Memcached is a widely used distributed database caching technology, implemented in tens of thousands of web implementations, including sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Salesforce.com, Wikipedia, and Craigslist. Memcached accelerates dynamic web applications and is now an important part of many social networking infrastructures.
Memcached improves the performance of distributed dynamic web and database applications by caching dynamic object requests and reducing the volume of accesses to the database and storage tiers. This dynamic caching can increase the transaction rates of dynamic web applications and reduce database load. Memcached can either utilize unused memory in application servers or be deployed as a dedicated tier in the database, creating a large, shared pool of virtual object-based cache accessible to all servers.
Developers and DBAs have long been plagued by the bottleneck of hard disk drive speeds when programming web applications and configuring databases. Along came memcache, a solution designed to alleviate the amount of reads from disk by storing key critical information in memory, making the system faster and more efficient, and memcache is as easy as it is powerful. memcache is, at its very core, just a key and value pair stored in memory; it has no redundancy, libraries, or anything else attached to it, part of what makes it so fast and usable.
Though not a silver bullet on its own, it is a tool that potentially can help a great deal of web administrators and developers shift load off their databases without resorting to hardware upgrades, sharding, or other methods for distributing database load.
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