24.5. The Last Word
The most performance-critical area in most web applications is the data layer. But many ASP.NET developers don't realize that you can dramatically reduce the burden on your database and increase the scalability of all your web applications with just a little caching code.
However, with any performance-optimization strategy, the best way to gauge the value of a change is to perform stress testing and profiling. Without this step, you might spend a great deal of time perfecting code that will achieve only a minor improvement in performance or scalability, at the expense of more effective changes.