Technology giant Microsoft has launched a new service to give developers a dedicated storage layer for frequently accessed information.

The Azure technology, prices and additional features significantly trump any others on the market, including those of Amazon Web Services.

The move is the latest in a series of launches between the two rival companies, with the latest addition set to compete directly with Amazon ElastiCache.

A preview release of the Windows Azure Cache Service allows developers access to a Windows or Linux compatible caching service which can be used with a multitude of applications.

It is the type of innovative platform that could slot in perfectly within an online accounting software service or something similar.

These can vary from being a dedicated virtual machine or platform application, to an individual mobile telephone app.

It can also be used across multiple applications simultaneously, allowing for easy data sharing and management.

Developers can get up to 150GB of in-memory with each cache for objects and content that is accessible for use from all Windows Azure applications.

This is regardless of whether they are found within mobile services, cloud services or within virtual machines and this has the advantage of improving scalability and making apps a little bit more robust.

The services are competitively priced at a significantly lower sum than those of Amazon, in what would appear to be a massive step in looking to take control of the market.

As such it appears to suggest that the two companies want to be competitive but that Redmond is not willing to go as low as Jeff Bezos and Co in the long-term.

The new service will be available from Microsoft’s East US, West US, North Europe, West Europe, East Asia and South East Asia data centre hubs, allowing access on a global scale.

The major difference between the two services is Microsoft’s auto-scaling ability which is set to allow admins to scale the cache without losing any data already held in it.

ElastiCache meanwhile requires users to manually edit data in order to scale it.

Written by Emma Rushworth – Liquid Accounts Marketing

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