still gives you a logical view of single cache.
Need of Azure App fabric Caching -
Now implementing distributed caching is a cumbersome job. Microsoft had released “Velocity” which implements distributed caching. Now it is popularly known as Microsoft AppFabric Caching. So basically, Microsoft distributed caching is nothing but Microsoft AppFabric Caching.
The problem with Microsoft Windows AppFabric Caching is Maintenance and administration of servers in cache cluster. If you wish to free yourself from the problem of administration, you can go for “Windows Azure AppFabric Cache”.
Most of applications these days are getting migrated to Windows Azure Cloud to get cloud benefits. This saves users from maintenance of on premise server web farms. So when you have web site hosted in Azure Cloud and you wish to use caching then azure AppFabric cache is the best option.

Windows Azure AppFabric Cache Overview –

App Fabric caching provides a distributed, in-memory, application cache service for windows Azure and SQL Azure applications. It provides applications with high speed access and scale to application data. These capabilities are entirely provided as a Service means user won’t have to worry about installation or management of instances and azure dynamically increases or decreases size as and when needed. Azure app fabric cache can be used when you want to accelerate performance of ASP.NET web applications running on Windows Azure. Also it is useful when you want to decrease the latency of access of data stored in SQL Azure.
Advantages of Azure Appfabric Caching –
1.     High scalability and highest throughput with azure hosted applications
2.     As Azure app fabric cache is provided as a service, no installation or maintenance is required
3.     Cache size can be increased dynamically as per requirement
4.     Easy Integration with existing applications
5.     Developer can cache any managed object. No size limit for caching the object.
6.     As Azure Appfabric cache is a subset of Windows Server Appfabric Cache, development model is consistent across both.
7.     Azure appfabric caching can be used with Access Control Service, hence it is secured.

Using Azure Appfaric Caching for storing ASP.Net Session State – Yet To Come…

Happy Programming!!

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