Distributed Caching On The Path To Scalability

By Iqbal Khan

If you're developing an ASP.NET application, Web services or a high-performance computing (HPC) application, you're likely to encounter major scalability issues as you try to scale and put more load on your application. With an ASP.NET application, bottlenecks occur in two data stores. The first is the application data that resides in the database, and the other is ASP.NET session state data that is typically stored in one of three modes (InProc, StateServer, or SqlServer) provided by Microsoft. All three have major scalability issues.

Web services typically do not use session state, but they do have scalability bottlenecks when it comes to application data. Just like ASP.NET applications, Web services can be hosted in IIS and deployed in a Web farm for scalability.

HPC applications that are designed to perform massive parallel processing also have scalability problems because the data store does not scale in the same manner. HPC (also called grid computing) has traditionally used Java, but as .NET gains market share, it is becoming more popular for HPC applications as well.

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