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 scenarios such as Double 11, Youku Spring Festival Gala, Cainiao, and AMAP.

Emergence of Tair

In 2004, Taobao began using caching technology to carry its business. Frontend page caching was first used. This technology uses ESI to identify which Web content segments can or cannot be accelerated. Frontend page caching effectively reduces the number of the entire pages captured from the server.

With the rapid growth of traffic on Taobao and the increasing pressure on databases, backend caching began to be implemented more frequently. Backend caching evolved over many iterations from TB store, that provided services such as Taobao details and verification codes, to TDBM, that was initially used in Taobao User Center. In 2009, the large-scale and high-speed Tair came into being based on previous systems and technical experience.

Chronology of Tair

Date Event
April 2009 Tair 1.0 was released and used in services such as the Taobao core system, MDB cache, and User Center.
November 2009 Tair officially started to carry high traffic during Double 11 of that year.
June 2011 The LDB persistence engine was released to meet internet key-value storage needs.
October 2012 The RDB cache engine was released with Redis-like APIs introduced to support more flexible and complex data structures.
April 2013 The Fastdump service was released. It can greatly reduce import time and access latency.

Tair was implemented on a large scale in Alimama.

May 2014 With the release of OCS, Tair became one of basic Alibaba Cloud products and began to deliver services to Memcache users.
March 2015 Tair entered the cloud era with the release of KVStore.
August 2016 Tair Smart O&M Platform was released, helping power billions of yuan in sales of 2016 Double 11.
April 2017 Tair 2.0 was launched and began to deliver services to the AMAP and Youku business units.

OCS was completely upgraded to KVStore.

November 2017 Tair dynamic hashing delivered successful support for 2017 Double 11 and was able to solve several cache hotspot issues within the industry.
August 2018 KVStore began to offer hybrid storage instances to separate cold and hot data and reduce costs for key customers.
April 2019 The KVStore team was among the top three contributors in the Redis open-source community and delivered a public speech at RedisConf 2019.
November 2019 Tair 3.0, or ApsaraDB for Redis Enhanced Edition (Tair), was formally released.

Tair types and features

As a distributed NoSQL database with high availability and performance, Tair focuses on caching and high-speed storage for multiple data structures. It is fully compatible with Redis protocols. Tair is one of the most frequently invoked systems of Alibaba Group and over the years has provided core access acceleration during the Double 11 of many years, delivering hundreds of millions of calls per second. Compared with ApsaraDB for Redis Community Edition, Tair suports higher performance, more data structures, and more storage methods. You can click the links in the following table to view details about its features.

Tair type Feature
Performance-enhanced series
Hybrid-storage series Hybrid-storage series adopts the memory + 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 series also can balance performance and costs by providing a larger storage capacity than ApsaraDB for Redis Community Edition.