How best to serve a tile cache in ArcGIS Server 10.1

Discussion created by MChilcott on Jun 3, 2013
We have a raster dataset, which is a mosaic of our orthophoto state coverage.  We want to serve this via ArcGIS Server, as a base layer for viewing.

I can use the Tile Cache toolset, specifically the Manage Tile Cache tool to create a tile cache:

Manage Tile Cache (Data Management)

The question then is, how is this best served via ArcGIS Server?

I can serve the tile cache as an image service.  If I do this, and want it to be really fast, then I could generate an image server cache from the tile cache.  But it does not seem logical to generate a cache of a cache, and it doubles the amount of data we have.

I can place the tile cache in a map document as a raster data source, and then serve the map document.  But again, to make it fast, I can generate a map server cache.  But again, I have a cache of a cache and it double the amount of data we have.

With a bit to stuffing around, I can create an image service, with an image server cache.  I can then replace that image service, where the data source reference the actual cache.  The source of the image service becomes the image server cache. 

I can do a similar thing with respect to a map service, where the data source in the map document, is the actual map services own cache. 

I am still left with the question of should I do this, and also, should I do it with a map service or an image service?

The data source has to be a raster, so that I can have the WMS capability.