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March 29, 2024 - 5 Min Read

Momento isn’t serverless Redis. It’s caching reimagined for a post-Redis world.

Momento Cache is built for scale and simplicity from the ground up.

Jack Christie
Author

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Redis is an in-memory datastore that has defined the caching landscape for years. It powers a wide variety of use cases, from caching frequently accessed data to acting as a message broker in distributed systems. It reached this position through vibrant open source collaboration, at least until the recent licensing changes by Redis Labs (formerly Garantia Data). 

The annual Stack Overflow Developer Survey confirms that Redis is broadly loved by developers, but like any technology, it’s not without its shortcomings. Redis is painful to manage at scale, especially with spiky workloads that require either expensive overprovisioning or tedious and error-prone cluster resizing. 

It’s exactly these pains that sparked our founders—veterans of the core team that built Amazon DynamoDB—to build Momento Cache, the first in-memory storage solution to offer true autoscaling and zero infrastructure management.

But we want to set the record straight: Momento Cache is not serverless Redis. It’s a brand new solution built from the ground up to be like Redis—but better.

Momento Cache is not serverless Redis 

Serverless Redis and managed Redis are important pieces of the caching ecosystem, and we admire the work of our friends at Amazon ElastiCache, Dragonfly, Google Memorystore, and many others for their contributions there. Each of us is trying to help developers build high-performance, scalable systems.

Momento takes a different approach. We like to use the automotive industry as a metaphor: Redis is like the internal combustion engine that started the whole revolution. We decided to skip the internal combustion engine and go electric from the beginning—setting out to build serverless caching from scratch.

This allowed us to design a service with stricter requirements for scale, availability, and ease of use. It also allowed us to be different—and that means we’re unaffected by the recent end of open source Redis. Ultimately, whatever particular engine is buried deep within the car doesn’t matter to our customers, because Momento is more than just a collection of parts. It’s a finely-crafted system built to advance the state of the art in caching.

Momento Cache is a better Redis alternative

There are a number of ways in which we improve on the traditional caching formula. Let’s break them down.

  1. Workload multi-tenancyMomento pools resources across each of your caches in order to deliver consistent, cost-effective performance at any scale, while also efficiently absorbing unexpected load spikes. Getting multi-tenancy right is hard, but we firmly believe it is a core feature of any modern cloud platform.
  2. Intelligent control plane. Momento’s control plane is intimately aware of and proactively managing how work is distributed across the platform’s resources. The control plane can rapidly scale resources along multiple dimensions, which drives hyper-efficient utilization and ultimately lower costs. You should never have to wait ten minutes to double or halve your throughput!
  3. API gateway layer. Momento’s API gateway handles millions of direct connections, all with enterprise-grade authentication and fine-grained access control. The built-in gateway eliminates large swaths of “boilerplate” cloud architecture, allowing you to focus on shipping a better product more quickly.
  4. No instances. Redis requires you set up and provision server instances. This takes a lot of time and is rife with pitfalls. Momento Cache eliminates instances altogether—which means you can start with zero ramp-up and be ready for whatever scale comes your way.
  5. API-centric. Redis wasn’t designed for modern API-centric development, relying instead on a custom, unauthenticated protocol called RESP. Momento requires industry-standard encryption and authentication, supports multiple transport protocols like HTTPS or gRPC, and provides fine-grained authorization control for each API. Momento’s API gateway enables massive fanout without any configuration.
  6. No maintenance windows. Self-managed or hosted Redis instances come with inevitable software updates and patches, resulting in disruptions to your applications. With Momento, there is zero downtime. Software updates, patches, and deployments are all completely transparent to users.
  7. Tailored client libraries and SDKs. We love open source projects, but working with open source clients can be unpredictable. That’s why we build tailored SDKs with best practices out of the box like connection pools, configuration templates, and instrumentation—all while providing a consistent experience no matter what language you’re using or platform you’re developing for.

Momento Cache is a drop-in Redis replacement

In building a better Redis, we recognize that Redis is the incumbent solution for many organizations. That’s why we’re making it easy to switch with drop-in replacement clients that let you swap Redis for Momento with minimal changes to your codebase. All you have to change is an import statement and a constructor call—then you can say goodbye to managing your overprovisioned Redis clusters! (And if your favorite library isn’t listed here, contact us.)

You do not have to accept the status quo of scalability challenges and cost inefficiencies with Redis. There is another way. With a serverless operational model, Momento Cache enables you to reap the benefits of an ultra-fast in-memory datastore without tedious management or scaling issues—plus all the extra utility of a powerful API gateway, intelligent control plane, API-centric architecture, tailored client libraries, and even drop-in Redis compatibility.

Ready to experience the next generation of caching? Sign up for Momento Cache today.

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