AWS adds Redis in-memory cache support

Amazon Web Services and Microsoft square up on high performance cloud apps with an in-memory caching faceoff.

Amazon is making it easier for AWS customers to run Redis, an in-memory key-value store that helps manage caching and improve cloud application performance.

Amazon is adding support for Redis as a managed service within ElastiCache, which is used to provision clusters of distributed, in-memory caches beneath the application stack.

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The Redis caching engine sits between the two layers and helps running components of an application from cached in-memory data. According to Amazon, "in short, you provide Redis with a key and a value to store data. Later, you provide the key and Redis returns the data."

Redis, which is sponsored by Pivotal, joins Memcached, another popular open source caching engine that integrates with AWS ElasticCache.

Redis supports several data types including strings, lists, sets, hashes, and sorted sets, while ElastiCache supports Redis redundancy features, such as its master/slave replication capabilities across multiple zones.

AWS developers can launch a new Redis cache cluster on the ElastiCache tab (within the AWS Management console) or use a snapshot of an existing on-premise Redis installation, so long as the original is in version 2.6.13 of Redis.

The new cache service is available in beta in all public AWS Regions with pricing beginning at 22 cents per hour for a micro cache node. 

Amazon's announcement followed the preview launch of Microsoft's new distributed cache service for Azure, announced on Tuesday.

The Azure cache service is for Azure applications hosted in Windows or Linux VMs, or applications deployed in Azure as websites or cloud services, but Azure Mobile Services support will come later.

Each Azure cache service instance can store up to 150GB of in-memory data, with pricing starting at $12.50 per month on a cache size of 128MB.

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