Windows Server AppFabric V1.1 CTP was recently released for download at MSDN. This is first major upgrade of Windows Server AppFabric, which is a set of integrated technologies that makes it easier to build, scale and manage Web and Composite Applications that run on IIS. This is something which is very close to my heart for obvious reasons.

For more details on Windows Server AppFabric read this.

Please note that it is recommended to have a clean install of this update.

Following are some of the key highlights of what’s changed in v1.1 of Windows Server AppFabric.


This allows a backend provider to be used on the cache servers to assist with retrieving and storing data to a backend, such as a database. Read-through enables the cache to "read-through" to a backend in the context of a Get request. Write-behind enables updates to cached data to be saved asynchronously to the backend. For more information, see Creating a Read-Through / Write-Behind Provider (Windows Server AppFabric v1.1).

Graceful Shutdown

This is useful for moving data from a single cache hosts to rest of the servers in the cache cluster before shutting down the cache host for maintenance. This helps to prevent unexpected loss of cached data in a running cache cluster. This can be accomplished with the Graceful parameter of the Stop-CacheHost Windows PowerShell command.

Domain Accounts

In addition to running the AppFabric Caching Service with the NETWORK SERVICE account, you can now run the service as a domain account. For more information, see Change the Caching Service Account (Windows Server AppFabric Caching v1.1).

New ASP.NET Session State and Output Caching Provider

New ASP.NET session state and output caching providers are available. The new session state provider has support for the lazy-loading of individual session state items using Windows Server AppFabric v1.1 CTP Caching as a backing store. This makes sites that have a mix of small and large session state data more efficient, because pages that don’t need large session state items won’t incur the cost of sending this data over the network. For more information, see Using the ASP.NET 4 Caching Providers for Windows Server AppFabric v1.1 CTP.


You can now enable compression for cache clients. For more information, see Application Configuration Settings (Windows Server AppFabric Caching v1.1).

Multiple Cache Client Application Configuration Sections

A new dataCacheClients section is available that allows you to specify multiple named dataCacheClient sections in an application configuration file. You can then programmatically specify which group of cache client settings to use at runtime. For more information, see Application Configuration Settings (Windows Server AppFabric Caching v1.1).


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