<antirez>

antirez 215 days ago. 121999 views.
Finally Redis 6.0.0 stable is out. This time it was a relatively short cycle between the release of the first release candidate and the final release of a stable version. It took about four months, that is not a small amount of time, but is not a lot compared to our past records :)

So the big news are the ones announced before, but with some notable changes. The old stuff are: SSL, ACLs, RESP3, Client side caching, Threaded I/O, Diskless replication on replicas, Cluster support in Redis-benchmark and improved redis-cli cluster support, Disque in beta as a module of Redis, and the Redis Cluster Proxy (now at https://github.com/RedisLabs/redis-cluster-proxy).

So what changed between RC1 and today, other than stability?

1. Client side caching was redesigned in certain aspects, especially the caching slot approach was discarded in favor of just using key names. After analyzing the alternatives, with the help of other Redis core team members, in the end this approach looks better. Other than that, finally the feature was completed with the things I had in the backlog for the feature, especially the “broadcasting mode”, that I believe will be one of the most popular usage modes of the feature.

When broadcasting is used, the server no longer try to remember what keys each client requested. Instead clients subscribe to key prefixes: they’ll get notifications every time a key matching the prefix is modified. This means more messages (but only for the selected prefixes), but no memory effort in the server side. Moreover the opt-in / opt-out mode is now supported, so it is possible for clients not using the broadcasting mode, to exactly tell the server about what the client will cache, to reduce the number of invalidation messages. Basically the feature is now much better both when a low-memory mode is needed, and when a very selective (low-bandwidth) mode is needed.

2. This was an old request by many users. Now Redis supports a mode where RDB files used for replication are immediately deleted if no longer useful. In certain environments it is a good idea to never have the data around on disk, but just in memory.

3. ACLs are better in a few regards. First, there is a new ACL LOG command that allows to see all the clients that are violating the ACLs, accessing commands they should not, accessing keys they should not, or with failed authentication attempts. The log is actually in memory, so every external agent can call “ACL LOG” to see what’s going on. This is very useful in order to debug ACL problems.

But my preferred feature is the reimplementation of ACL GENPASS. Now it uses SHA256 based HMAC, and accepts an optional argument to tell the server how many bits of unguessable pseudo random string you want to generate. Redis seeds an internal key at startup from /dev/urandom, and later uses the HMAC in counter mode in order to generate the other random numbers: this way you can abuse the API, and call it every time you want, since it will be very fast. Want to generate an unguessable session ID for your application? Just call ACL GENPASS. And so forth.

4. PSYNC2, the replication protocol, is now improved. Redis will be able to partially resynchronize more often, since now is able to trim the final PINGs in the protocol, to make more likely that replicas and masters can find a common offset.

5. Redis commands with timeouts are now much better: not only BLPOP and other commands that used to accept seconds, now accept decimal numbers, but the actual resolution was improved in order to never be worse than the current “HZ” value, regardless of the number of clients connected.

6. RDB files are now faster to load. You can expect a 20/30% improvement, depending on the file actual composition (larger or smaller values). INFO is also faster now when there are many clients connected, this was a long time problem that now is finally gone.

7. We have a new command, STRALGO, that implements complex string algorithms. For now the only one implemented is LCS (longest common subsequence), an important algorithm used, among the other things, in order to compare the RNA of the coronaviruses (and in general the DNA and RNA of other organisms). What is happening is too big, somewhat a trace inside Redis needed to remain.

Redis 6 is the biggest release of Redis *ever*, so even if it is stable, handle it with care, test it for your workload before putting it in production. We never saw big issues so far, but make sure to be careful. As we collect bug reports, we will prepare to release Redis 6.0.1 ASAP.

A big thank you to the many people that wrote code with me in this release, and to all the companies that sponsored both my work (Thanks Redis Labs), and the the work of the other contributors (Thanks other companies). Also a big thank you to the many that signaled bugs with care, sometimes following the boring process of reiterating after making some changes, or that suggested improvements of any kind.

As usually you can find Redis 6 in different places: at https://redis.io as tarball, and in the Github repository tagged as “6.0.0”.

Enjoy Redis 6,
antirez
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