Why Your MongoDB Needs Redis

13 Mar 2020

​MongoDB is a document-oriented, disk-based database. Redis is an in-memory, persistent, data structure store. Both databases fall into the NoSQL category – in that they are used to solve computing and data storage problems for which use of traditional RDBMS solutions would be like using a hammer to kill an ant.
But Redis and MongoDB are quite different and optimized for different uses. Disk based MongoDB is optimized for operational simplicity, schema-free design and very large data volumes.
Redis, on the other hand, is an in-memory, NoSQL data structures store, frequently used as a database, cache, or a message broker. Unlike other in-memory stores, it persists data and is remarkably versatile due to its data structures (Sets, Sorted Sets, Hashes, Lists, Strings, Bit Arrays). Redis enables developers to perform common operations on these structures at the lowest possible complexity and highest possible performance. In other words, Redis is purposebuilt for performance and simplicity.

5 Popular Redis Use Cases

1. User session storage: When you have hundreds, thousands or millions of user sessions to manage and session data needs to be instantly retrievable on the server-side for lightning fast decisions, Redis’ hash data structures and automatic key expiration features deliver the lowest complexity and fastest response times.

2. Real-time analytics: When you have thousands or millions of users playing a game or users collecting points on an ecommerce site, implementing real time rankings or leaderboards becomes simple with Redis’ in-memory sorted sets and set operations. Simple Redis commands help you achieve blazing fast retrieval of top users, user ranks, high scores
and more.

3. As a message broker for queues: When you have many items to be worked on in a queue, by several different worker processes, a single list operation with Redis can manage complex operations like removing a job from one queue and adding it to another. Managing queues as lists is a very popular Redis use case.

4. In-app Social functionality: Lets say you have tons of items and you manage sorting them with tags. Single Redis set commands can execute complex set membership questions rapidly for operations such as “all articles with a particular tag” or “all articles intersecting on specific tags.” Other use cases include computing friends of friends, or users with similar preferences.

5. High-speed data ingestion: Given how fast Redis is, another popular use case is to act as a data ingestion buffer. For high volume mobile, Internet of Things (IoT), API or web applications where throughput is required to be very high, Redis can store data points before they are processed by the application or stored in slower disk-based databases.

Of course a classic use case of Redis is as a cache, but Redis is an intelligent cache and usage of the data structures can lead to faster, better application performance. Redis also includes the ability to run Lua scripts, which comes handy when crunching through massive computations, in real time.

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