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Redis vs. ElastiCache

Redis and Amazon ElastiCache are prominent caching solutions designed to enhance the application performance and efficiency of web applications and data-driven services. As businesses experience growth and manage increasing volumes of data, the importance of effective caching mechanisms becomes evident. With the rise of cloud computing platforms like Amazon Web Service (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform, caching solutions have become even more critical.

What is Redis?

Redis, an acronym for Remote Dictionary Server, is an open-source, in-memory data structure store. It can function as a database, cache, and message broker. Originating in 2009 and developed by Salvatore Sanfilippo, Redis has since gained popularity for its performance, flexibility, and broad support for various data structures.

Key features and benefits of Redis:

The versatility of Redis has led to its adoption in a wide range of applications, from caching web pages for faster load times to acting as a message broker in real-time communication systems.

What is Redis Enterprise?

Redis Enterprise is the commercial version of open-source Redis.  It is designed to support enterprise-grade workloads and applications.  Developed and maintained by Redis, Redis enterprise enhances the capabilities of Redis by offering features tailored for businesses that require high availability, scalability, and performance.

Key features and benefits of Redis Enterprise:

The robustness and versatility of Redis Enterprise has made it a preferred choice for businesses worldwide, from startups to Fortune 500 companies, for use cases ranging from caching and session storage to real-time analytics and machine learning. Redis Enterprise also seamlessly integrates with various Amazon Web Service tools like Amazon S3 data storage and EC2 instances, making it a comprehensive solution for diverse needs.

Redis & AWS Fully Managed Cloud Service

What is Amazon ElastiCache?

Amazon ElastiCache is a web service offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that makes it easy to deploy, operate, and scale an in-memory cache in the AWS cloud. Designed to improve the performance of web applications by allowing users to retrieve information from fast, managed, in-memory caches, ElastiCache supports two open-source in-memory caching engines: Redis and Memcached.

Key features and benefits of Amazon ElastiCache:

Amazon ElastiCache is commonly used for database caching, session caching, gaming leaderboards, and real-time analytics, among other use cases.

Core Differences Between Redis Enterprise and ElastiCache

Both Redis Enterprise and Amazon ElastiCache are advanced caching solutions designed to optimize the performance of web applications. However, their features and offerings differ in several key areas.

Feature/AspectRedis EnterpriseElastiCache
Deployment and managementCan be deployed in various environments, including on-premises, cloud, and hybrid. Offers automated management features like auto-failover, backups, and scaling.Only deployed on AWS as a managed service. Offers automated management features such as provisioning, patching, and backups.
Scalability and performanceOffers linear scaling with distributed serverless architecture. Provides higher throughput and lower latencies with an optimized engine.Facilitates easy scalability by allowing addition or removal of nodes. Performance depends on chosen cache node type and configuration.
Pricing modelsSubscription-based pricing model based on consumption.Pay-as-you-go pricing based on deployed infrastructure – selected cache node type, number of nodes, and region.
Supported data structures and use casesSupports standard Redis data structures and introduces additional support for JSON, search, vectors, and time series data. Supports standard Redis data structures and functionalities depend on the chosen engine, either Redis or Memcached.

Cost Efficiency at Scale: Redis Enterprise vs. ElastiCache

  • Realize cost-savings through efficient design. Get more out of your infrastructure with a multi-tenant architecture and cost-efficient replication and persistence.
  • Avoid overhead costs. Deploy on infrastructure sized just for your throughput needs, no additional overhead.
  • Move workloads without risk. Scale and migrate without data loss and utilize committed spend through the AWS marketplace.
Redis vs Elasticache

Performance Comparison

Performance is a crucial factor when choosing a caching solution. Both Redis Enterprise and Amazon ElastiCache have been optimized for high performance, but they exhibit different characteristics under various conditions.

Performance AspectRedis EnterpriseElastiCache
Speed and latency benchmarksOptimized for balancing memory and throughput. Delivers low-latency operations even under high throughput loads due to its distributed multitenant architecture. Optimized for memory-intensive workloads over throughput. Offers various node options, some high throughput node options.
Throughput and concurrency testsHandles a high number of concurrent connections and offers impressive throughput, especially with data distributed across multiple shards.Provides good throughput, with exact metrics depending on the specific configuration and chosen engine (Redis or Memcached).

