Run Memcached as a Windows Service

How to Run Memcached as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

Start your memory cache when your computer boots and keep it running 24x7. Survive reboots, crashes, accidental shutdowns and more!

Memcached is a popular, distributed, high-performance memory caching system.


To configure Memcached 1.4 with AlwaysUp 8.0 and later:

  1. Download the Memcached zip package and extract it to an appropriate location, if necessary. We have installed Northscale's version 1.4.5 (x64) in C:\Memcached for this tutorial.

  2. Download and install AlwaysUp, if necessary.

  3. Start AlwaysUp.

  4. Select Application > Add to open the Add Application window:

    Add Application

  5. On the General tab:

    • In the Application field, enter the full path to the Memcached executable, memcached.exe. Since we have placed Memcached in C:\Memcached, this is:

      C:\Memcached\memcached.exe

    • If you invoke Memcached with non-default parameters, enter those in the Arguments field. Since we want to listen on port 9000 and dedicate 256 MB to object storage, we have specified:

      -p 9000 -m 256

      Note that you can run memcached.exe -h to see the full list of command line parameters supported.

    • In the Name field, enter the name that you will call the application in AlwaysUp. We have specified Memcached but you can specify another name if you like.

    Memcached Windows Service: General Tab

  6. Click over to the Startup tab and check the Ensure that the Windows Networking components have started box. This informs AlwaysUp that Memcached needs the network to be fully available to do its work.

    Memcached Windows Service: Startup Tab

  7. Click the Save >> button. In a couple of seconds, an application called Memcached will show up in the AlwaysUp window. It is not yet running though.

    Memcached Windows Service: Created

  8. To start Memcached from AlwaysUp, choose Application > Start "Memcached". The state should transition to Running after a few seconds:

    Memcached Windows Service: Running

    Note that Memcached will be running in the background and probably won't be visible - unless you are using Windows XP or Server 2003. On Windows 8, 7, Vista, Server 2012 or 2008, Memcached will be running in the isolated Session 0; select Tools > Switch to Session 0 to transport yourself to the funny looking Session 0 desktop where Memcached's console window will be available.

  9. That's it! Next time your computer boots, Memcached will start up immediately, without anyone needing to log on. Please restart your PC now and test that Memcached works as expected after Windows reboots.

    And please feel free to edit Memcached in AlwaysUp to check out the many other settings that may be appropriate for your environment. For example, send email alerts if it stops, hide the console, boost Memcached's priority, etc.



Memcached not working properly as a Windows Service?

  • From AlwaysUp, select Application > Report Activity > Today... to bring up a HTML report detailing the interaction between AlwaysUp and Memcached. The AlwaysUp Event Log Messages page explains the more obscure messages.
  • Consult the AlwaysUp FAQ for answers to commonly asked questions and troubleshooting tips.
  • Contact us and we will be happy to help!

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