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Distributed memory object caching system

What is memcached?

memcached is a high-performance, distributed memory object caching system, generic in nature, but intended for use in speeding up dynamic web applications by alleviating database load.

Danga Interactive developed memcached to enhance the speed of, a site which was already doing 20 million+ dynamic page views per day for 1 million users with a bunch of webservers and a bunch of database servers. memcached dropped the database load to almost nothing, yielding faster page load times for users, better resource utilization, and faster access to the databases on a memcache miss.

How it Works

First, you start up the memcached daemon on as many spare machines as you have. The daemon has no configuration file, just a few command line options, only 3 or 4 of which you'll likely use:

# ./memcached -d -m 2048 -l -p 11211

This starts memcached up as a daemon, using 2GB of memory, and listening on IP, port 11211. Because a 32-bit process can only address 4GB of virtual memory (usually significantly less, depending on your operating system), if you have a 32-bit server with 4-64GB of memory using PAE you can just run multiple processes on the machine, each using 2 or 3GB of memory.

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