Use Cases and Applications

Both Redis Enterprise and Amazon ElastiCache are versatile solutions, catering to a wide range of applications and use cases. Whether it’s managing cookies for web applications or handling session store data, both solutions offer robust capabilities here’s a breakdown of some common scenarios where each shines:

Use Case/ApplicationRedis EnterpriseElastiCache
CachingRedis Enterprise fully supports caching. Especially good for large-scale, mission-critical caching scenarios.ElastiCache is specifically designed to simplify caching operations and improve performance of web applications.
Real-time AnalyticsRedis Enterprise is well-suited for real-time analytics, offering fast search capabilities and time-series data handling.ElastiCache, especially with the Redis engine, can handle real-time analytics by quickly processing large volumes of data.
Session StorageRedis Enterprise’s in-memory storage ensures quick access to session data, enhancing user experience on web applications.ElastiCache provides low-latency access to session data, making it suitable for web applications requiring quick session retrieval.
Gaming LeaderboardsRedis Enterprise’s Sorted Sets data structure is ideal for maintaining gaming leaderboards, ensuring real-time ranking updates.ElastiCache, when using the Redis engine, can effectively manage gaming leaderboards with its Sorted Sets data structure.
Message BrokeringWith support for Pub/Sub and Stream data structures, Redis Enterprise is a robust solution for message brokering in real-time applications.ElastiCache, with the Redis engine, supports Pub/Sub, making it suitable for real-time messaging and communication.
SearchRedis Enterprise extends Redis OSS with new search and secondary indexing capabilities to provide ElastiCache can be used in conjunction with other search services like Elasticsearch to provide search functionality.
Feature StoresRedis Enterprise is commonly used as an online feature store as it provides low latency access to online features for real-time ML applications.With a combination of Amazon S3, and AWS lambda functions,  ElastiCache can be used as a feature store replacement for services like Amazon Sagemaker.
Vector DatabaseRedis Enterprise can bring reliability and speed to generative AI applications by storing vector embeddings.ElastiCache does not provide vector support.

While both solutions cater to similar use cases, the choice between Redis Enterprise and ElastiCache often boils down to specific requirements, scalability needs, and integration preferences.

Related resource: Signs you’ve outgrown ElastiCache

Integration and Ecosystem

Integration capabilities and the surrounding ecosystem play a pivotal role in the adoption and effectiveness of caching solutions. Both Redis Enterprise and Amazon ElastiCache offer a range of integration options, but they differ in their ecosystem support and partnerships.

AspectRedis EnterpriseElastiCache
Cloud IntegrationRedis Enterprise offers native integration capabilities with major cloud providers like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, allowing for seamless deployment and scaling across platforms.Being an AWS service, ElastiCache is natively integrated within the AWS ecosystem, offering seamless connections with services like RDS, Lambda, and EC2.
Database IntegrationRedis Enterprise can be integrated with various databases, both SQL and NoSQL, to act as a caching layer, enhancing database performance.ElastiCache, especially with the Redis engine, can be used as a caching layer in front of databases Amazon RDS or Amazon DynamoDB.
Developer ToolsRedis provides a suite of developer tools, including RedisInsight, which offers a GUI for managing and monitoring Redis databases.ElastiCache integrates with AWS developer tools and services, allowing for monitoring, logging, and management within the AWS Management Console.
Community and SupportRedis has a vibrant community, offering forums, webinars, and extensive documentation. Additionally, enterprise support is available for Redis Enterprise customers.Amazon provides comprehensive documentation, forums, and premium support options for ElastiCache users within the AWS support ecosystem.

Choosing between Redis Enterprise and ElastiCache often involves considering the broader ecosystem, integration preferences, and the tools and support available for developers and administrators.


Both Redis Enterprise and Amazon ElastiCache offer robust ways to deploy Redis, each with its own strengths. The choice between the two often boils down to specific organizational needs, existing tech stacks, and the importance of certain enterprise features. As with any tech decision, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons, costs, and long-term support of each solution before making a choice.

To learn more and see the full comparison check out our complete Datasheet.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I migrate from open-source Redis to Redis Enterprise or ElastiCache?

Yes, both Redis Enterprise and ElastiCache support migration from open-source Redis. Redis Enterprise offers tools and documentation to facilitate the migration process, while ElastiCache provides the Redis replication feature to migrate data.

How do Redis Enterprise and ElastiCache handle data persistence?

Redis Enterprise provides various data persistence options, including AOF (Append-Only File) and snapshots. ElastiCache, when using the Redis engine, supports only RDB snapshots for data persistence.

Are there any size limitations for the datasets?

While Redis Enterprise supports large datasets and offers linear scaling, the dataset size in ElastiCache is limited by the memory of the cache node type you choose. However, both solutions can handle substantial amounts of data efficiently.

How do both solutions ensure data security?

Redis Enterprise provides features like SSL/TLS encryption, role-based access control, and VPC peering. ElastiCache offers encryption at rest and in transit, along with integration with AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) for access controls.

Can I use both Redis Enterprise and ElastiCache in a hybrid cloud environment?

Yes, Redis Enterprise is designed to support hybrid cloud deployments. ElastiCache, being an AWS service, is primarily AWS-based but can interact with on-premises resources using AWS Direct Connect.