In the recent announcement of what we call “Database Week”, Redis announces an OEM agreement with Microsoft to implement Redis Enterprise as new levels to its existing Azur cache for Redis service. Microsoft, like AWS and Google, already had their own managed cache services based on Redis (often with a choice of Memcached), but the new deal brings the richer features Redis Enterprise to the Azure service. The announcement is for a private preview of the new offer.
Redis database is a NoSQL data platform in memory that has long been used as a cache. As an open source, it has been the basis for managed cache services provided by each of the major cloud providers. And the premium level of the original Azure Cache for Redis service included disk backup; cluster for multiple nodes; configurable firewall rules; replication in multiple regions and other features, such as data encryption during transit.
In contrast, Redis Enterprise is a super-set that is more of a formalized database platform with features such as multi-cluster support, ACID transactions, automated failover, Flash storage hours and various security features that are not part of the original open source kernel. It also includes support for Redis modules, comprehensive SDKs developed by Redis, and the community supporting additional data types such as JSON, time series and graph; Search; Blomfiltre; machine learning and TensorFlow support; building data pipeline; change data capture; and other features that expand the database.
The existing levels of Azure Cache for Redis offer data replication with automatic failover, Redis Cluster for cache distribution, data resistance, Azure virtual network integration and a 99.9% SLA. The newly added premium level, based on Redis Enterprise, adds the ability to run Redis on flash storage, additional data types optimized for analysis and machine learning, and the ability to configure active geo-replication for an increased SLA.
Es we reported last summer, Redis aims to raise its profile from the raw material provider of a NoSQL data cache to it in a multi-model database that not only caches data but maintains it. The need to basically get more respect as a data platform emerged a few years back when Redis perceived that cloud providers were making money on their own IP, and along with MongoDB. confluent. CockroachDB, and others, began issuing its own new license.
The agreement with Microsoft means that Redis Enterprise will be sold together. And for Azure users, it will still look like Azure Cache for Redis as it will use the same interface – it’s just a premium offer added to the portfolio.
There are some parallels with the Microsoft / Databricks partnership that took an open source service, tied it with other Azure data services and released it as Azure Databricks, as this will be an Azure native service that is sold jointly. But the Databricks offering went ahead with integration into a variety of Azure data and storage services, including Azure Blob storage and ADLS; the ability to retrieve data from Azure SQL database and Azure Cosmos DB; query access from Power BI; and role-based access control support managed through Azure Active Directory. While Redis is another creature – for example, integration with Azure cloud storage is probably not much needed, we could see it integrated as an operational-level memory that complements Cosmos DB, and we also believe there could be real – time AI use cases if integrated with Azure Machine Learning. These are just a few examples of potential value-added synergies.
Azure is not the first strategic cloud partnership for Redis. Last year, Redis was one of the data platforms there joined Google cloud’s open source database partnership. Like the Azure event, there are joint sales, and Google still offers its Memorystore service, which (like the AWS counterpart) offers the choice of a more bare-open Redis open source database with Memcached. So there is the precedent of a premium / basic tier combination.
For Databricks, the Azure partnership was clearly an asset that helped propel it to unicorn status. While the upward market valuation of a COVID-19 is unlikely to be as dramatic, it would not hurt to benefit from 1 + 1 = 3 integration with its Azure data services.