New AppFabric

This article was originally published in VSJ, which is now part of Developer Fusion.
Cloud computing continues to develop with additions to Azure announced at PDC 2009. AppFabric, a combination of the two technologies previously code named Dublin and Velocity, is designed to integrate the management of servers situated locally and remotely, i.e. “in the cloud”, and provide to caching.

The new platform is available in beta and the final version of Windows Server AppFabric will be available in 2010. The key feature is the ability to deploy WCF and WF services, the building blocks of Microsoft’s approach to SOA. AppFabric provides persistence for applications across restarts and other failures by using a SQL database to store state information. This also allows long-running services to suspend and resume according to workload. Monitoring services are also provided via either the IIS management console or PowerShell cmdlets. A management API is available for custom tasks.

The Velocity cache component of AppFabric works with a cluster of servers to form a single application cache. The cache, although distributed, appears as a single logical entity to the administrator and programmer. Cache clients can explicitly store transient data in the cache so that it can be retrieved without having to query the database repeatedly.

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