The real-time world
requires real-time
data layers

Five ways to overcome GemFire challenges with Redis Enterprise

GemFire illustration

The need for real-time speed and always-on applications has never been more critical than it is today. As a result, today’s business needs require a real-time data platform. 

Enterprises are modernizing their database needs, to take advantage of best-in-class services. It’s apparent—your business has to cater to GemFire when it should be the other way around. Below are five challenges consistently brought up in conversations with GemFire customers. We explore these issues and offer key insights into how Redis Enterprise can help address them.

#1: Opaque roadmap for hybrid and multi-cloud environments

Running in hybrid and multi-cloud environments is now expected, especially for agile companies. Unfortunately, GemFire does not have a fully managed service offering on Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure, and it’s not even available on Google Cloud. GemFire also does not support OpenShift, further constricting deployment options.

Redis Enterprise is a real-time cloud-native data platform that provides the flexibility that empowers businesses to choose the platform—cloud, on-premises, multi-cloud—that best meets their needs.

Redis Enterprise supports flexible deployment options (on-premises, multi-clouds, hybrid)
to allow you to choose the right strategy for your business.

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GemFire is available as a service on the Tanzu platform, but customers have limited options on other cloud platforms:
  • On AWS, customers must port their own licenses, adding complexity to their installation.
  • On Azure, customers have no enterprise SLA available.
  • GemFire is not available on Google Cloud.
  • GemFire does not support OpenShift.
Redis Enterprise can be deployed on-premises, across clouds, and as a hybrid deployment with any cloud. Enterprise SLAs are offered for every deployment option, guaranteeing 99.99% uptime in multi-AZ and 99.999% uptime in Active-Active Geo-Replication deployments.

Redis Enterprise’s Active-Active Geo-Replication technology keeps your data consistent and lets you smoothly migrate your applications to the cloud, or between clouds, while avoiding a painful cutoff process.

It is also available on Kubernetes and as a native service on platforms like Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition (PKS) and RedHat OpenShift.

#2: GemFire’s memory architecture creates high infrastructure requirements, significantly increasing costs

Being built on Java instead of  C means that GemFire inherently has a high overhead. Java’s additional development requirements, including JVM object headers and serialization of wrappers, results in three times more infrastructure than C to store the same amount of raw data. With the volume of data being managed today, infrastructure costs have become an expense that needs to be actively managed.

Redis Enterprise requires less infrastructure for the same amount of data to optimize resource utilization and lower memory overhead.

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GemFire adds around 64 bytes of memory overhead to each entry. There is additional overhead from JVM object headers, serialization wrappers, consistency checks, and more. Each data structure in Reds is implemented with memory efficiency in mind. Redis Enterprise can store significantly more data per gigabyte of memory storage compared to GemFire, which results in lower infrastructure requirements.
GemFire’s pricing model is based on a per-CPU-core basis. Based on GemFire’s production environment recommendations, you need at least 3 licenses to load 16GB of raw data from disk. Redis Enterprise software pricing is on a per-shard basis. To load 16GB of raw data from disk requires only 1 license. Redis Enterprise pricing is optimized for data-bound deployments, which means you won’t be charged for CPU cores that are used for proxy, cluster management, and WAN gateway purposes.
GemFire does not support tiered memory architecture, but can use disk as an overflow space for storing least-recently used (LRU) values. Redis Enterprise offers Redis on Flash technology that uses an innovative tiered approach to place frequently accessed hot data in memory and colder values in Flash or persistent memory. Redis on Flash delivers high performance—similar to Redis on RAM—while saving up to 70% on infrastructure costs.

#3: GemFire is not able to guarantee always-on global infrastructure

GemFire is at risk of providing incorrect information, being unresponsive, and being unavailable due to the last write wins methodology on multi-site replication and instant automatic failover.  Geo-distributed apps and global deployments will suffer from the last write wins algorithm.

Redis Enterprise was designed for globally distributed data at local latency, ensuring global data accuracy with Active-Active Geo-Replication and availability with automated failure detection and single-digit-of-a-second failover.

#4: GemFire’s support for only a few data structures results in silos of data

You might be able to sustain legacy applications around just a few data structures, but you’ll struggle to continue and evolve your business. Adding specialty databases to your GemFire infrastructure will increase development and operation complexity, as well as overhead.

Redis Enterprise is a versatile, real-time data platform that incorporates modern data models to provide best-in-class performance, enabling you to reduce your technology stack complexity, eliminate the need for integration and data conversion, and deliver new applications faster.

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GemFire’s limited data-model support means that you have to use several different purpose-built databases or cobble together non-native data models to overcome its shortcomings as you build new solutions and modernize applications. Both approaches create performance, scalability, and operational issues. With Redis Enterprise, you can easily extend your core data structures to include features such as search, graph, time series, AI, and more. Integrated modules add powerful functionality while preserving performance.

#5: GemFire customers express frustration with the declining level of support they are receiving.

GemFire community support is virtually nonexistent, making it difficult for IT and operations to troubleshoot and fix problems without vendor support.

Redis is the world’s most loved database and most used database because of its operational simplicity, maintenance, and ability to extend to many use cases. As a result, Redis is one of the 20 fastest growing technical skill sets of 2020. 

Redis Enterprise comes with 24/7 support from the creators of Redis. In addition, we have expertise in managing more than 1.55 million Redis databases in production worldwide. As a result, we can help you detect, diagnose, and troubleshoot potential issues before they create problems in your deployment.

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GemFire customers have expressed frustration over the declining level of support they are receiving, with little hope of improvement. Redis Enterprise comes with 24×7 support from the creators of Redis. We have expertise in managing more than 1.55 million Redis databases in production worldwide and can help you detect, diagnose, and troubleshoot potential issues before they create problems in your deployment. Additionally, we offer 3 levels of customer success plans to help you with project planning, technical training, deployment sizing, infrastructure cost optimization, and more.
GemFire community support is virtually nonexistent, making it difficult for IT and Ops teams to troubleshoot and fix problems without vendor support. Stack Overflow shows fewer than 550 questions tagged with GemFire and Geode combined. A Stack Overflow search on Redis returns more than 19,000 questions. Active discussions are also held across other developer communities such as Reddit and Redis’ own community forums.
A scarcity of GemFire expertise makes it difficult to recruit and retain a skilled workforce. Redis is one of the 20 fastest growing technical skill sets of 2020.

Compare GemFire v9.10 vs. Redis Enterprise v6.0

Download a technical feature comparison chart to understand key differences between GemFire and Redis Enterprise regarding high availability, performance and scalability, deployment models, cost, and developer and DevOps experience.

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