FancyCache Overview

FancyCache is a supplementary software caching scheme that cooperates with system memory to provide data caching for volumes/disks. It improves system performance by transparently storing data into memory such that future requests for that data can be served faster. FancyCache caches data on a logical block basis (offsets within a volume/disk) while windows cache manager caches on a virtual block basis (offsets within a file).

FancyCache can also utilize the OS Invisible Memory which is wasted on 32-bit Windows when 4GB memory or more is installed.

Principle

One of the FancyCache's core components is a storage class filter driver which resides in the storage stack, intercepting I/O requests for data on volume/disk. If requested data is contained in the cache, this request can be served by simply reading the cache, which is comparably faster. Otherwise the data has to be fetched from volume/disk. Hence, the more requests can be served from the cache the better the overall system performance is.

FancyCache Principle Fig. 1
FancyCache Principle Fig. 2

Main Features

  • Supports LRU (Least Recently Used) and LFU (Least Frequently Used) cache algorithms
  • Supports caching strategies: Read/Write Caching, Read-Only Caching and Write-Only Caching
  • Supports Write-Through and Write-Deferred modes
  • Supports OS Invisible Memory and SSD (Solid-state Drive) as Level-II cache
  • Supports caching for volumes or entire disks
  • Supports TRIM command for SSD
  • Supports visual performance monitor
  • Supports cache plug and play
  • Supports basic and dynamic disks
  • Supports NTFS junction point
  • Supports volume/disk with proprietary file system

Why FancyCache?

Why do we need another cache scheme since Windows OS has already implemented a file-system level cache?

  • Some applications bypass the file-system level cache.
  • Windows caches all data, while FancyCache can cache on behalf of a specified volume/disk in which users are interested. Given same size of system memory, the latter has a higher hit-rate.
  • FancyCache can utilize the OS Invisible Memory on 32-bit Windows as a cache medium.
  • FancyCache can utilize SSD (Solid-state Drive) as a cache medium, as ReadyBoost does.

Screenshots

FancyCache Main UIFancyCache Performance Monitor UI

Supported OS

Windows XP, Windows 2003, Windows Vista, Windows 2008, Windows 7, Windows 2008 R2

More Information

User Guide            Use Cases

Now FancyCache is under beta testing!

A beta version of FancyCache version 0.8.0 is now available for testing. If you have a bit of time, we would very much appreciate it if you could install it, try out the features, and give us any comments you have.

The beta version (180-day testing period) can be downloaded from the below,

FancyCache Volume Edition: Download Sites

FancyCache Disk Edition: Download Sites

The trial key file can be got from here.

As always, we highly recommend that you test out the beta versions on a non-production machine. We are quite confident that the current build is stable, but it is always best to wait for a final release version. Beta testers should also make sure that they generate backups of the files and databases before testing.