Today we are announcing CTP2 of Microsoft Project Code Name Velocity. Please download the CTP2 bits here. This entry will highlight what’s new with CTP2 and a follow-up request for feedback on what you would like to see in the product as we finalize on V1.

 

What’s New with CTP2?

 

CTP2 includes several new enhancements including High Availability, Performance improvements, PowerShell integration, Additional Configuration Store options and native 64 bit support.

  1. High Availability: Starting in CTP2, "Velocity" supports continuous availability of cached data by storing copies of that data on separate cache hosts. By using high availability enabled on a multi-server cluster, your application can retrieve its cached data even if a cache server fails. Because the high availability feature is managed by the cache cluster, no code changes in your application are required to take advantage of it.  
     
  2. Performance and Stress Enhancements: In CTP2 we spent substantial effort on improving the Latency and Thruput of the system as well as the stress and uptime requirements of the distributed cache. The success of a caching product is defined inherently by its performance and stress capabilities and we will continue on enhancing our exit goals as we move towards V1 of the product.
     
  3. PowerShell Integration: PowerShell is now the exclusive management tool for "Velocity." With more than 130 standard command line tools, this new administration-focused scripting language helps IT professionals achieve more control and productivity. In addition to the standard command line tools that come with PowerShell, "Velocity" provides additional commands for managing your distributed cache environment.
     
  4. New Configuration Options: "Velocity" now offers many options for specifying and storing the configuration details used by the cache cluster and client application. Cache-based applications have the option of specifying configuration information programmatically or using an application configuration file. You now have two additional options available for storing cluster details. In addition to XML, cluster configuration settings can also be stored in a SQL Server Compact data file or a SQL Server database.  You can choose the option that best meets  the needs of your application and IT infrastructure.
     
  5. 64-Bit Support: There is now a 64-bit version of the "Velocity" cache service for x64-based computers. Due to memory limitations in 32-bit Windows operating systems, each 32-bit "Velocity" process can only support 2GB of memory. But with 64-bit "Velocity" on an x64-based computer, each process can use almost all available memory for caching data.
     

Roadmap to V1

 

We have heard your feedback from CTP1 and incorporated many of the requests into CTP2. We have a very short list of new features which we are looking at including for V1 and focus exclusively on performance, stress exit criteria and product fundamentals such as stability, reliability and diagnosability  of the product. The tentative list of features for V1 include

  1. Notifications
  2. Read Thru/Write Behind Callbacks on CacheItem miss/update
  3. Secure Access to Named Caches
  4. Cache Get/Put APIs with multiple objects
  5. Stability, Reliability and Diagnosability Improvements

We would like you to try it and give us feedback. We are waiting to hear from you.

 

Seshu Adunuthula
Development Manager