Running Redis in a Master-Slave Replication Setup

This post explains how to setup Redis distributed cache in a simple master-slave configuration, where replication is automatically is taken care of by Redis.

Key Takeaway:

Redis has the facility to setup replication with the help of master-slave configurations. A master can have multiple slaves and a slave can further have slaves. In this article we will focus on a simple setup having a single master and two slaves and will discuss a general usage pattern which would allow for a robust setup.

Read on:

Redis allows for configuration in two flavors:

1. With the help of a configuration file,

2. At runtime through commands.

In this article we will setup both the master and slaves with the help of configuration files, as that is something more understandable and how instances are configured in a production environment.

Download the Redis for Windows from MSOpenTech’s GitHub Release page for 64 bit architecture, or if you are having a 32 bit computer, please refer to my previous article on how to compile Redis for a 32 bit Windows environment. Put the folder having all the files needed to run Redis in C drive.

Next we are going to discuss some of the settings required to be implemented in the configuration files, one for each instance of Redis. The general architecture that I am trying to produce here looks something like the following:

Master-Slave-Client Diagram






























Figure 1 Redis replication basic architecture

Explanation of the architecture:

In Redis, master instance allows for both reads and writes, and in addition to that allows for disk persistence. Slaves, by default, are read only and allow for disk persistence. Over here, since this is just an introductory article, we are going to learn how to setup the simplest master-slave configuration. A more prudent setup would allow master to engage only with memory writes, and offload disk persistence to one of the slaves, and one or more slaves will dedicatedly handle the read queries. But we will discuss this in some later article.

In order to implement the aforementioned architecture we need to create three configuration files, one for master and one for each of the two slaves.

1. Nomenclature of configuration file:

It is important to name a Redis configuration file in such a way that the purpose and some vital information contained can be gleaned off from the name itself.

We will follow the pattern: redis.hosting environment.type of instance.purpose of instance.port number.conf

So a configuration meant for a master instance would bear the name like redis.windows.master.writes.5555.conf.

2. Creation of configuration files:

Redis master: Copy the configuration file that comes pre-packaged with Redis and rename it to redis.windows.master.writes.5555.conf, where 5555 is the port that will be dedicated to master instance. You can name it differently according to the port availability on your machine. Open the configuration in a text editor and change the default port from 6379 to the one that is available in your machine.

00 Master Configuration

Figure 2 Configure master instance to run on port 5555

Redis slave 1: Make a copy of the master’s configuration file and name it like redis.windows.slaveof5555.reads.5556.conf. Change the port in the file to 5556 or something that is available on your machine. Now search for the “Replication” section and un-comment the setting of “slaveof” and provide the IP address on which the master instance will be hosted and the port number. Since we will be just running all the three instances locally, the IP address should be 127.0.0.1 and the port number used in the master’s configuration file. The slave instance that we will run will take it’s configuration from this file.

00 Slave Configuration

Figure 3 Configure slave instance to receive synchronization from master

Redis slave 2: Repeat the aforementioned steps, with the exception of changing the port number to 5557 or something that is available on your machine and accordingly use the same port in the name of the file. I have named mine to redis.windows.slaveof5555.reads.5557.conf.

3. Running instances

Redis master: Open a command prompt and navigate to the folder where you are having Redis executable files and execute redis-server.exe in conjunction with the name of the configuration where fro it is supposed to pick it’s configuration from.

01 Redis Master

Figure 4 Master instance receives requests for data sync from slaves

Redis slave 1: Open another command prompt and again run the redis-server.exe file, this time specifying the slave configuration file. This will enable running a slave instance connected to the master. As soon as the slave instance will come up, the master will receive a request from slave for synchronization of data. This is shown in the screenshot.

02 Slave 1

Figure 5 Slave 1 receives and syncs data with master

Redis slave 2: Repeat the aforementioned step for slave 1, but with the other configuration file meant for slave 2.

03 Slave 2

Figure 6 Slave 2

Now run another command prompt and run redis-cli.exe and connect to the master instance. Insert some keys in the master and query them, just to make sure, they have gotten stored. Now disconnect from the master instance and connect to the first slave hosted on port 5556 (or where you hosted it.) and query for the same keys, that you inserted in the master. You will find them. Similarly you will find the same information synchronized in slave 2.

04 Redis Client

Figure 7 Redis client shows that master and slaves are at parity

Conclusion:

Running replication in Redis is very simple and minimal configuration. The pattern shown here, is elementary, just to give an idea about Redis replication. There are more robust architectures that should be used in production settings.

DALHelper – A convenient way to connect to SQL Server in .net applications.

DALHelper is an elegant and easy way to connect to SQL Server databases and only write minimum possible pertinent code.

Visit DALHelper.Codeplex.com for source code, ready to use assembly and related documentation.

