memcached is described as 'Free & open source, high-performance, distributed memory object caching system, generic in nature, but intended for use in speeding up dynamic web applications by alleviating database load'. There are more than 10 alternatives to memcached for a variety of platforms, including Linux, Windows, Mac, Online / Web-based and Self-Hosted solutions. The best alternative is Redis, which is both free and Open Source. Other great apps like memcached are Varnish (Free, Open Source), Cloudify (Free, Open Source), Hazelcast (Free, Open Source) and GridGain In-Memory Data Fabric (Paid).
Redis (REmote DIctionary Server) is an open-source, networked, in-memory, key-value data store with optional durability. It is often referred to as a data structure server since keys can contain strings, hashes, lists, sets and sorted sets.
Almost everyone thinks Redis is a great alternative to memcached.
Varnish Cache is an open source, state of the art HTTP application accelerator. You can install it on your HTTP server and it makes your application more accessible. The open source community for the fastest web accelerator in the known universe.
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Varnish vs memcached opinions
This alternative is disputed. Varnish is still a legitimate alternative to memcached, but it might have issues that some users think are important.
They has a totally different purpose, besides being both cache.
Hazelcast is an in-memory Open Source data grid based on Java. By having multiple nodes form a cluster, data is evenly distributed among the nodes. This allows for horizontal scalability both in terms of available storage space and processing power.
The GridGain In-Memory Data Fabric is a proven software solution, which enables high-performance transactions, real-time streaming and fast analytics in a single, comprehensive data access and processing layer.
Apache Ignite In-Memory Data Fabric is a high-performance, integrated and distributed in-memory platform for computing and transacting on large-scale data sets in real-time, orders of magnitude faster than possible with traditional disk-based or flash technologies.
Couchbase is the NoSQL database market share leader, with production deployments at AOL, Deutsche Post, NTT Docomo, Salesforce.com, Turner Broadcasting Systems, Zynga and hundreds of other organizations worldwide.
Bluzelle is a decentralized and open source database powered by PBFT Consensus Engine. It is a NoSQL key-value store database. Learn about trustless computing and discover the benefits of a decentralized by joining our Beta testing for free.
NCache has been the market leader in .NET Distributed Caching for the last 13 years. NCache provides an extremely fast and linearly scalable distributed cache that caches application data and reduces expensive database trips.