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Velocity CTP3 Released

Microsoft this week rolled out the next community test version of a distributed cache platform code-named "Velocity" that promises to speed up .NET-based applications.

Velocity CTP3 (Community Technology Preview 3) was published on Tuesday and can be downloaded here. The CTP3 represents pre-beta testing; it's of interest mostly to technical reviewers.

The enhancements in the CTP3 include a new "cache notifications" capability, plus the option to manage cache clusters using SQL Server, according to Microsoft's announcement. Performance and security were also enhanced with this release, the Velocity team indicated. The application programming interfaces were changed to reflect more typical Microsoft namespace conventions.

Microsoft added the cache notifications capability to help avoid retrieving stale data. It also can be used to specify "an event-triggered task" based on when an object is "added, replaced or removed" in the cache, the Velocity team explained.

With CTP3, SQL Server can now be used instead of just the lead hosts for cluster management. Adding SQL Server for cluster management helps ensure that the cluster doesn't go down "due to an insufficient number of (running) lead hosts," according to the Velocity team.

Velocity is a performance improvement utility for .NET-based applications that caches data in memory across machines. Microsoft unveiled the first CTP of Velocity in early June.

The Velocity platform is similar to memcached hash-table technology used to speed up Web sites built on the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack, according to Dare Obasanjo, a Microsoft program manager for the Contacts team. Velocity instead provides cache support for Web sites using the WISC (Windows, IIS, SQL Server, C#) stack.

Velocity also adds scalability technology to caching. Obasanjo explained that "you can add and remove servers from the cluster and the cache automatically rebalances itself."

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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