15.6 Using MySQL with memcached

15.6.1 Installing memcached
15.6.2 Using memcached
15.6.3 Developing a memcached Application
15.6.4 Getting memcached Statistics
15.6.5 memcached FAQ

memcached is a simple, highly scalable key-based cache that stores data and objects wherever dedicated or spare RAM is available for quick access by applications, without going through layers of parsing or disk I/O. To use, you run the memcached command on one or more hosts and then use the shared cache to store objects. For more usage instructions, see Section 15.6.2, “Using memcached

Benefits of using memcached include:

The typical usage environment is to modify your application so that information is read from the cache provided by memcached. If the information is not in memcached, then the data is loaded from the MySQL database and written into the cache so that future requests for the same object benefit from the cached data.

For a typical deployment layout, see Figure 15.4, “memcached Architecture Overview”.

Figure 15.4 memcached Architecture Overview

memcached Architecture Overview

In the example structure, any of the clients can contact one of the memcached servers to request a given key. Each client is configured to talk to all of the servers shown in the illustration. Within the client, when the request is made to store the information, the key used to reference the data is hashed and this hash is then used to select one of the memcached servers. The selection of the memcached server takes place on the client before the server is contacted, keeping the process lightweight.

The same algorithm is used again when a client requests the same key. The same key generates the same hash, and the same memcached server is selected as the source for the data. Using this method, the cached data is spread among all of the memcached servers, and the cached information is accessible from any client. The result is a distributed, memory-based, cache that can return information, particularly complex data and structures, much faster than natively reading the information from the database.

The data held within a traditional memcached server is never stored on disk (only in RAM, which means there is no persistence of data), and the RAM cache is always populated from the backing store (a MySQL database). If a memcached server fails, the data can always be recovered from the MySQL database.