Amazon Web Services has added support for Redis, an in-memory, key-value store, popular with developers for its superior caching and ability to support multiple data types. The news is significant for AWS users but dampened by Azure’s announcement yesterday about a new data store offering of its own.
With Redis, data remains persistent on the disk, which allows it to be used as a database instead of just a cache. Data in Redis will not get deleted when a machine is restarted. Its key-value store allows for data objects to be called, for example, using a key-value pair. As explained on StackExchange, a key might be a color with its associated value being red. Each key is associated with a user. The key is used to fetch the data object. A user can query the database for a unique key and get the results back from whichever node has the object.
Redis is noted for its speed and scalability. It is well-suited for distributed infrastructures, making it a strong addition to AWS. Here’s what one contributor said on Stack Overflow:
Redis is a fantastic choice if you want a highly scalable data store shared by multiple processes, multiple applications, or multiple servers. As just an inter-process communication mechanism it is tough to beat. The fact that you can communicate cross-platform, cross-server, or cross-application just as easily makes it a pretty great choice for many many use cases. Its speed also makes it great as a caching layer.
In contrast, the Windows Azure team continues to push out new features to its service, showing it is a credible competitor to AWS. Scott Guthrie, who leads much of the development for Windows Azure, is well-known for his lengthy blog posts about updates to the service. Yesterday he detailed the news about the preview of the new distributed cache service.
The dedicated service can be used with any Windows Azure application. According to Guthrie’s blog post, that includes apps hosted within “Windows or Linux virtual machines, as well as those deployed as a Windows Azure Web Site and Windows Azure Cloud Services. Support for Windows Azure Mobile Services will also be enabled in the future.” The service can serve each app individually or share a single cache service across multiple apps.
But let’s be real. Gartner Research puts AWS so far ahead in its magic quadrant that the analyst group had to redraw it to fit AWS. That shows AWS’s astounding lead and the overall dominance it will continue to have for some time to come.