The integrated cache provides in-memory storage on the Citrix NetScaler appliance and serves Web content to users without requiring a round trip to an origin server. For static content, the integrated cache requires little initial setup. After you enable the integrated cache feature and perform basic setup (for example, determining the amount of NetScaler appliance memory the cache is permitted to use), the integrated cache uses built-in policies to store and serve specific types of static content, including simple Web pages and image files. You can also configure the integrated cache to store and serve dynamic content that is usually marked as non-cacheable by Web and application servers (for example, database records and stock quotes).
Note: The term Integrated Cache can be interchangeably used with AppCache; note that from a functionality point of view, both terms mean the same.
When a request or response matches the rule (logical expression) specified in a built-in policy or a policy that you have created, the NetScaler appliance performs the action associated with the policy. By default, all policies store cached objects in and retrieve them from the Default content group, but you can create your own content groups for different types of content.
To enable the NetScaler appliance to find cached objects in a content group, you can configure selectors, which match cached objects against expressions, or you can specify parameters for finding objects in the content group. If you use selectors (which Citrix recommends), configure them first, so that you can specify selectors when you configure content groups. Next, set up any content groups that you want to add, so that they are available when you configure the policies. To complete the initial configuration, create policy banks by binding each policy to a global bind point or a virtual server, or to a label that can be called from other policy banks.
You can tune the performance of the integrated cache, using methods such as pre-loading cached objects before they are scheduled to expire. To manage the handling of cached data once it leaves the NetScaler appliance, you can configure caching-related headers that are inserted into responses. The integrated cache can also act as a forward proxy for other cache servers.