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Archive for September, 2013

My Dedicated Azure Cache –No more sharing, No more throttling

September 5, 2013 1 comment

As always, Microsoft heard the pain felt by the Azure community around shared cache service quota and throttling. We have been using cache to a high extent for improving performance and scalability of our Azure applications and welcome the release of dedicated Azure Cache Service.

Let’s take a quick look at what is in store with the new Azure Dedicated Cache Service.

Dedicated Cache Service is offered in three tiers: Basic, Standard and Premium. Prices below include a 50% preview discount, and are based on cache size provisioned.

Basic

Standard

Premium

Price Per Unit   (Preview) $12.50 / month
(prorated hourly)
$50 / month
(prorated hourly)
$200 / month
(prorated hourly)
Cache Size 128 MB 1 GB 5 GB
Scale Up to 8 units Up to 10 units Up to 30 units
Named Caches 1 10 10
High Availability Not Available Not Available Available
Notifications Not Available Available Available

Summary Points

  1. Dedicated – Very important upgrade. Earlier the cache service was shared with other tenants and hence there were quotas on transactions, connections causing throttling. Now, the service is dedicated to each tenant and hence no question of throttling, a big scalability relief!
  2. Performance and Interoperability – The cache service is available across Cloud Services, Windows and Linux VM with high performance as 1ms read and 1.2ms write, this includes end to end round trip from requestor to Cache service.  Soon we should expect it to be available for Windows Azure Mobile Services, Great going!
  3. Scale – Remember the transient exceptions when we cross the size limit in shared cache? When you exceed the size of your cache, the Shared Caching service will evict items in the cache until the memory shortage is resolved. During this time, you could get memory-related exception. The scale attribute signifies auto scaling of the cache size. X unit would mean the cache size can auto scale up to X times of the cache size. No more worry of losing the old data and memory exceptions
  4. Uniform APIs – The APIs to access the new dedicated cache service is exactly same as dedicated cache service, in role cache and on-premises appfabric cache. Same existing session and caching providers can be used with dedicated cache service.  Easy to switch and extend!
  5. Cheaper – Prices are lower and there are no transaction charges, save $!
  6. High Availability – Though it’s a premium feature and you got to spend more for it. Useful in critical applications for high redundancy
  7. Notifications – Another premium feature (available with standard tier too). Cache object add/update/delete sends a callback notifications
  8. Monitoring and Size Upgrade – Azure Management Portal dashboard provides in built cache service monitoring. You can also increase the size of the cache without impacting the application state. Smooth Upgrade!!

Read more details about caching here

With the premium cache as your key value database and spending $200 per month, we can develop mobile or web applications talking to 150GB database with superfast speed. There are already a few cases where we needed it and looking forward to use it as our database. Be aware it is in preview mode at the same time take advantage of 50% discount on the pricing.

Since, Microsoft is upgrading Azure really fast, I am hoping they implement the same concept on SQL Azure and release Dedicated Azure SQL Database Service. Let’s see how soon! 🙂