Valkey gains momentum with broadening band of backers

AlmaLinux and Broadcom added to list of partners for open source Redis fork

Momentum is building behind open source Redis alternative Valkey with confirmation of new backers including Broadcom, the AlmaLinux OS Foundation, and Instaclustr by NetApp.

Valkey appeared after Redis revealed that it would be moving its in-memory database to a dual-license approach consisting of the Server Side Public License (SSPLv1) and the Redis Source Available License (RSALv2).

Shortly after the Redis announcement, Valkey produced its first release candidate with backers including AWS, Google Cloud, and Oracle.

The inclusion of AlmaLinux in the most recent announcement is unsurprising considering that many Linux distributions regard the new restrictions as incompatible with their open source models.

Benny Vasquez, chair of the AlmaLinux OS Foundation, said: "AlmaLinux OS is excited to collaborate with the incredible folks working on Valkey. This critical open source project is proving its commitment to the open source ecosystem, and is enabling users to leverage a high-performance, scalable alternative to the closed source versions.

"This partnership underscores our dedication to supporting the open source community as it builds cutting-edge technologies, and fostering an environment of innovation."

The Valkey project said: "Communities are further driving the project's momentum by packaging Valkey in major Linux distributions including AlmaLinux, Fedora, and Alpine, as well as distros that support Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL).

"Distributions are making Valkey widely available while others, like Fedora 41 and Alpine, are actively taking steps to migrate users to Valkey."

The Redis changes reflect a growing desire by companies to find a way of making open source pay, yet it is difficult to see these updates as anything other than one of the greatest foot-shooting incidents in recent tech history as Valkey, a Redis fork, continues to notch up backers.

Percona has already thrown its hat into the ring. In April, the company's CEO, Ann Schlemmer, noted the demand from the community for a fully open source project in light of the license changes.

As well as promising commercial support for Valkey deployments, Schlemmer said: "We understand the need for profitability and revenue around open source projects to fairly compensate maintainers and contributors for their efforts. Over the past 17 years we have been working in this model, proving its viability without bait-and-switch licensing changes."

Vadim Tkachenko, Technology Fellow, Percona, told The Register that having many contributors is a community-driven project "brings in different ideas and skills, diverse perspectives, encourages innovation, and ensures resilience.

"This variety helps make the project better and more creative. When more people are involved, it also means more support and shared responsibility, making the project stronger and more likely to succeed in the long run.

"The current list of contributors includes cloud providers, hardware vendors, service providers, and OS distributions, ensuring that Valkey will function and receive support across a variety of environments.

"In the future of Valkey, I foresee the inclusion of vector search support, enhanced multi-threaded performance, and improved clustering configurations," Tkachenko added.

According to the project, a release of Valkey is expected in summer and will feature changes including better IO performance, cluster stability and reliability improvements, and dual-channel replication. ®

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