Valkey publishes release candidate and attracts new backer

Open source Redis alternative gathers momentum

Valkey, the value-key database pitched as an open source alternative to Redis, has acquired new backers and announced its first release candidate.

Backed by the Linux Foundation and cloud vendors AWS, Google Cloud, and Oracle, Valkey was started up after Redis confirmed it was shifting its main key-value store system to a dual-license approach, imposing far more restrictive terms than those of the previous Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) 3-clause license.

Less than two weeks later, the Linux Foundation has announced the Valkey 7.2.5-rc1 release candidate, based on Redis OSS 7.2.4. It regains the protocol, API, return values, and data file formats with the last open source release of Redis, the developers claim.

Sad penguin photo via Shutterstock

Redis tightens its license terms, pleasing basically no one


The project has also named a raft of companies now supporting the project. They include Chinese firms Alibaba Cloud and Huawei, along with European open source database-as-a-service provider Aiven, open source security firm Chainguard, cloud-platform-as-a-service company Heroku, database and open source advisory biz Percona, and telecoms provider Verizon. AWS, Google Cloud, Oracle, Ericsson, and Snap Inc had already signed up to the project.

In a prepared statement, Zhao Zhao, former Redis core team member, co-maintainter of Valkey and Alibaba Cloud software engineer said: "At the Linux Foundation, Valkey will follow an open governance model, remaining community-driven and welcoming of all users and contributors. The project has already assembled a technical leadership committee of several former Redis contributors, and hundreds more community members have voiced their intent to support Valkey."

Gail Frederick, CTO at Salesforce cloud platform unit Heroku, commented: "With this group of experienced contributors and broad industry backing, Valkey is continuing the open source model that's been transformative for developers everywhere."

In March, Redis switched to a more restrictive dual license approach. It said it was adopting the Server Side Public License, which has also been adopted by MongoDB and Elastic Search.

The change is set to take effect from Redis version 7.4. It's probable multiple Linux distributors will drop Redis from their codebases. Discussions are already taking place about this on the openSUSE and Fedora mailing lists.

Redis, which has become the most used database on AWS owing to its popularity as a cache, has for some time been trying to be seen as a more general purpose database.

In March, it announced the purchase of Speedb, a data storage engine, in a move designed to help the company expand beyond DRAM, which it uses to store data "as long as it fits in the available memory." ®

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