Understanding, Benefits, and Features of Memcached

Title: Understanding, Benefits, and Features of Memcached
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What is Memcached?

Memcached or Memory Object Caching System is one of the open source distributed memory caching systems built to ease database loading for dynamic web applications such as e-commerce stores or websites that require login/registration. This technology works by storing and distributing data into server memory (RAM) so that the database load becomes lighter. So, you don’t need to worry if a website is accessed by many people. Memcached is also one of the Open Source-based software that is simple, powerful and has high performance. Quoted from the official website www.memcached.org, this Memory Object Caching System fast And easy to developas well as very efficient in solving the problem regarding big data cache.

Memcached was originally developed by Brad Fitzpatrick in 2003 and is now used by Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Wikipedia, and other large and small web applications.

The developers define it as follows:

Memcached is an in-memory key-value store for small arbitrary data (strings, objects) resulting from database calls, API calls, or page renders.

This system stores key value data for strings and objects, such as:

  • API call
  • Page rendering
  • Database call result

Memcached uses a client-server architecture based on four components:

  • Client serverswhich maintains a list of available Memcached servers.
  • Algorithm client based hashingwhich retrieves the server based on the requested “key”.
  • Server softwarewhich stores key + value combinations into an internal hash table.
  • The Most Algorithm Recently Used (LRU), who decides when to use old data or memory.

Advantages of Memcached

The following are some of the advantages of memcached, namely:

1. Sub-millisecond response time

Memcached stores all of its data in the server’s main memory. Unlike databases such as PostgreSQL, Cassandra, and MongoDB which store most of their data on disk or SSD, in-memory data stores do not need to make round trips to disk. This allows it to support larger operating orders and faster response times. The result is blazing-fast performance with sub-millisecond average read and write times and support for millions of operations per second.

2. Simple and easy to use

Memcached is designed to be simple and generic, making it both powerful and easy to use in application development. Several open source clients are available for Memcached developers. Supported languages ​​include Java, Python, PHP, C, C++, C#, JavaScript, Node.js, Ruby, Go, and many more.

3. Scalability

Memcached’s distributed, multithreaded architecture makes it easy to scale. You can share data among any number of nodes, allowing you to increase capacity by adding new nodes to your cluster. Also, because Memcached is multithreaded, it can use multiple cores on a given node. This makes it easier to increase computing capacity. With Memcached, you can build a highly scalable distributed caching solution designed to provide fast, consistent performance.

Memcached is a mature open source project supported by a vibrant community. Apps like WordPress and Django support using Memcached to improve performance. There are no vendor or technology locks as Memcached technology is based on open standards, supports open data formats, and provides the benefits of a rich client set.

How Memcached Works

Memcached works like any other caching system, but now the database is at the heart of the process. Let’s look at the workflow in five quick steps:

  1. The client-server accepts queries from users (that is, access to specific URLs from websites with HTTPS redirects).
  2. The client-server checks with the Memcached server whether the required data is stored in its memory.
  3. If the data exists, Memcached immediately returns it to the client server.
  4. If the data is not already cached, Memcached forwards the request to the database.
  5. The requested data is now passed to the client-server and, at the same time, the Memcache index is updated with this latest value: the cache is now ready for future use (see step 3).

Typically, Memcached is managed via different Memcached servers and clients, which help distribute the request load.

The client-server uses a hashing algorithm to decide which Memcached server to forward the request to.

It is important to note that the Memcache servers do not share data, so the database only sends data to one Memcache server at a time.

How to Use Memcached on Your WordPress Site

The first condition for using Memcached on your WordPress site is your hosting server has installed it. The second condition is your web application can support Memcached. Since Memcached only relies on RAM, it doesn’t require too many CPU resources.

Some web hosting services come with the Memcached system pre-installed on their cloud servers, you can find some examples at A2 Hosting, Cloudways or Siteround.

If your server supports Memcached, you can most likely use it via Memcached PHP extension default.

1. Caching

Memcached is a great choice for deploying high-performance in-memory caching to lower data access latency, increase throughput, and ease the burden off your back-end systems. Memcached can serve cache items in less than milliseconds, and allows you to upgrade easily and cost-effectively for higher loads. Memcached is popular for caching database query results, session caching, web page caching, API caching, and object caching such as images, files, and metadata.

2. Session storage

Memcached as an in-memory data store is a popular choice among application developers for storing and managing session data for internet-scale applications in cases where persistence is not critical. Memcached is designed to provide the sub-millisecond latency and scale needed to manage session data such as user profiles, credentials, and session state.

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