Microsoft announces Garnet – a new open source tool that could make apps run faster

Microsoft has announced a next-gen open-source cache-store system, Garnet, which it claims will bring major advances in making apps and services run faster. A cache store is a type of memory that is important for the quick storage and processing of data, and optimizing a system’s performance. 

According to Microsoft, it’s already deploying Garnet across a range of its products and services, such as Windows & Web Experiences Platform, Azure Resource Manager, and Azure Resource Graph, and that can lead to apps and services being able to run faster. 

In a surprising turn, it’s also made Garnet open-source and available for download at GitHub for free, going against Microsoft’s previous ambivalent (and somewhat downright hostile) approach to open-source. 

Microsoft's motivations for developing Garnet

Microsoft goes into detail about Garnet and what it’s been able to achieve on the Microsoft Research Blog, explaining that it takes a pretty big toll on most existing devices, due to it needing particularly powerful hardware to be able to achieve its full potential. 

The good news is that most modern PCs and laptops should come with hardware that's capable of taking advantage of Garnet, so hopefully soon most people using Windows 10 or Windows 11 will be able to make use of this innovative new tech.

In its blog post, Microsoft explains that it’s been working on a remote cache store since 2021, which would replace existing cache stores – and this work has resulted in Garnet. In a very welcome move, Microsoft has also opened up Garnet to anyone interested in learning about, implementing, and contributing to the tech on GitHub, stating that it hopes others can build on its work and expand what Garnet can do, as well as encouraging further academic research and collaboration.

Problems of legacy (read: older) cache store systems for app and software developers include that they might not be easily upgraded to add new features, or they might not work well across a variety of platforms and operating systems. Microsoft suggests that Garnet doesn’t have problems like these because it is open source and that it can lead to better-performing and faster apps.

It’s to Microsoft’s credit that it’s opened Garnet up to the public in this way, and shows both a willingness to learn from others through direct collaboration and a great degree of confidence that it’s willing to offer up its innovations for analysis. It's certainly a nice change from the anti-open source Microsoft of old. Hopefully, users can start to see real-world benefits from Garnet in the near future. 


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The love for open source software is showing no signs of slowing down

The love for open source software is spread across the whole technology spectrum, a new report looking at the state of developing software and the tools needed to do so has claimed.

The 2022 State of Open Source Report, conducted by OpenLogic, surveyed 2,660 professionals and their organisations that use open source tools. 

If you are a software developer or work in an adjacent industry then this is probably no surprise: open source tools are the glue that holds so many things together, a community of selfless individuals working towards a bigger goal. 

Open source love

The report asked respondents a series of questions to gauge their interest (and love) for open source, covering a wide variety of roles and companies (see below for more on the specific methodologies).

Most respondents use an open source programming language or framework, closely followed by databases, OSes, Git repos, frameworks for AI/ML/DL, and the cloud. 

2022 open source report

(Image credit: OpenLogic)

When it comes to reservations, respondents highlighted a lack of skills. But, perhaps most interestingly, a full 27% said they had no reservations at all.

2022 open source report

(Image credit: OpenLogic)

When it came to reasons for using open source, the answers were clear: access to innovations and latest technologies; no license cost, meaning an overall cost reduction; modernising their technology stack; many options for similar technologies; and constant releases and patches.

2022 open source report

(Image credit: OpenLogic)


Most (38%) are technology companies, but lots of other sectors are represented: consulting, banking and finance, transport, telecoms, education, healthcare, public sector, and so on. 39% of companies were between 100 and 1,000 employees, 32% were under 100 employees, and 28% were over 1,000 employees.

In terms of the regions, North America dominated, representing 52.6% of respondents, followed by Asia Pacific (12.4%), UK and Europe (10.9%), Asia (7.7%), Middle East (6.6%), Latin America (5.2%), Africa (4.2%), and Oceania (0.32%). 

Full Stack Developers were the highest respondents, representing 21.8%, followed by Back End (18.5%), Front End (16%), Engineering (15.7%), Project Management (14.4%), Architect (14.4%), DevOps (12.6%), and so on. 

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