Microsoft makes improvements to Redis on Windows in-memory database

Microsoft makes improvements to Redis on Windows in-memory database

Summary: A new iteration of the Redis on Windows in-memory database technology is now available in GitHub.


Microsoft has been working to enable the Redis in-memory database to work on Windows for a number of months. On April 26, the recently formed Microsoft Open Technologies subsidiary announced availability of a new version of the technology.

“Redis is an in-memory distributed database and it’s gaining a lot of traction especially when coupled with Node.js. Redis is built on Linux currently: we had a number of conversations with the community and it was clear to us that many developers would love to see Redis running on Windows. Based on this significant demand, we decided to get involved and we are working closely with the community to get Redis to work really well on Windows.” explained Peter Galli, Senior Open Source Communities Manager at Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

According to Microsoft, improvements in the latest pre-release involve the process of saving data on a disk. The Windows distribution mimics the Fork/Copy On Write feature that Redis on Linux uses. The current preview is 32-bit only, as Redis on Windows is not yet available in 64-bit form. (That's supposedly part of the next release.)

The updated version is available on the MS Open Tech Repository in GitHub "which is currently the place to work on the Windows version of Redis as per guidance from Salvatore Sanfilippo, the original author of the project," according to a blog post on the Microsoft Port 25 site. "We will also continue working with the community to create a solid Windows port," Claudio Caldato, a Principal Program manager and author of the post added.

(I've asked Microsoft what it is doing in terms of contributing changes it makes back to the Redis community at large. No word back on that one yet.)

Update: For now, Microsoft is not contributing back the changes it is making to the Redis code. Here's the reasoning, according to Caldato:

“Since the beginning we have been in touch with the Redis community and working towards contributing changes. The community has welcomed our involvement and suggested we keep our work on a separate branch for the time being. We are working very closely with the Redis group and look forward to future integration when the community incorporates our changes in the mainline.”

Soma Somasegar, the Corporate Vice President in charge of Microsoft's Developer Division, also blogged today about the Redis news. I found it interesting how he chose to put Microsoft's latest open-source project in context:

"We continue to invest heavily in .NET. Much of the work we’ve done in .NET 4.5 has been focused on making .NET a premier developer environment in which to build server-side applications and services (for example, with the scalability capabilities afforded by the new async/await support in C# and Visual Basic).  .NET will continue to grow as a great choice for developers building cloud-based systems.  At the same time, we fully recognize that the world is larger than .NET, and we want developers to be successful using Windows Azure regardless of the development technologies upon which they rely."

Speaking of in-memory databases, don't forget Microsoft is all-in there....

Topics: Servers, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Software Development, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Great News!

    In the recent past, Microsoft helped Apache and PHP significantly upgrade their projects to use more modern compilers and tool-chains resulting in both Apache and PHP running FAR better on Windows than previously.

    In 2011, Microsoft became one of the top-20 contributors to the Linux kernel, contributing and improving their Hyper-V enlightened drivers. In fact, this morning I installed Ubuntu 12.04 LTS into a new VM and didn't need to jump through hoops to install the Hyper-V drivers :)

    Last year, Microsoft helped Joyent port node.js to run natively on Windows, taking full advantage of Windows' inherent async IO and other core features.

    Now Microsoft is helping Redis port to run natively on Windows too.

    I think it's now clear that Microsoft really has woken up to open-source and is committing to make Windows a first-class supporter of many key open-source projects and platforms.
    • Contributions all self-serving

      Every one of the OSS contributions you cite orientate around self-serving goals for Microsoft: maintaining the Windows marketshare. I personally think a disclaimer that you are an ex-Microsoft employee wouldn't go amiss in wholly pro-MS posts like this.

      FWIW: I'm a full time Windows user and a long term MS developer; but I'm uncomfortable with the OSS lip service being pushed recently.