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Memcached, What and How it Works

What is Memcached?

Memcached is a popular open-source distributed memory object caching system that is widely used to speed up dynamic web applications by reducing the number of times a database is accessed. It was originally developed by Brad Fitzpatrick in 2003 and is now maintained by the Memcached community.

Memcached stores key-value pairs in memory and makes them easily accessible to applications, resulting in faster response times and reduced load on database servers. It is used by many large websites, including Wikipedia, Flickr, and Twitter.

How Memcached Works

Memcached works by caching data in memory, allowing applications to quickly access frequently accessed data without the need to repeatedly query a database. When an application needs to retrieve data, it first checks if the data is available in Memcached. If the data is not found in Memcached, the application retrieves it from the database and stores it in Memcached for future use.

Memcached uses a distributed architecture, where multiple servers can be used to store data. Each server is responsible for a portion of the total data, and data is distributed among the servers based on a hash value of the key. This allows Memcached to scale horizontally as more servers can be added to the cluster to increase storage capacity and performance.

To store data, Memcached uses a simple key-value storage model. Data is stored in memory as key-value pairs, where the key is a string that identifies the data and the value is the actual data to be cached. The maximum size of a key is 250 bytes, and the maximum size of a value is determined by the amount of available memory.

Memcached also provides a range of features, such as expiration time, which allows cached data to be automatically removed after a certain amount of time, and invalidation, which allows cached data to be manually removed before the expiration time.

Connection with Hosting Resources

Memcached can be used as a caching layer for dynamic web applications hosted on a variety of platforms, including shared hosting, virtual private servers (VPS), and dedicated servers.

Shared hosting providers may offer Memcached as a pre-installed software package, allowing users to easily enable and configure caching for their website without the need for advanced technical skills.

VPS and dedicated server hosting providers typically offer Memcached as an option that can be installed and configured by users. In these cases, Memcached can be used to significantly improve the performance of web applications by reducing the load on database servers.

In summary, Memcached is a powerful caching system that can be used to improve the performance of dynamic web applications by reducing the load on database servers. It is widely used by large websites and can be easily integrated into a variety of hosting environments.

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