Inside Alibaba Cloud’s Speedy Migration of Redis 6.0 to Cloud: A Result of Kernel Capabilities and Cloud-Native Management

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By ApsaraDB

Redis 6.0 marks an extremely important milestone in the history of Redis and has introduced many important feature updates and significant performance improvements. To allow users to try out the new features of the latest Redis version on the cloud, Alibaba Cloud released its ApsaraDB for Redis 6.0 just a few days after the debut of Redis 6.0. This article will reveal the story behind the quick action of ApsaraDB for Redis.

On May 2, 2020, Redis 6.0 GA was officially released. This version is the most significant release in the history of the community edition. It brings various key feature updates and improvements in the kernel architecture, including support for the RESP3 protocol, access control lists (ACLs), multi-threaded I/O, SSL encryption, client cache, and cluster proxy.

On May 7, 2020, Alibaba Cloud premiered ApsaraDB for Redis 6.0, the first cloud database for Redis 6.0 that covers all major updates of the open-source Redis 6.0. This does not count the Redis Enterprise Cloud released by Redis Labs. Redis Author works with this release.

How did Alibaba Cloud migrate Redis 6.0 to the cloud in less than a week? In short, this is a result of the ApsaraDB for Redis Team’s deep control over the kernel architecture and cloud-native management capabilities.

Control over the Kernel

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Alibaba Cloud is second only to the author and Redis Labs (the company where the Redis author works) in terms of the number of commits contributed to the development of Redis Community Edition 6.0 and ranks first in terms of non-original code contribution. This fully demonstrates the ApsaraDB for Redis Team’s control over the kernel. Before the official release of Redis 6.0 GA, the team kept testing and optimizing the new features and shared their experience in cloud deployment with the Redis community to guide the community’s development.

ApsaraDB for Redis Enhanced Edition (Tair) implemented many new features of Redis 6.0 before its release, such as multi-threaded I/O, permission management, SSL encryption, and cluster proxy. In addition, members of the ApsaraDB for Redis Team discussed the implementation of the new features on Tair with the author of Redis many times.

From Redis 6.0 RC1 to GA, the ApsaraDB for Redis Team helped the Redis community improve the multi-threaded I/O performance by 30%. The team also integrated its extensive O&M experience in the ApsaraDB for Redis service into ACLs to make them easier to use and manage.

The team has improved data consistency between the primary and secondary databases and further improved the determination of data expiration time, which is the result of a joint effort between the team and its extensive users. Finally, some general requirements from cloud users are also merged into the backbone implementation of Redis 6.0, including the new commands bitfiled_ro and set keepttl, so more users can enjoy the technical benefits from Alibaba Cloud.

Cloud-Native Management

The rapid migration of Redis 6.0 to the cloud also owes much to the ApsaraDB for Redis Team’s management of the new cloud-native architecture. The new management platform conceals complex machine operations and instance interactions and completes all management actions by using non-resident temporary pods. In addition, new common modules are added to provide the abstraction of database domain-level models. The business parties only need to describe the service_spec.yaml files according to the corresponding business models.

With the common and highly customizable cloud-native management platform, users that add new business functions can focus on the business itself without worrying about platform interfaces. This greatly improves the efficiency of developing and integrating new business functions. The platform made it possible to complete management adaptation, launch ApsaraDB for Redis 6.0 on a very tight schedule, and facilitate its global debut.

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As the ApsaraDB for Redis Team continuously improves its kernel control and cloud-native management, its capabilities such as kernel optimization, functional enhancement, and auto scaling have been also increased enormously. With the launch of Redis 6.0, ApsaraDB for Redis will deliver more features and better user experience.

Tair is a high-performance key-value (KV) storage that is compatible with Redis that was developed by the same team. It will introduce various heavyweight features and new services, including data flashback (data recovery by time point), globally-distributed caching, and storage-grade memory KV, to empower more enterprise users and scenarios.

Alibaba Cloud also offers ApsaraDB Dedicated Cluster for ApsaraDB for Redis to users. Tailored and optimized by Alibaba Cloud for large- and medium-sized enterprises, this solution fills the gap in the market and features exclusive resources, autonomous O&M, and multi-database hybrid deployment. The solution enables users to enjoy the flexibility of cloud databases while meeting their stringent requirements for database compliance, high performance, and security.

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