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Fernando DoglioOctober 4, 2023

From Past to Present: Redis 3.2/3 for Windows vs Memurai

Technical articles and news about Memurai.

If you've been trying to find a way to install and run Redis on Windows, you've probably seen Microsoft's abandoned "Redis on Windows" project, which got up to version 3.2 (which means it was compatible with Redis 3.2).

Redis 3.2 marked a significant milestone in its evolutionary journey. However, its significance in the past does not shield it from present-day security challenges. Since the release of Redis 3.2, a myriad of security vulnerabilities have surfaced. Many of these vulnerabilities have been addressed and rectified in later Redis versions but remain unresolved in the Redis on Windows 3.2 project. This lapse places any system running Redis on Windows 3.2 at potential risk, jeopardizing data security and integrity. For enterprises and individuals emphasizing data security, this glaring issue necessitates the exploration of safer alternatives to Redis on Windows 3.2.

While there are other ways to run Redis on Windows, they all require workarounds, virtualization, or extra software that is not directly related to Redis. In the end, having the ability to install a natively compatible version of Redis on Windows sounds great, doesn't it?

But does that mean you're limited to using features of Redis 3.2? Or is there another, more updated, natively compatible version you can use?

In this article, we will go over that alternative and compare it with the outdated 3.2 so you can understand exactly what you're missing. By the end, you'll want to go and install this alternative and update your already deprecated setup.

So let's get started!

A stroll down memory lane: the release of Redis 3.2

Released back in 2016, Redis 3.2 was a game-changer in the world of open-source, in-memory data stores. And this one was no ordinary update either. It was more like a fireworks show on the Fourth of July – full of sizzle and pop!

So, what did Redis 3.2 bring to the party? Let me break it down for you:

  • Cluster-Ready Awesomeness: Redis 3.2 came swinging with major enhancements to its clustering capabilities. It introduced support for dynamic cluster reconfiguration, making it easier to scale Redis horizontally without breaking a sweat. This was a blessing for anyone dealing with massive data loads and demanding workloads.

  • Lua Scripting Improvements: If you happen to be a fan of Lua scripting in Redis, you'd be delighted to know that Redis 3.2 brought a bag full of improvements to Lua scripting. It was like giving your custom Redis commands a turbo boost, making them even more powerful and efficient on top of a massive improvement on the Lua debugger itself. All in all, this meant that Lua scripting on Redis was a viable option.

  • Better Memory Management: Redis has always been known for its lightning-fast performance, but Version 3.2 took things up a notch. It introduced several memory optimizations, reducing memory usage and making Redis even more memory-efficient. This was great news for those running Redis on systems with tight memory constraints.

  • Geospatial Commands: For all the location-based app aficionados out there, Redis 3.2 introduced a set of Geospatial commands. These nifty functions made it a breeze to work with geospatial data, opening up exciting possibilities for location-based applications. Before this, devs had to use a secondary GEO spatial-compatible database that was slower than Redis, introducing performance problems because of it. With this update, you could perform all your fast data-related operations AND GEO spatial queries using the same database.

Now, you might be wondering, "Okay, these features sound great, but what impact did Redis 3.2 actually have?"

Redis 3.2 made it easier than ever to build scalable, high-performance applications. With improved clustering and better memory management, developers could confidently rely on Redis for mission-critical tasks. This release put Redis firmly on the map as a go-to solution for real-time applications, caching, and much more.

That said, Windows compatibility back then was something not many were asking for, and because of that neither this version nor any subsequent one made it a priority to provide it.

So, let's jump back to 2023 and look into version 7 of Redis, which is what Memurai (a Windows-native port of Redis) is compatible with.

Memurai vs Redis 3.2

Redis has come a long way since Version 3.2, and its latest iteration, Version 7, brings a host of new features and improvements. The only thing missing is, as we all know, Windows compatibility. However, thanks to Memurai, that is no longer a concern. So, let's compare Memurai 4 (compatible with Redis 7) with the latest official release of Microsoft's project.

  1. Security:
  • Redis 3.2: Despite the features mentioned above, a host of security vulnerabilities are present in Redis 3.2 code. Many of these vulnerabilities have been addressed and rectified in later, non-Windows-compatible versions, but this casts serious doubt on using Redis on Windows for production. In addition, advanced security features like SSL/TLS encryption support and Access Control Lists (ACLs) were introduced later in Redis 6, leaving those on Windows without. Some unofficial projects aim to extend beyond Redis 3.2 on Windows, too; however, these have varying levels of stability and are, once again, not recommended in production.
  • Memurai 3 & 4: Compatible with Redis 6 & 7, respectively, Memurai takes security to the next level. Memurai 3 introduced a robust and comprehensive security framework with Access Control Lists (ACLs). ACLs enable fine-grained control over who can access specific Redis commands and data. This is a game-changer for securing instances, as it allows administrators to define complex access policies, limiting exposure to potential security risks. It also includes SSL/TLS encryption support, a significant step forward in enhancing data security during data transmission. The latest version (Memurai 4) maintains the security features introduced in Memurai 3 and Redis 6.
  1. Performance Improvements:
  • Redis 3.2: This version focused on memory optimization, making it more memory-efficient and, consequently, faster for certain workloads. However, it didn't introduce any groundbreaking performance improvements in terms of raw speed.
  • Memurai 4: The latest version of Memurai continues to build on its reputation as an ultra-fast, Windows-compatible in-memory database. It includes numerous optimizations and enhancements, making it faster and more efficient than ever. These improvements (based on Redis 7) make Memurai a top choice for applications demanding both speed and responsiveness.
  1. GeoSpatial and Data Structures:
  • Redis 3.2: As we've seen, this version introduced GeoSpatial commands, which were a significant addition to location-based applications. However, its data structure support was limited to strings, lists, sets, and hashes, a somewhat basic set of data types.
  • Memurai 4: With Memurai, the data structure support grows by adding streams, a powerful data type for managing event streams. First introduced in Redis 5, streams are ideal for applications requiring a structured way to handle event data, such as logs or messaging. This opens up new possibilities for building sophisticated real-time systems.
  1. Cluster Management:
  • Redis 3.2: Redis 3.2 improved clustering capabilities, making it easier to scale horizontally. However, managing Redis clusters still required a fair amount of manual configuration and administration.
  • Memurai 4: Redis 7 simplifies cluster management with the introduction of RedisInsight Cluster Manager (RCM). The RCM is a GUI compatible with all OS that helps automate cluster management tasks like failover and scaling, reducing the administrative burden on Redis operators. It makes setting up and maintaining Redis clusters more straightforward and less error-prone.

In summary, Memurai represents a significant leap forward from Redis 3.2. While Version 3.2 laid the groundwork for certain features, it was also the latest official release of a natively supported Windows version of this database.

Memurai, on the other hand, takes those foundations and builds a more secure, faster, and feature-rich platform that can easily be installed and properly used in high-demand production environments under Windows. The focus on security, performance, data structures, cluster management, and a thriving ecosystem of modules makes Memurai an exciting choice for modern data-driven applications.

Try Memurai!

If you're aiming to unlock the full potential of Redis on Windows, Memurai might just be the solution you've been waiting for.

You can try Memurai Developer Edition completely for free and evaluate it until you're ready to make the leap and request the Enterprise Edition.