6 Signs It’s Time To Upgrade to Redis Enterprise

If you’re starting to notice these pain points in your business, it might be an indicator that your Redis open source (Redis OSS) instance is no longer sufficient to support your growth.

When a business uses Redis to develop a new product or service, its technical teams commonly ask, “Should we use Redis open source software or the enterprise-supported version?”

The open source version may suit your needs forever! Installing and deploying Redis OSS is simple, and it takes very little time. It’s great for small projects that stay small to medium in size. It’s also grand for Redis proofs-of-concept, as it allows developers, architects, and DevOps engineers to “test the waters.” 

However, businesses that have happily coasted along with the open source version of Redis sometimes encounter issues. Rather than a technical limitation, the hiccup may be a sign that organizational needs have changed, and the open source version is no longer sufficient to meet those needs.

Here are six signs that it may be time to make the switch to Redis Enterprise:

#1: Your customer base is growing quickly

If your business is expanding fast—and that’s a good thing!—you may find yourself struggling to scale properly using the basic Redis OSS instance. For example, say you’re a video gaming platform faced with a booming user base. What started out as an application accessed by hundreds of users has increased to thousands and now tens of thousands of users—and it shows no sign of letting up. Even with a small army of developers deploying Redis instances, you can no longer keep up with accelerated growth. 

The signal: You spend more time maintaining your infrastructure than you spend enhancing your application, a good indicator that you need help in order to scale your business. It’s much easier to expand to more nodes or more instances with Redis Enterprise than trying to do it manually, which is necessary with the open source solution.

#2: You can’t let customers’ databases go down

Uptime matters, but sometimes it really matters. Perhaps you have a new customer that considers your application critical to its business. Failing to provide the customer with a high level of availability could be disastrous—for the customer, the customer’s users, and you. Especially if your customer, dismayed by an outage, decides to start looking for another service provider.

The signal: You recognize that “going dark” is not an option. 

Instead of trying to configure multiple instances by hand to provide high availability, you could deploy on Redis Enterprise Cloud or easily configure Redis Enterprise with Active-Active clusters, ensuring those important customers get up to five-nines availability.

#3: You’re growing in many different directions at once

Your business has grown so much that your legacy systems are no longer sufficient. Or perhaps the organization is expanding to serve new markets. Maybe you need to support a more forward-thinking IT strategy. It’s time to think about a real data center, or maybe you are ready to move to the cloud

The signal: Buzzwords like “digital transformation” get bandied about frequently, but you realize that today, it’s the accurate term.

You need more control over your data. That probably means you need a flexible deployment model (for example, Kubernetes) that allows you to define and design your architecture to fit your needs. Perhaps you want certain data in your data center, other data in AWS, and other data in GCP. Instead of worrying about going to each individual machine to deploy a Redis OSS instance and then connecting everything, you could use a single tool—Redis Enterprise Operator for Kubernetes—to deploy wherever you like while maintaining total control.

#4: You’re spending too much money on infrastructure

If you’ve done a financial audit of your business recently, you may have been shocked to discover how much money you’re spending on infrastructure. Redis OSS natively runs on memory, and systems with a lot of memory can be more expensive. 

The signal: You blanched when you saw the bill.

It’s useful to store fresh data (three months old or less) in memory storage. However, if you store older (and likely stale) data in memory, you’re paying a lot to store data that probably isn’t that useful.

Redis on Flash, a feature only available for Redis Enterprise customers, allows you to tier your memory storage. You can store your old data on Flash. You still have the same response times and high availability—but without paying the cost to store it in memory.

#5: You need stronger search capability

There’s a lot of data to sort through. There always is. But sometimes the database gets so big or complex that finding information takes too long.

For instance, imagine your company stocks a wide variety of inventory, such as pet supplies or car parts. You need the most up-to-date information about the stock on hand, whether you sell to resellers or directly to the public. However, you have tens of thousands of parts in your warehouse and hundreds of providers, and searching through that massive amount of data takes time. Too much time.

The signal: You’re dismayed by application performance statistics.

Redis Enterprise features additional processing engines that can be hugely helpful for anyone who needs powerful search capabilities, with secondary indexes that allow you to search for data inside your data. That lets you do real-time searches as well as real-time serving to whoever buys your products.

#6: Your data security needs changed

Data security is always an issue, but some circumstances move it up your technology priority list. Perhaps your customer base is growing, or you move into new (and potentially regulated) industries, markets, or regions, and your data security needs might be changing. 

More and more companies now use Redis as their primary database, confident that its five-nines availability and data persistence is a worthy alternative to more costly databases. 

The signal: You realize how much heavy lifting is involved in hardening Redis OSS to be secure. 

That doesn’t mean it cannot be done. But it takes effort. You need to incorporate other open source projects to validate them and maintain them. 

Redis Enterprise offers robust security to keep data safe. For example, if you deploy using Kubernetes, Redis guarantees your data is encrypted in transit. Redis Enterprise takes worries about data security off your shoulders so you can focus on the business and sleep better at night.

Need real-world examples? These Redis OSS users decided to upgrade:

“For us, it wasn’t the dollars and cents business case. It was the operational availability of support and the fact that Redis Enterprise offered high availability without manual intervention.” — Steve Allen, manager, technology strategy, TELUS

“It really wasn’t cost effective to maintain [open source] Redis internally; it was a lot better to get involved with others who were experts in the technology.” — Spenser Aden, senior director of product architecture, HealthStream

Need to assess the right Redis for your business?

Consult the Redis Open Source vs. Redis Enterprise chart for a technical comparison of product features, and use our caching assessment tool to learn where your company stands.