Brief description

The DALHelper is a project that was born out of my needs to connect to SQL Server database for my projects. I generally work on projects and design them using domain model and to keep them flexible, understandable and fast, I prefer to connect to the database using ADO.NET. Writing ADO.NET commands to connect to database can become monotonous and repetitive. Using Microsoft's Enterprise Library's Data Access Application Block is one solution, but I generally find it requiring a bit more effort than should be invested. Of course it gives you the freedom to change your supporting back end database. Generally back end databases in applications do not change, especially in enterprise environments and small applications for which the express version of SQL Server can be sufficient, and if you work with such applications then, I believe DALHelper can make your life a bit easier.

NOTE: This library cannot be used with any other database other than SQL Server, as it is built upon SQL Server specific ADO.NET commands.

The library contains various helper methods that can simplify the task of doing CRUD (Create, Read, Update and Delete) on a SQL Server database in a .NET application. The library can be used with any .NET compliant language, is open sourced and will remain that way.

DALHelper touches upon the following technologies:
1. Visual C# 4.0
2. .NET Framework 4.0
3. ADO.NET technology, part of .NET framework, used to connect to databases.
4. Code Contracts, Microsoft’s implementation of Design by Contact paradigm.

The DALHelper library has been designed to be provided with the connection string to the database once via property injection and then perform various operations as desired by the user with the help of the methods provided in the library. Some of the best practices that have been followed while the methods were designed are the following:

1. The methods follow a pattern in their signature and are easy to use.

2. The methods provided in the library are overloaded, thus providing you just the signature that you need in order to accomplish what you desire, without cluttering up your code.

3. The names of the methods are very much self-explanatory in context what they service they are supposed to provide.

The variety of methods available should fit majority of the requirements found in any small to medium scale enterprise application. Every method available in the library allows you to execute a SQL query or a stored procedure.


Every method available in the library has two overloads:

1. Without parameters, and

2. With parameters

Every method available in the library has the signature of the format:

1. SQL text: Is the SQL query or stored procedure that needs to be executed.

2. SQLTextType: An enum which signifies whether the SQL text parameter is a SQL query or a stored procedure. By default, the choice is that of a stored procedure.

3. List<SqlParameter>: An optional generic list of SQL parameters type that might be required by the SQL query or stored procedure. The parameters can be of both input and output type.

Brief description of methods available in the library:

1. ExecSQL


The ExecSQL method can be used to execute a SQL statement or a stored procedure without returning any value. Available in two overloads:
public void ExecSQL(string sqlText, SQLTextType sqlTextType = SQLTextType.Stored_Proc)
public void ExecSQL(string sqlText, SQLTextType sqlTextType = SQLTextType.Stored_Proc, List<SqlParameter> parameterCollection = null)

 

2. GetRowsAffected

 

The GetRowsAffected method can be used to execute a SQL query or a stored procedure and return the total number of rows affected by execution. Available in two overloads:
public int GetRowsAffected(string sqlText, SQLTextType sqlTextType = SQLTextType.Stored_Proc)
public int GetRowsAffected(string sqlText, SQLTextType sqlTextType = SQLTextType.Stored_Proc, List<SqlParameter> parameterCollection = null)

 

3. GetDataTable

 

The GetDataTable method can used to execute a SQL query or a stored procedure and return the result set in a data table. Available in two overloads:
public DataTable GetDataTable(string sqlText, SQLTextType sqlTextType = SQLTextType.Stored_Proc)
public DataTable GetDataTable(string sqlText, SQLTextType sqlTextType = SQLTextType.Stored_Proc, List<SqlParameter> parameterCollection = null)

 

4. GetDataView


The GetDataView method can be used to execute a SQL query or a stored procedure and return the result set as a data view. Available in two overloads:
public DataView GetDataView(string sqlText, SQLTextType sqlTextType = SQLTextType.Stored_Proc)
public DataView GetDataView(string sqlText, SQLTextType sqlTextType = SQLTextType.Stored_Proc, List<SqlParameter> parameterCollection = null)

 

5. GetDataSet


The GetDataSet method can be used to execute a SQL query or a stored procedure and return the result set(s) in a dataset. Available in two overloads:
public DataSet GetDataSet(string sqlText, SQLTextType sqlTextType = SQLTextType.Stored_Proc)
public DataSet GetDataSet(string sqlText, SQLTextType sqlTextType = SQLTextType.Stored_Proc, List<SqlParameter> parameterCollection = null)

DALHelper is an excellent way to implement repository architecture style and simple CRUD implementations.

Future Roadmap

In future I plan, to extend this library into a framework, supporting various data sources such as XML, Excel, CSV files etc.

Helpful Links

Some of the links that might be helpful in understanding the programming concepts and technologies that have gone in making of this library:
Visual C#:

1. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/hh341490.aspx

.NET Framework:

1. http://www.microsoft.com/net

2. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/vstudio/aa496123

ADO.NET:

1. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/e80y5yhx.aspx

Code Contracts:

1. http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/contracts

2. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/devlabs/dd491992.aspx

Dependency Injection:

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dependency_injection

2. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/cc163739.aspx

Month List

ParakhSinghal@Twitter.com

Note: For Customization and Configuration, CheckOut Recent Tweets Documentation