GridGain is a powerful alternative to Redis for demanding computing use cases. Redis® is primarily an in-memory key-value store used for caching data, although the product is often promoted as a database. GridGain, which is built on Apache® Ignite™, is a full featured in-memory computing platform which includes an in-memory data grid, in-memory database, and streaming analytics.
The data grid capabilities of both GridGain and Redis partition and cache data in memory. Both products can be scaled out across distributed clusters. However, there are many differences in the way Redis and GridGain support caching, transactions, persistence, and data querying. The GridGain in-memory computing platform is a powerful alternative to Redis because it includes many additional features not found in Redis that are highly valuable when moving to in-memory computing.
Key Differences Between GridGain and Redis
Following are some major differences between GridGain and Redis which should be considered when evaluating Redis alternatives:
- JCache (JSR 107) – GridGain implements the JCache (JSR 107) specification which provides a simple yet powerful API for data access. Redis does not implement any standard.
- ODBC & JDBC – GridGain includes out-of-the-box ODBC/JDBC drivers which allow you to retrieve distributed data from cache using standard SQL queries and the JDBC/ODBC API. Redis does not support ODBC/JDBC connectivity - data retrieval is only via a client-side key-value API.
- SQL Queries - GridGain supports ANSI-99 SQL syntax, including distributed SQL JOINs (collocated and non-collocated) for querying in-memory data. Redis does not support SQL and users have to perform JOINS manually by combining multiple query results.
- ACID Transactions – GridGain has full support for ACID transactions, including OPTIMISTIC and PESSIMISTIC concurrency modes, as well as READ_COMMITTED, REPEATABLE_READ, and SERIALIZABLE isolation levels. There is very limited support for client-side OPTIMISTIC transactions in Redis. Clients are required to manually retry a transaction in Redis in the case of concurrent updates.
- Database Integration – GridGain can automatically integrate with external databases including RDBMS, NoSQL, and HDFS. GridGain supports write-through and read-through caching where cache data updates are propagated to the database and data unavailable in cache is loaded from the database, respectively. Redis does not integrate with external databases.
- Collocated (server-side) Processing – GridGain users can execute any native Java, C++, and .NET/C# code directly on the server-side, close to the data, in a collocated fashion. Generally, Redis does not have any collocated processing and it only allows primitive server-side code execution with LUA scripting language.
- Data Partitioning and Replication – GridGain supports data partitioning and replication across the cluster. Both automatically re-balance the data if there are any topology changes. In addition, there is no concept of master-slave nodes with all nodes being equal. Redis supports partitioning but requires a set of manual steps to setup master and slaves nodes so rebalancing works from master node to slaves nodes - the re-balancing does not work in the reverse direction. If the Redis master node re-starts due to a crash in a setup using replication, the cluster has to be pre-configured properly to avoid situations where slave nodes may end up with an empty data set.
- Data Streaming – GridGain provides support for in-memory streaming, including support for maintaining and querying sliding windows of streaming data. Redis does not offer native support for streaming.
GridGain as a Redis Alternative
Learn more about GridGain as a Redis alternative by downloading our in-depth GridGain and Redis feature comparison. It details how GridGain Redis compare in 22 different categories including:
- Distributed Caching, Data Structures, Queries, Compute, Messaging and Events
- ACID Compliant Transactions and Locks
- Persistence and Data Loading
- Security and Audit
- In-Memory Streaming
- Configuration and Grid Management
- Supported Platforms, Standards and Integrations
- Cloud and Virtualization Support