ASCII Protocol Support

We’re happy to announce the general availability of a new feature on MemCachier, the ability to connect to our servers using the memcache ASCII protocol! Our official documentation covers it here.

Previously, this wasn’t supported as the ASCII protocol provides no standardized way to do authentication. We added our own simple scheme. When you establish a connection, the first command you must send to us is a set with your username as the key and your password as the value. For example:

$ telnet 11211
> set 15F38e 0 0 32
> 52353F9F1C4017CC16FD348B982ED47D

The STORED line indicates successful authentication. After this, you can issue all the familiar memcache ASCII protocol commands! You will need to send the set command fairly quickly though, as otherwise we timeout the connection.

One thing to be careful of is only running this over the internal network of the IaaS provider you are hosting MemCachier with (e.g., AWS EC2). Why? Those networks are secure against eavesdropping and so the unencrypted connection works fine. If running over the Internet, you’ll want to use our TLS support for securing the connection.

Beyond running ad-hoc queries yourself using telnet or similar, supporting the ASCII protocol also opens up the number of clients and frameworks you can use. Just make sure to modify them to send the set command for authentication on first connection. As an example, we created a django caching backend that uses the ASCII protocol but works with MemCachier!