What is caching?
Any mechanism for storing frequently needed information in accessible memory so that it can be quickly retrieved. Caching technologies are used in various ways by operating systems, applications, and network devices to improve performance by providing temporary storage of information that needs to be quickly accessed. Many Microsoft networking technologies support various kinds of caching, for example:
- The file system cache for the Microsoft Windows NT operating system, which speeds up file access from hard disk drives
- Offline Files in Windows 2000, which allows users to browse network file system content when disconnected from the network
- Domain Name System (DNS) cache for caching recently resolved host names on a name server, which speeds up the resolution of host names for the DNS on the Internet
- Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) cache on a host connected to an IP internetwork, which is used for caching IP addresses that have recently been resolved into MAC addresses, thus speeding up network communications between hosts
- Microsoft Proxy Server, which allows Web content obtained from the Internet to be cached locally for faster access and reduction of WAN link congestion
- Caching of ODBC connections for improved access to Microsoft SQL Server databases for Active Server Pages (ASP) applications written for Internet Information Services (IIS)