In our work throughout Europe over the last twelve months one common requirement has arisen time and again…a distributed cache within an Azure Role (or Deployment).

Well it looks like the Azure team have been listening…

With the release of the Azure SDK 1.7 the new caching service is previewed.

In a nutshell it allows you:

  • To allocate a slice of memory in all instances within a role to an AppFabric-like cache (or provided a dedicated caching role);
  • To configure how much of your node’s memory it should get;
  • To access it via a simple API using the Microsoft.ApplicationServer.Caching namespace; and
  • To use it as if it was memcached with support that API, so Java users fear-not!

This greatly simplifies the process of caching data between multiple instances (for example where pulling data from CRM systems or social media services with a high latency) and makes distributed session state that little bit easier too.

With a ‘click to configure’ interface from Visual Studio’s Windows Azure Tooling and simple, common API usage this feature is a great simplification and we’ll be putting it through its paces with upcoming pilot and PoC projects in preparation for general availability!

You can find out more about using the Caching Preview at: https://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/develop/net/how-to-guides/cache/#getting-started-cache-role-instance

Or why not pop and see us at the Cloud World Forum at Earl’s Court on 12th & 13th June to find out more about Azure, the new features and how they can help your project. We’ll be on the Microsoft Podium.

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