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I have a windows 2008 R2 server using AppFabric caching services to fuel an ASP.NET site.

When I restart the server, the AppFabric caching won't start with it. I have to start it manually. I've checked with the Services and the 3 AppFabric services are set to automatic.

There are sometimes when it will start, but I can't understand when it will start and when it will not. Any Ideas?

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Are you using the XML Configuration provider? There's a piece here detailing how there are problems with auto-starting services and XML.

There's an excellent article here about getting round the problems with auto-start with a scheduled task and a bit of Powershell.

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We have a scheduled task that restarts the service on server reboot by triggering a powershell script. App Fabric needs to be administered via powershell and not via Services.

Import-Module DistributedCacheAdministration
Use-CacheCluster
Start-CacheCluster

If you only have one server with app fabric instead of clustered servers, replace the Start-CacheCluster with the below command.

$computer = gc env:computername
Start-CacheHost $computerName -cacheport 22233

Sometimes, in a clustered environment the scheduled task may fail if the slave server has not rebooted properly, in that scenario starting both machines seperately may help.

References

AppFabric PowerShell Commands

Scheduling Task for App Fabric Restart

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