A high-performance cache is disclosed. The cache is designed for time- and space-efficiency for a diverse range of information objects. Information objects are stored in portions of a non-volatile storage device called arenas, which are contiguous regions from which space is allocated in parallel. Objects are substantially contiguously allocated within an arena and are mapped by name keys and content-based object keys to a tag table, an open directory, and a directory table. The tag table is indexed by the name keys, and stores references to sets in the directory table. The tag table is compact and therefore can be stored in fast main memory, facilitating rapid lookups. The directory table is organized so that at least a frequently-accessed portion of it also usually resides in fast main memory, which further speeds lookups. The tag and directory tables are organized to quickly determine non-presence of objects. Large objects may be chunked into fragments, which are chained using a forward functional-iteration mechanism, to prevent the need for mutating existing on-disk data structures. Garbage collection periodically moves objects within an arena or to other arenas so that inactive objects are deleted and free space becomes contiguous. Because the objects are substantially contiguously allocated, reading and writing an typical object requires only one or two disk head actuator movements; thus, the cache can efficiently and smoothly stream data off of the storage device, providing optimal delivery of multimedia objects. The disclosure also encompasses a computer apparatus, computer program product, and computer data signal embodied in a carrier wave that are similarly configured.