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ASP.NET Site Performance Secrets by Matt Perdeck

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Kernel caching and IIS 7 output caching

When you enable output caching on the server, you also enable kernel caching and IIS 7 output caching. Output caching was introduced in IIS 7, while IIS 6 already supported kernel caching. Serving a request from these caches is faster than serving from the ASP.NET output cache, because they are built into IIS itself. Here is how this works.

When a new request arrives at the web server, it is initially processed by http.sys, a kernel driver. This driver first tries to serve the request from the kernel cache. If it can't, it sends the request to a port that an IIS thread listens to. This IIS thread then tries to serve the request from the IIS 7 output cache. If it can't, it hands the request on to ASP.NET, ...

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