Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched a public beta test of ElastiCache, which is designed to allow enterprises to speed up their Web applications, the company said on Monday.
The service improves the performance of Web applications by allowing them to retrieve information from "a fast, managed, in-memory caching system, instead of relying entirely on slower disk-based databases," Amazon said.
[ Check out what InfoWorld's Eric Knorr has to say about the (real) state of the cloud, 2011. | Get the no-nonsense explanations and advice you need to take real advantage of cloud computing in the InfoWorld editors' 21-page Cloud Computing Deep Dive PDF special report. | Stay up on the cloud with InfoWorld's Cloud Computing Report newsletter. ]
The advantages of ElastiCache are the same as other cloud-based services. Users don't have to worry about infrastructure provisioning, or installing and maintaining cache software.
It can help improve latency and throughput on social networking, gaming, and media sharing sites, according to Amazon.
ElastiCache is based on Memcached -- an open source project used by websites such as Wikipedia, Flickr, Twitter, and Youtube. The service allows users to create so-called Cache Clusters, each comprised of one or more Cache Nodes, in a matter of minutes. Each Cache Node has a fixed-size chunk of network-attached RAM, from 1.3GB to 68GB, according to Amazon.
Amazon allows users to run a maximum of 20 Cache Nodes. Enterprises that want more can fill in a request form.
ElastiCache costs between $0.095 and $2.24 per hour. The price is based on the size of the Cache Nodes used. The service is currently available in the U.S. East (Virginia) region, and will be available in other AWS Regions in the coming months, Amazon writes.
The AWS Management Console can be used to manage ElastiCache. In a blog post Amazon walks perspective users through the process of creating a cluster.
Send news tips and comments to email@example.com.