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New Market Research Shows 84% of Companies’ Microservices-based Applications Rely on Key-value or NoSQL Databases

Survey shows IT decision makers value the technology profile of a database above all factors for use in microservice architectures

Mountain View, January 7, 2021—Nearly half (47%) of microservices applications rely on a database according to study conducted by IDC, a leading provider of global IT research and advice, with an overwhelming majority of 84% respondents using a Key-value or NoSQL database for their microservices-based applications. These findings are according to a survey conducted by IDC and sponsored by Redis Labs. Powered by Redis Enterprise, global enterprises are able to build a real-time data layer that is cloud-native, highly available (five-nines), highly scalable, and flexible to run anywhere (multi-cloud and hybrid) to meet today’s perpetually changing market and customer demands.

The IDC InfoBrief, “The Impact of Application Modernization on the Data Layer,” reports that microservices have gained wide adoption and companies are now in the early phase of scaling out their architectures. According to IDC’s research, 24% of microservice applications are considered to be business-critical, of which, 42% would directly result in revenue loss if they suffered downtime.

“The change of application architecture into microservices significantly impacts the data layer supporting these services. A more distributed data layer creates challenges around database deployment, workflows, management, and differing requirements per service,” said Carl Olofson, Research Vice President, Data Management Software at IDC. “In order to be best equipped to manage these challenges, it is clear that enterprises are favoring technical excellence and fit for purpose in choosing the databases these services rely on.”

IDC found that orchestration, in particular with regards to database management (32% of respondents), is a top three challenge for their microservices applications because of the limitations of many databases for the cloud-native era. This is reflected in 95% of respondents choosing for the technology profile and performance when selecting a database for their microservices applications. In particular Key-value and NoSQL databases are being favored for the flexibility and responsiveness they can deliver for these services.

“Microservice architecture can be a game-changer to beat the competition to market and reduce barriers to an organization’s cloud migration. While the IDC study validates that most enterprises have embraced microservices for mission-critical workloads, it also highlights their cognizance of the operational complexities, specifically at the data tier, when deploying them at scale,” said Allen Terleto, Field CTO at Redis Labs. “We believe Redis Enterprise is uniquely positioned to enable organizations to overcome these challenges by providing them with a cloud-native, multi-tenant, multi-model database platform that can exceed the ever-growing performance, scalability, high-availability, and business-continuity demands of today’s digital applications.”

For additional insights, read the IDC InfoBrief and visit the Redis Labs blog.

Source: IDC InfoBrief, Sponsored by Redis, “The Impact of Application Modernization on the Data Layer”, Doc# US47071720, January 2021

Survey Methodology

In October 2020, IDC conducted a survey targeted to IT decision makers, developers and architects to gain perspectives on usage habits and thoughts behind data layering and microservices data architectures. 

The survey sample included 300 respondents from North America consisting of a mix of company sizes (minimum 1000 employees and $100 million in revenue) and industries.

Additional Resources

Watch the presentation, “Redis and Kafka – Advanced Microservices Design Patterns Simplified.”

Download the e-book, Redis Microservices for Dummies

Get started with How Redis Simplifies Microservices Design Patterns.


About Redis

Data is the lifeline of every business, and Redis helps organizations reimagine how fast they can process, analyze, make predictions, and take action on the data they generate. Redis provides a competitive edge to any business by delivering open source and enterprise-grade data platforms to power applications that drive real-time experiences at any scale. Developers rely on Redis to build performance, scalability, reliability, and security into their applications.

Born in the cloud-native era, Redis uniquely enables users to unify data across multi-cloud, hybrid and global applications to maximize business potential. Learn how Redis can give you this edge at redis.com.