This morning at TechEd, Microsoft announced Project "Velocity" an explicit, distributed, in-memory application cache platform. Project “Velocity” increases performance of applications, by moving the data out of the data store, and closer to the application in the middle tier, significantly reducing the number or trips made to and from the data store to retrieve data. Project “Velocity” allows you to efficiently combine memory on existing machines in the middle tier, allow them to act as a single unified cache, avoiding the need for larger more expensive machines. “Velocity” also helps to increase the availability of data through an easily configurable fail-over caching system.
For more information and to download CTP1, check out the Data Developer Center on MSDN