If you haven’t heard of the in-memory key-value store Redis, you’ll probably be hearing about more in the near future. Other NoSQL databases, such as the document database MongoDB remain somewhat controversial among practitioners. Nothing has garnered quite so much geek love as Redis. Take for example this Hacker News thread about how Redis is being used in production on an adult website (don’t worry, both the Hacker News thread and the Google Groups thread it links to are work safe). Much of the vitriol I expect from a typical Hacker News thread, especially one about a new-ish technology like NoSQL, is missing. Redis is emerging as perhaps not the best tool for every job, but one that is well loved for the jobs its capable of doing.
Now, you’re always hearing that NoSQL databases have particular use cases, and that there are some things you should still use a relational database for. So what exactly is Redis good for?
Well, NoSQL expert Mathias Meyer compiled a big collection of Redis use cases from waaaay back in February 2010 (two years ago today, in fact). Please note though that one of the main examples, on creating a Twitter clone with Redis, has moved to another location.