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Securing Redis Enterprise from Meltdown and Spectre Vulnerabilities

With the recent security vulnerabilities discovered — Meltdown (CVE-2017-5754) and Spectre (CVE-2017-5753 and CVE-2017-5715) — Redis’ engineering, devops and support teams have been working hard to make sure our cloud services, Redis Enterprise Cloud (REC) and Redis Enterprise VPC (REV), are protected.

As of now, all our REC and REV clusters on AWS, Azure, GCP and IBM Cloud have been patched by our cloud partners against Meltdown. In addition, some cloud vendors have already managed to mitigate the Spectre’s branch target injection (CVE-2017-5715).

Redis Enterprise Software (RES) customers:

  • Customers who use RES on the public clouds mentioned above (and deployed RES on dedicated instances without sharing other applications on the same instances) can rely on the hypervisor security patch.  An isolated Redis or Redis Enterprise instance cannot be affected by Meltdown or Spectre when Redis modules are disabled or when using Redis’ certified modules.
  • Customers who use RES on-premises should deploy the Kernel Page Table Isolation (PKTI) patch. We are still waiting for the formal patch release from all major distributions (such as Amazon Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and Ubuntu), and will make additional recommendations available in the coming days.    

Performance implications:

Redis’ engineering team has done a series of tests to validate the effect on the performance of our cloud services. We found that the patch has a negligible impact on our Redis Enterprise VPC service, between 2.5% – 5%, whereas the impact on our Redis Enterprise Cloud service is in the range of 5%-30%, with minor outliers, depending on the cluster instance types and cloud infrastructure. Our initial tests were performed on our Redis on RAM product, and we plan to extend these to our Redis on Flash product in the coming days and weeks.

We have successfully mitigated performance issues for several customers during the last few days.

Snippets from our REV tests:

We tested a 3-node REV cluster on AWS, here is what we found:

Before the Meltdown fix:


After the Meltdown fix:

Performance After Meltdown Patch

We observed a negligible impact of throughput (2.5%-5%) and almost no effect on latency.

Test parameters


Cluster instance typem4.16xlarge
Number of nodes in the cluster3
Number of master shards60
Number of items10M
Item size100B
Read/write ratio1:1
Load simulation
Load generation toolmemtier_benchmark
memtier_benchmark instance typec4.8xlarge
Number of memtier_benchmark instances3
Pipeline size9

The Redis Team