Windows Azure Cache: Feature Comparison Matrix


Windows Azure offers three different Cache Offerings.

1. Cache Service Preview

2. In-Role Caching

3. Shared Caching

Cache Service is the newest and is in Preview right now. Considering that Shared Caching is soon to be deprecated (ref), the real choice is between the new Cache Service Preview and the tried and tested In-Role Caching. Both of these are fundamentally different services and have few unique characteristics. To know more about each of these services, please refer to the following.

Windows Azure Cache Service (Preview)

Windows Azure In-Role Cache

Free e-book – Introducing Windows Azure for IT Professionals

To help make a better informed decision on which of these offerings to choose from, I am putting together a feature comparison matrix. This matrix should provide you a quick reference to some of salient features of Windows Azure Caching and their availability in various Cache Offerings.

Cache Comparison Matrix


 

In-Role Caching

 

Cache Service (Preview)

Shared Caching (to be deprecated)*

Features

Dedicated

Co-located

   

Visual Studio Integration

Full integration with Visual Studio. Can be configured from the Caching tab in Role property

Full integration with Visual Studio. Can be configured from the Caching tab in Role property

Managed via new Azure Portal. Supported by same NuGet Package

Managed via the old Azure Management Portal only

Azure Portal Support

Supported in the new Azure Management Portal - https://manage.windowsazure.com/

Supported in the new Azure Management Portal - https://manage.windowsazure.com/

Supported in the new Azure Management Portal - https://manage.windowsazure.com/

Supported in the old Azure Management Portal - https://windows.azure.com/

Quota Limitations

There are no quota limitations since the cached data is hosted within your deployment boundaries. Usage is only dependent on the availability of the resources.

There are no quota limitations since the cached data is hosted within your deployment boundaries. Usage is only dependent on the availability of the resources.

There are no Quota limitations.

Quota limitations are in place to ensure fair usage in this multitenant environment.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/hh697522.aspx

Notification Support

Yes, supports a variety of asynchronous notifications for variety of cache operations. E.g. CreateRegion, RemoveRegion, AddItem, RemoveItem etc.

Yes, supports a variety of asynchronous notifications for variety of cache operations. E.g. CreateRegion, RemoveRegion, AddItem, RemoveItem etc.

Yes, supports a variety of asynchronous notifications for variety of cache operations. E.g. CreateRegion, RemoveRegion, AddItem, RemoveItem etc.

Does not support notifications

High Availability

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Named Caches

Yes, you can configure multiple Named Caches apart from the default cache.

Yes, you can configure multiple Named Caches apart from the default cache.

Yes

No, only default cache is allowed

Tags/Regions

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Eviction Policy

LRU (Least recently Used) or None

LRU (Least recently Used) or None

LRU (Least recently Used) or None (if Disabled)

LRU

Performance

Supposed to perform better than Shared Caching

Supposed to perform better than Shared Caching

High performance service subject to SKU limitations

In-Role Caching methods are supposed to be a better performer

Manageability

Same amount of control over cache which have on your Cloud Service. Cache can be scaled, managed and monitored just like your Cloud Service.

Same amount of control over cache which have on your Cloud Service. Cache can be scaled, managed and monitored just like your Cloud Service.

Managed by Microsoft, users can control certain configuration (Eviction Policy, High Availability etc.)

Managed by Microsoft, manageability is not shared with users

Emulator Support

Yes, full integration with Cache Emulator

Yes, full integration with Cache Emulator

Not available at the moment

Limited support. Cache can be accessed from emulator but the data stays on the Cache Servers.

Feature Spectrum

Full

Full

Full

Limited

Cost

You pay for the worker role only

You do not pay any premium for Cache

You pay for the one of the Cache Service Offering depends on the Cache Memory

Pricing Details: http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/pricing/details/cache/

You pay for one of the Cache Service offerings

· 128 MB cache for $45.00/month

· 256 MB cache for $55.00/month

· 512 MB cache for $75.00/month

· 1 GB cache for $110.00month

· 2 GB cache for $180.00/month

· 4 GB cache for $325.00/month

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/hh697522.aspx

Scalability

Highly scalable. You can scale to as many instances and the VM size as allowed in your subscription.

Cache can be scaled independently of your Cloud Service.

Highly scalable. You can scale-out the Azure Role which is hosting cached data as allowed by the subscription. Size of the VM can be increased too.

Cache can be scaled with your Cloud Service.

Scalability is limited by the availability of Cache Offerings (from 128 MB to 150 GB cache memory)

Scalability is limited by the availability of Cache Offerings

Memcache Support

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

RDP Capability to VM hosting Cache Data

Yes

Yes

No

No

Accessibility

Can be accessed by roles within the same deployment

Can be accessed by roles within the same deployment

Cache namespaces can be accessed from any application (IaaS VM, Cloud Service, Azure Web Site). More services will be added soon

Cache namespaces can be accessed from any application (Windows Azure or On-premise)

ASP.Net Session and Output Caching

Fully supported. Pre-configured providers are available.

Fully supported. Pre-configured providers are available.

Fully supported. Pre-configured providers are available.

Fully supported. Pre-configured providers are available.

Object Size Limit

8MB

8MB

8MB

8MB

Cache Sizes

Depends on the size of the hosting VM.

Available Sizes:

VM Size

CPU

Cores

Memory

(MB)

ExtraSmall

Shared

768 MB

Small

1

1.75 GB

Medium

2

3.5 GB

Large

4

7 GB

ExtraLarge

8

14 GB

A6

4

28 GB

A7

8

56 GB

Note: ExtraSmall instances are not supported for Caching

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/dn197896.aspx

Same as Dedicated Caching

Depends on the selected cache offering

Available Sizes:

Cache Offering

Cache Memory

Basic

128MB to 1GB

Standard

1GB to 10GB

Premium

5GB to 150GB

Depends on the selected cache offering

Available Sizes:

· 128 MB

· 256 MB

· 512 MB

· 1 GB

· 2 GB

· 4 GB

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/gg618005.aspx

Diagnostics

Extensive diagnostics capabilities. Client Diagnostics and Server Diagnostics mode

Extensive diagnostics capabilities. Client Diagnostics and Server Diagnostics mode

Client Diagnostics capabilities

Client Diagnostics capabilities

Debugging

Full fidelity devfabric experience enabling application debugging before deployment

Full fidelity devfabric experience enabling application debugging before deployment

Limited capabilities at the moment

Limited capabilities

Security

Based on standard Windows Azure Security concepts. Cached data is completely isolated from other users

Based on standard Windows Azure Security concepts. Cached data is completely isolated from other users

Dedicated infrastructure based service. Isolated from other users

Multitenant environment.

ACS based security

(Service URL + Authentication Token)

TTL (Time To Live)

Configurable. Default Expiration time is 10 minutes

Configurable. Default Expiration time is 10 minutes

Configurable. Default Expiration time is 10 minutes

Non-configurable for the whole cache, but can be configured for individual item. Default Expiration time is 48 hours

Expiration Type

Configurable.

None/Absolute/Sliding Window

Configurable.

None/Absolute/Sliding Window

Configurable.

Never/Absolute/Sliding Window

Non-configurable.

Absolute

(Time starts when items are added in the cache)

Durability

Not guaranteed

Not guaranteed

Not guaranteed

Not guaranteed


 

If you want to have any additional features included here for comparison, please let me know.

Hope this help!

Ashish Goyal

 

 

Comments (0)

Skip to main content