Redmond and Amazon have a pretty intense rivalry going on for cloud supremacy, and both companies have moved the theater of war to the caching layer after both services updated their caching services.
Caching in cloud (just like on computing hardware) improves response times for applications by delivering frequently accessed data and functionalities from a server’s memory, without calling the bits up from a slower hard drive.
AWS recently expanded its ElastiCache service with a second open source caching engine — the popular Redis. Currently in beta form, Redis offers an in-memory key-value store, which can be used for storing sorted lists sets and lists.
Not the one to be outdone, Microsoft has also previewed an update of its very own caching service.
Windows Azure Cache now brings to the table larger cache sizes as well as reduced latency. And unlike the previous offering, this new caching service will run on its own servers instead of alongside the application itself — thereby not using the memory that would be otherwise reserved for the application.
The Windows Azure Caching service can be used with any Windows Azure application, including those running on Linux virtual machines. Redmond plans to integrate this new caching service with Windows Azure Mobile Services as well, in due time.
Up to 150GB of in-memory data objects or content can be allocated by users.
Neither company has indicated when these updated caching services will graduate from preview form to full commercial offerings, but expect to hear more on this in the very near future.