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Configuring Redis as a cache

Configuring Redis as a cache

IBM Cloud® Databases for Redis supports changing the Redis database configuration, and you can use it to configure Redis as a cache. When configured as a cache, Redis evicts old data in favor of new data according to the cache settings you define. Even when configured as a cache, Databases for Redis deployments still take a daily backup snapshot. It is not currently possible to disable backups on your deployment. They also write some data to disk for high-availability. Redis relies on copying over an .rdb file to resync followers.

Cache settings

To configure the cache, you adjust the maxmemory and the maxmemory settings of your deployment. maxmemory defines the size of the cache. The maxmemory-policy defines the eviction behavior when the maxmemory limit is reached. In addition, other settings take care of database operations and tuning.


By default, maxmemory is set to 80% of a data node's available memory, so your node doesn't run out of system resources. You can adjust this setting, but set a reasonable limit. Otherwise, your data can take all the available memory and your deployment runs out of resources.


Table 1. Available Redis eviction policies
Policy Behavior
noeviction Does not evict keys and returns an error when the maxmemory limit is reached.
allkeys-lfu Keeps frequently used keys and removes least frequently used (LFU) keys.
volatile-lfu Removes least frequently used keys with the expire field set to true.
allkeys-lru Evicts less recently used (LRU) keys first.
volatile-lru Evicts less recently used (LRU) keys from the set of keys that expire first.
allkeys-random Evicts keys randomly.
volatile-random Evicts keys randomly from the set of keys that expire.
volatile-ttl Evicts keys that expire, and tries to evict keys with a shorter time to live (TTL) first.

With an allkeys policy, the algorithm chooses which keys to evict from the set of all keys. With a volatile policy, the algorithm chooses to evict keys that have either expired or have a time-to-live (TTL) set. In a volatile policy, if no keys match the policy, no keys are evicted.

Other settings

Table 2. Redis cache settings
Policy Behavior Notes
appendonly Default value, yes. Enables Redis data to be written to disk. If you are caching data, you want to set this value to no.
stop-writes-on-bgsave-error Default value, yes. Redis stops accepting writes if it detects an unsuccessful backup snapshot. For caching, you can set to no.
maxmemory-samples Tunes the LRU algorithm, default value 5. Approximated LRU algorithm

Setting an example cache

To adjust the configuration of your deployment, send a JSON object with the settings that you want to change and their new values.

You are able to use CONFIG SET directly from a Redis cli-client, but changes made there are not permanent. Use the Cloud Databases cli-plugin or API to change your deployment's configuration file. More information is in Changing Your Redis Configuration.

For example, the Redis documentation recommends the allkeys-lru setting as a good starting place for a general-use cache. It's also fine to leave the maxmemory and maxmemory-samples at their default values. So to configure the cache from the CLI, you can use

ibmcloud cdb deployment-configuration '<deployment name or CRN>' '{"configuration":{"maxmemory-policy":"allkeys-lru", "appendonly":"no", "stop-writes-on-bgsave-error":"no"}}'

To set up the same configuration through the API, you can use

curl -X PATCH 'https://api.{region}{id}/configuration/schema' \
-H "Authorization: Bearer $APIKEY" \
-H "Content-Type: application/json" \
-d '{"configuration":{