Create an Azure HPC Cache

Use the Azure portal or the Azure CLI to create your cache.

screenshot of cache overview in Azure portal, with create button at the bottom

Click the image below to watch a video demonstration of creating a cache and adding a storage target.

video thumbnail: Azure HPC Cache: Setup (click to visit the video page)

Define basic details

screenshot of project details page in Azure portal

In Project Details, select the subscription and resource group that will host the cache.

In Service Details, set the cache name and these other attributes:

  • Location - Select one of the supported regions.
  • Virtual network - You can select an existing one or create a new virtual network.
  • Subnet - Choose or create a subnet with at least 64 IP addresses (/24). This subnet must be used only for this Azure HPC Cache instance.

Set cache capacity

On the Cache page, you must set the capacity of your cache. The values set here determine how much data your cache can hold and how quickly it can service client requests.

Capacity also affects the cache's cost.

Choose the capacity by setting these two values:

  • The maximum data transfer rate for the cache (throughput), in GB/second
  • The amount of storage allocated for cached data, in TB

Choose one of the available throughput values and cache storage sizes.

Keep in mind that the actual data transfer rate depends on workload, network speeds, and the type of storage targets. The values you choose set the maximum throughput for the entire cache system, but some of that is used for overhead tasks. For example, if a client requests a file that isn't already stored in the cache, or if the file is marked as stale, your cache uses some of its throughput to fetch it from back-end storage.

Azure HPC Cache manages which files are cached and preloaded to maximize cache hit rates. Cache contents are continuously assessed, and files are moved to long-term storage when they're less frequently accessed. Choose a cache storage size that can comfortably hold the active set of working files, plus additional space for metadata and other overhead.

screenshot of cache sizing page

Enable Azure Key Vault encryption (optional)

If your cache is in a region that supports customer-managed encryption keys, the Disk encryption keys page appears between the Cache and Tags tabs. Read Regional availability to learn more about region support.

If you want to manage the encryption keys used for your cache storage, supply your Azure Key Vault information on the Disk encryption keys page. The key vault must be in the same region and in the same subscription as the cache.

You can skip this section if you do not need customer-managed keys. Azure encrypts data with Microsoft-managed keys by default. Read Azure storage encryption to learn more.

Note

  • You cannot change between Microsoft-managed keys and customer-managed keys after creating the cache.
  • After the cache is created, you must authorize it to access the key vault. Click the Enable encryption button in the cache's Overview page to turn on encryption. Take this step within 90 minutes of creating the cache.
  • Cache disks are created after this authorization. This means that the initial cache creation time is short, but the cache will not be ready to use for ten minutes or more after you authorize access.

For a complete explanation of the customer-managed key encryption process, read Use customer-managed encryption keys for Azure HPC Cache.

screenshot of encryption keys page with "customer managed" selected and key vault fields showing

Select Customer managed to choose customer-managed key encryption. The key vault specification fields appear. Select the Azure Key Vault to use, then select the key and version to use for this cache. The key must be a 2048-bit RSA key. You can create a new key vault, key, or key version from this page.

After you create the cache, you must authorize it to use the key vault service. Read Authorize Azure Key Vault encryption from the cache for details.

Add resource tags (optional)

The Tags page lets you add resource tags to your Azure HPC Cache instance.

Finish creating the cache

After configuring the new cache, click the Review + create tab. The portal validates your selections and lets you review your choices. If everything is correct, click Create.

Cache creation takes about 10 minutes. You can track the progress in the Azure portal's notifications panel.

screenshot of cache creation "deployment underway" and "notifications" pages in portal

When creation finishes, a notification appears with a link to the new Azure HPC Cache instance, and the cache appears in your subscription's Resources list.

screenshot of Azure HPC Cache instance in Azure portal

Note

If your cache uses customer-managed encryption keys, the cache might appear in the resources list before the deployment status changes to complete. As soon as the cache's status is Waiting for key you can authorize it to use the key vault.

Next steps

After your cache appears in the Resources list, you can move to the next step.