Amazon Web Services Launches ElastiCache

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AWS announces the release of ElastiCache to run an in-memory cache for apps addressing the AWS cloud

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced ElastiCache, a Web service that makes it easy to deploy, operate and scale an in-memory cache for Web applications running in the AWS cloud.

Amazon officials said the new service improves the performance of Web applications by enabling customers to retrieve information from a fast, managed, in-memory caching system in the cloud, instead of relying on slower disk-based databases.

Amazon ElastiCache is compliant with Memcached, a widely adopted memory object caching system, so code, applications, and tools that developers use today with their existing Memcached environments work with the service, easing the migration process.

Commoditising In-Memory Caching

The service also simplifies and offloads the management, monitoring and operation of in-memory cache environments, enabling businesses to focus their engineering resources on the differentiating parts of their applications. Amazon ElastiCache is ideal for read-heavy workloads such as social networking, gaming and media sharing sites or compute intensive workloads such as recommendation engines.

“Caching is a core part of so many Web applications today, but running your own caching infrastructure is time-consuming and rarely adds differentiated value for your business,” said Raju Gulabani, vice president of Database Services at AWS, in a statement. “Until today, businesses have had little choice but to shoulder this responsibility themselves – and indeed, many AWS customers have built and managed caching solutions on top of AWS for some time. Amazon ElastiCache answers one of the most highly requested functionalities of AWS customers by providing a managed, flexible and resilient caching service in the cloud.”

AWS officials said with just a few clicks of the Management Console, users can launch a Cache Cluster consisting of a collection of Cache Nodes, each running Memcached software. Customers can scale the amount of memory associated with a Cache Cluster in minutes by adding or deleting Cache Nodes to meet the demands of changing workloads.

In addition, ElastiCache automatically detects and replaces failed Cache Nodes, providing a resilient system that mitigates the risk of overloaded databases, which slow Website and application load times, the company said. Through integration with Amazon CloudWatch, ElastiCache provides visibility into key performance metrics associated with Cache Nodes.

“Amazon ElastiCache will make it very easy for PBS to deploy and manage our distributed Memcached environment. We can have multi-node cache environments configured, up and running in minutes,” said Jon Brendsel, vice president of product development at PBS, in a statement. “Amazon ElastiCache also takes care of ongoing administrative functions including failure recovery and patching, allowing us to focus more on delivering great Web experiences to our viewers.”

Fast Deployment Of Cache Clusters

TicketLeap, a self-service online ticketing and event marketing platform, has benefited from the scalability of AWS. “We sell tickets for a number of extremely popular events across the world, so our application demands get very spiky,” said Keith Fitzgerald, vice president of engineering at TicketLeap, in a statement.

“Amazon ElastiCache provides us the ability to deploy and scale out distributed Cache Clusters in minutes. Moving forward, we intend to use the service to rapidly increase or decrease our cache footprint to meet our application demand. The detailed monitoring capabilities will help us quickly diagnose and fix throughput or latency issues.”

ElastiCache, in conjunction with application servers in Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and database servers in Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS), provides customers with an integrated platform to run fully managed application stacks in the cloud. Like all AWS services, ElastiCache is available on-demand and users pay only for the resources used. Pricing is based on the size of the Cache Nodes used and begins as low as $0.095 (5.7p) per hour.

The service is currently available in the US East (Virginia) Region but will be available in other AWS Regions in the coming months.

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