Redis and Intel partner for Optane in-memory database solutions to increase performance

Redis Enterprise is now available on the hardware preview of Intel's Optane non-volatile DIMMs, which can be configured at up to 512GB per module.

CES 2019: New storage innovations in SD, SSD, and HDDs increase speed and density At CES 2019, makers of portable flash memory cards, as well as solid state and traditional platter hard drives introduced new products benefiting business users and digital professionals.

Redis Labs announced support for Intel Optane DC persistent memory in Redis Enterprise on Thursday. The pairing of the two makes perfect sense: Redis is a distributed in-memory key-value database, and Optane is positioned as a non-volatile RAM solution, aiming to make in-memory databases work at scale without the technical risk of losing data inherent to the use of volatile RAM.

Redis Enterprise includes two usage modes for Optane-powered systems. Memory Mode prioritizes performance, and AppDirect mode prioritizes cost savings. "Using Memory Mode, Redis Enterprise-powered applications can achieve comparable performance to DRAM with significant cost benefits. Developers can achieve even greater cost savings using AppDirect mode with Redis Enterprise, while still delivering significantly faster performance compared to NVMe," the company stated in a press release.

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Presently, Intel's Optane RAM products are only available as part of a hardware beta. Due to the differences between Optane DIMMs and standard DRAM DIMMs, the technology is only supported on newer Intel server platforms, starting with Cascade Lake-AP.

Optane-also known as 3D XPoint-is faster than NAND-based SSDs, though slower than traditional DRAM. It is, however, substantially more dense than DRAM, allowing Intel to cram 512GB in a single module. Database applications including Redis stand to benefit the most from Optane DIMMs, as in-memory processing, or simply storing larger working sets in memory, allow for substantially faster transaction speeds, as writes do not need to be immediately pushed through PCIe-linked solid-state storage, eliminating a significant bottleneck.

Research into in-memory processing predates Optane, though lower data densities and inherent volatility of traditional DRAM have limited commercial deployments. As Optane DIMMs retain the nonvolatile properties of solid state drives, it decreases the amount of time required for a reboot.

Intel's Optane storage products for workstation systems were also shown off at CES 2019, with the new Optane Memory H10 utilizing the storage technology as a cache for QLC NAND flash memory, used in typical SSDs, on a single M.2 2280 module.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • Redis Enterprise includes two usage modes for Optane-powered systems. Memory Mode prioritizes performance, and AppDirect mode prioritizes cost savings.
  • Optane is faster than NAND-based SSDs, though slower than traditional DRAM. It is substantially more dense than DRAM, with up to 512GB in a single module.

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