The Power of Caching Services on the Web

Out of all the technologies and principles in computing perhaps the most important and under-appreciated is caching. This idea is fundamental to the performance of every single processor, and more importantly, is being applied to the massive amount of data being transferred among servers, data centers, and user given the enormous traffic that modern websites generate.

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Everyone knows that a computer is fast, capable of usually billions of instructions per second. However, that is not the whole story as far as performance goes. While processors can do many, many small calculations or operations in the blink of an eye, a processor is only as useful as the data that it can churn through. The issue is that it takes far longer for data to get from disk to the processor then it does to perform calculations. What this means is that data access is the processing bottleneck.

Fortunately, innovations in caching allow a processor to copy and store the most recently accessed data so that it doesn’t have to be requested from disk again. The tremendous leaps we have seen in processing power would not have occurred without caching. However, this innovation doesn’t just apply at the physical processor level. In this day and age it is essential for managing the massive amounts of data flowing back and forth over the web.

There are many web caching services, such as those offered by Medianova, and these services reduce latency of data that is requested on the web so that it can more easily reach its end users. Let us look at the world’s most popular social network to put it in perspective: Facebook’s database handles 60 million transactions per second. There is no way a database, no matter how sophisticated, can serve that much traffic through direct requests. It turns out that even with one billion users, only 10 percent of transactions go to the database; the rest go to the cache level.

Contact Medianova for more information about how we can make our caching services work for your web solution.

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