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

Emergence of Tair

In 2004, Taobao started using caching technologies to support its business operations. The first caching technology that was put into use is frontend page caching. This technology uses Edge Side Includes (ESI) to identify web content segments that can or cannot be accelerated. Frontend page caching reduces the number of times that entire pages are fetched from the server.

The rapid growth of customer traffic on Taobao exerted more pressure on databases. Backend caching emerged in response to this situation. Backend caching has evolved over many iterations from Tbstore to Taobao Database Manager (TDBM). Tbstore provides services such as persisting Taobao details and verification codes. TDBM was initially used in Taobao User Center. In 2009, the large-scale and high-speed storage service Tair was released based on the success of previous systems and technical experience.

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

Milestones of Tair

Time Event
July 2021 The following new series were released:
  • Persistent memory-optimized instances: Persistent memory-optimized instances adopt Intel Optane DC persistent memory (AEP) to provide you with in-memory databases that have a large capacity and are compatible with open source Redis. A persistent memory-optimized instance persists each operation without using disks. Compared with an ApsaraDB for Redis Community Edition instance, it reduces costs by up to 30% and delivers almost the same throughput and latency. This helps improve the reliability of business data.
  • Storage-optimized instances: Storage-optimized instances were developed based on enhanced SSDs (ESSDs) and are compatible with core data structures and APIs of open source Redis. These instances can provide large-capacity, low-cost, and persistent database services.

In the future, ApsaraDB for Redis Enhanced Edition (Tair) will focus on core cloud-native capabilities, such as hardware-software integration, intelligent data distribution, and integration of data storage and processing.

November 2019 Tair 3.0, or ApsaraDB for Redis Enhanced Edition (Tair) was released.
  • Performance-enhanced instances: Performance-enhanced instances use the multi-threading model and are fully compatible with open source Redis. These instances integrate multiple self-developed Tair data structures to provide high-performance and high-compatibility database services that come with enterprise-grade features.
April 2019 The ApsaraDB for Redis team was recognized as one of the top three contributors in the Redis open source community and delivered a public speech at RedisConf 2019.
August 2018 ApsaraDB for Redis started to offer hybrid-storage instances in China to separate cold data from hot data for the first time and reduce costs for main users.
November 2017 Tair dynamic hashing provided support for the 2017 Double 11 event and was able to resolve several critical cache issues within the industry.
April 2017 Tair 2.0 was released and started to provide services to the AMAP and Youku new business units.

ApsaraDB for Memcache (OCS) was upgraded to ApsaraDB for Redis.

August 2016 Tair Smart O&M Platform was released. The release of this platform contributed to the breakthrough of hundreds of billions of sales during the 2016 Double 11 event.
March 2015 The Tair team released ApsaraDB for Redis. This release helps Tair enter the cloud era.
May 2014 The Tair team released OCS, a cloud caching service. After OCS was released, OCS became a basic service of Alibaba Cloud and started to provide services for OCS users.
April 2013 The Fastdump service was released. It can significantly reduce import time and access latency.

Tair was implemented on a large scale in Alimama.

October 2012 The Redis Database (RDB) cache engine was released with APIs that are similar to those used in open source Redis. This engine supports more flexible and complex data structures.
June 2011 The Local Database (LDB) persistence engine was released to meet key-value storage requirements on the Internet.
November 2009 For the first time, Tair was used to support high traffic during a Double 11 event.
April 2009 Tair 1.0 was released and used in business segments such as the Taobao core system, Memory-Mapped Database (MDB) cache, and User Center.

Series and features of Tair

The rapid development of the Internet makes business scenarios more diverse and complex. ApsaraDB for Redis Enhanced Edition (Tair) is a high-availability and high-performance NoSQL database service. It provides several series of instances based on storage media such as dynamic random-access memory (DRAM), non-volatile memory (NVM), and ESSDs to meet your requirements for low-latency access, persistence, and reduced overall costs. Tair provides higher performance, more data structures, and more flexible storage methods to meet your requirements in a variety of scenarios. For more information about ESSDs, see ESSDs.

Series type Description
Performance-enhanced instances
  • Performance-enhanced instances use the multi-threading model and provide read and write performance approximately three times that of ApsaraDB for Redis Community Edition instances with the same specifications.
  • Performance-enhanced instances provide multiple enhanced data structure modules such as TairString (including CAS and CAD commands), TairHash, TairGIS, TairBloom, TairDoc, TairTS, TairCpc, TairZset, TairRoaring, and TairSearch. These instances eliminate concerns about storage structure and timeliness and allow you to focus on business development.
  • Performance-enhanced instances provide high compatibility. Performance-enhanced instances are fully compatible with open source Redis. You can switch from open source Redis to ApsaraDB for Redis without the need to modify application code.
  • Performance-enhanced instances provide a variety of enterprise-grade features such as data flashback, proxy query cache, and Global Distributed Cache for Redis. For more information, see Use data flashback to restore data by point in time, Use proxy query cache to address issues caused by hotkeys, and Overview.
Persistent memory-optimized instances
  • Persistent memory-optimized instances provide ultra-high cost-effectiveness. The price of persistent memory-optimized instances is 30% lower than that of ApsaraDB for Redis Community Edition instances with the same capacity. The performance of persistent memory-optimized instances reaches 90% of that of native Redis databases.
  • Persistent memory-optimized instances support the TairString (including CAS and CAD commands) enhanced data structure module.
  • Persistent memory-optimized instances prevent data loss when power failures occur. These instances implement data persistence for each command. The system returns success response for each write operation only after the data is persistently stored. You can use persistent memory-optimized instances as in-memory databases instead of caches.
  • Persistent memory-optimized instances optimize the append-only file (AOF) rewriting performance for large-sized Redis databases. These instances reduce the latency and jitters that are caused when Redis calls forks to rewrite the AOF.
  • Persistent memory-optimized instances deliver high compatibility. These instances are compatible with most data structures and commands of native Redis databases.
Storage-optimized instances Storage-optimized instances were developed based on ESSDs and are compatible with core data structures and APIs of open source Redis. These instances can provide large-capacity, low-cost, and persistent database services. Storage-optimized instances reduce costs and improve data reliability. In addition, these instances reduce the amount of reserved memory that is required for the forks of open source Redis. This series type is suitable for scenarios that store warm and cold data, and require compatibility with open source Redis, large capacity, and high access performance.
Hybrid-storage instances (phased out) Hybrid-storage instances store data in both memory and disks. During off-peak hours, hybrid-storage instances can separate hot data from cold data to ensure a high memory access speed and provide a larger storage than ApsaraDB for Redis Community Edition instances. This allows hybrid-storage instances to strike a balance between performance and cost.
Note Hybrid-storage instances are discontinued. For more information, see Sales of ApsaraDB for Redis hybrid-storage instances are discontinued. We recommend that you use performance-enhanced instances that provide higher performance and more features.

If you have purchased s hybrid-storage instance, you can submit a ticket to migrate the data of the instance.

Purchase guide

For more information about how to purchase an ApsaraDB for Redis Enhanced Edition (Tair) instance, see Step 1: Create an ApsaraDB for Redis instance.