[This article was contributed by the SQL Azure team.]

In case you missed the news, the Windows Azure AppFabric blog announced on Friday that the Windows Azure AppFabric Caching service is now available as a production service. This service is a distributed, in-memory, application cache service that accelerates the performance of Windows Azure and SQL Azure applications by providing the ability to keep data in-memory, which eliminates the need to retrieve that data from storage or a database.  Six different cache size options are available ranging from 128MB to 4GB.

To make it easier to start using this new service, users will not be charged for billing periods prior to August 1, 2011.  Some Windows Azure Platform offers include the 128MB cache option for free for a certain period of time for current customers. You can find more details on the Windows Azure Platform Offers page.

To learn more about the Windows Azure AppFabric Caching service, read the blog post on the Windows Azure AppFabric blog

For questions about the Caching service, please visit the Windows Azure Storage, CDN and Caching Forum.

— Steve

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