NCache vs. AppFabric

This comparison is between NCache 4.1 SP2 with AppFabric v1.1. It describes major feature differences between both products. For a detailed comparison , please read the PDF.

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Feature Area



Performance & Scalability

Has performance and scalability issues that are due to WCF as the transport layer and lack of advanced performance optimizations features. Extremely fast and scalable due to a light-weight socket-level protocol for transport layer. And, many advanced performance optimization features provided to further speed things up.

Cache Elasticity
(High Availability)

No peer to peer architecture. Something resembling master/slave architecture employed. If some of the “lead nodes” or the configuration file server goes down, the entire cache could potentially go down. Highly elastic with 100% uptime. Peer to peer cluster architecture. Connection failover support, dynamic configuration, and “Hot Apply” feature.

Cache Topologies

Local cache, partitioned cache, and limited partitioned-replicated cache. Async replication not supported and due to this operations slow down. Rich options. Local, Mirrored, Replicated, Partitioned, Partition-Replica, and Client Caches. Highly dynamic and intelligent replication provided without compromising performance or scalability.

WAN Replication

No support for it. Supports WAN replication using following bridge topologies: Active-passive, active-active, one-active & multiple passive, and 3 or more active sites. No performance drop.

Cache Administration

Very basic cache admin GUI tool. No dedicated cache monitoring tool. Only PerfMon counters provided for monitoring. PowerShell based Cmdlets provided. Very powerful GUI tools. NCache Manager for cache admin, and NCache Monitor for cache monitoring. PerfMon counters, and command line tools provided.

Security & Encryption

No encryption provided for data in the cache. Authentication/authorization provided. Powerful 3DES/256AES data encryption in the cache provided as a config option.
Active Directory/LDAP authentication and authorization provided.

Object Caching Features

CRUD operations and locking provided. Limited support for expirations. And, no streaming API provided. CRUD operations, locking, versioning, and much more.
Absolute & sliding expirations provided. Streaming API provided.

Managing Data Relationships

No support for it. Key based Cache Dependency allows you to handle one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many relationships in the cache automatically.

Synchronization with
Data Sources

No support for it. SqlDependency, OracleDependency, DbDependency, & CLR Stored Procedures for database synchronization. File based and Custom dependency for non-relational data sources.

Runtime Data Sharing

Very limited support. Publish/subscribe events not supported. Continuous Query not provided. Only item level and cache. Powerful publish/subscribe event supported. Continuous Query, .NET/Java portable binary data, and more. Use NCache for publisher/consumer data sharing between .NET/.NET or .NET/Java apps.

Search Cache (SQL-Like)

No support for it. Object Query Language (OQL) and LINQ. Search cache on object attributes, Tags, and Named Tags with SQL-like query.

Data Grouping

No support for Group/Subgroup or Named Tags. Only Tags are supported. Group/sub-group, Tags, and Named Tags. Group, fetch, update, and manipulate data intelligently.

Read-thru & Write-thru

Supports Read-thru and Write-behind only. No Write-through supported. Multiple Read-thru, Write-thru, Write-behind. Use cache to fetch data from your database and simplify your apps. Also auto-reload cached items when expired or when database synchronization needed.

Cache Size Mgmt

Only LRU evictions supported. LRU, LFU, and Priority evictions. You can designate cached items to not be evicted with priority eviction.

ASP.NET Support

Basic ASP.NET Session State support. Session replication has performance and scalability issues. ASP.NET ViewState support is very basic. ASP.NET Output Cache supported. Powerful ASP.NET Session State, ASP.NET View State, ASP.NET Output Cache. Replication for sessions, view state, and page output. Link view state with sessions for auto expiry and much more.

Third Party Integrations

No official support for NHibernate, Entity Framework, and EntLib Caching Application Block. NHibernate Second Level Cache,
Entity Framework Cache,
EntLib Caching Block.
Extra features provided for all of these. Use all of these without any programming.

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