ApsaraDB for Redis Enhanced Edition (Tair) is a key-value pair cloud cache service based on the Tair used by Alibaba Group. ApsaraDB for Redis Enhanced Edition (Tair) has officially handled the cache business of Alibaba Group since 2009 and has proven its outstanding performance in various scenarios, such as Double 11, Youku Spring Festival Gala, Cainiao, and AMAP.

Emergence of Tair

In 2004, Taobao started using cache-based technologies to support its business operations. This is the first time that Frontend page caching was used. This technology uses Edge Side Includes (ESI) to identify Web content segments that can or cannot be accelerated. Frontend page caching provides effective methods to reduce the number of entire pages that are captured from the server.

The rapid growth of network traffic to Taobao has exerted more pressure on databases. To reduce the load on databases, backend caching becomes an effective countermeasure. Backend caching evolved over many iterations from Tbstore to TDBM. Tbstore provided services such as Taobao details and verification codes. TDBM was initially used in Taobao User Center. In 2009, the large-scale and high-speed Tair was released. This solution is developed based on the success of previous systems and technical experience.

Tair is one of the most popular systems of Alibaba Group and has provided core access acceleration during the Double 11 for many years. Tair can handle hundreds of millions of calls per second.

Milestones of Tair

Date Event
2009.04 Tair 1.0 was released and used in services such as the Taobao core system, MDB cache, and User Center.
2009.11 The first year that Tair started to provide support for high traffic during Double 11.
2011.06 The LDB persistence engine was released to meet key-value storage requirements on the Internet.
2012.10 The RDB cache engine was released with APIs that are similar to that used in Redis. This provides support for more flexible and complex data structures.
2013.04 The Fastdump service was released. It can reduce import time and access latency.

Tair was implemented on a large scale in Alimama.

2014.05 After OCS was released, Tair became one of basic Alibaba Cloud products and started to provide services to Memcache users.
2015.03 Tair entered the cloud era with the release of KVStore.
2016.08 Tair Smart O&M Platform was released. The release of the platform contributed to a significant boost in sales during 2016 Double 11.
2017.04 Tair 2.0 was released and started to provide services to the AMAP and Youku business units.

OCS was upgraded to KVStore.

2017.11 Tair dynamic hashing provided support for 2017 Double 11 and was able to fix several cache hotspot issues within the industry.
2018.08 KVStore started to offer hybrid storage instances in China to separate cold data from hot data and reduce costs for key customers.
2019.04 The KVStore team was recognized as one of the top three contributors in the Redis open source community and delivered a public speech at RedisConf 2019.
2019.11 Tair 3.0, or ApsaraDB for Redis Enhanced Edition, was officially released.

Tair types and features

Business scenarios have become more diverse and complex due to the rapid development of the Internet. Known as a high-availability and high-performance distributed NoSQL database, ApsaraDB for Redis Enhanced Edition (Tair) has released a variety of products for various scenarios. This provides higher performance, more data structures, and more flexible storage solutions to meet your business requirements in different scenarios.

Type Feature
Performance-enhanced instances
  • Performance-enhanced instances use the multi-threading model and provide about three times the performance of ApsaraDB for Redis Community Edition instances of the same specifications.
  • Performance-enhanced instances provide multiple enhanced data structure modules such as TairString (including CAS and CAD commands), TairHash, TairGIS, TairBloom, and TairDoc. Performance-enhanced instances can improve the efficiency of business development. You no longer need to be concerned about storage structures and timeliness.
Hybrid-storage instances Hybrid-storage instances adopt the memory and disk storage method. During off-peak hours, this method can separate hot data from cold data to ensure a high memory access speed. Hybrid-storage instances also provide a larger storage capacity than instances of ApsaraDB for Redis Community Edition to balance performance and cost.