Redis in Action Paperback – 28 Jun 2013
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About the Author
Dr. Josiah L Carlson is well known as an active and helpful contributor on the Redis mailing list. He has given talks about real-world uses of Redis, including building a self-service ad network, prioritizing task queues, web spiders, a Twitter analytics platform, real-time search engines, and more.
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Top customer reviews
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Now that that's out of the way, I've been a pretty heavy user of Redis for the last few years as part of my job, and have been programming with Python over a half-dozen years. Given my experience, most of chapters 1-4 were too basic for me, but at least the book got me used to the way Josiah writes.
There were a few interesting topics in chapters 5 and 6, but I really think the author hits his stride in chapter 7 with searching. He pulls together a few different topics from earlier in the book to basically build an ad server with Redis. He leaves the reader with a full page listing of how to make the ad server better, which at least got me thinking, even though I hate ads.
I wasn't interested in chapter 8's social network buildout, and the section on the streaming API probably shouldn't have even been there (it's more Python than Redis). But in chapter 9 he brings it all back together and shows how you can cut memory use in about half of the situations that I've at least come across. Then in chapter 10 he continues on the scaling side of things, again bringing up older examples.
We finally get a taste of Lua scripting in chapter 11, where Josiah revisits even more previous problems. I really think that chapter 11 should have been longer, because there are a lot more interesting problems out there that Lua solves. And I wasn't interested in the sharded lists, but I guess it completes the reduced-memory sharding of structures he started in chapter 9.
If I were a new Redis user, I would give this book a 5. There is gradual buildup through the first few chapters in preparation for the more intermediate and advanced topics later on. Some of the earlier problems are a bit contrived, but it will get a new Redis user asking the right questions. If you aren't a Python user, some of the code might be a bit tough to work through, but it's a lot easier (and shorter) than if the book was in Java.
As a more advanced user of Redis, I wanted more of the advanced topics, but Josiah covered enough interesting problems to make it a worthwhile read. I'd consider this a solid 4, maybe 4.5 for a more advanced user, but I'm going to give it a 5 just because it is so much better than anything else out there for documenting best practices with Redis and covering topics that you just can't find anywhere else.
To really utilise redis some creative thinking is needed and this is where Redis in Action comes in.
A well structured, well written book that covers pretty much every use case of redis in plenty of detail. It's nice to see a book not shy away from tackling the more challenging use cases for redis.
The first 6 chapters are what I would consider foundation topics - whilst still very useful (like caching, logging & distributed locking) chapter 7 is where it starts to get interesting. As an aside chapter 4 is very useful and deals with configuring and working with redis to minimise the chance of data loss. It felt a bit odd that it was in the first part of the book, generally chapters focusing on configuration go towards the end of a book - not that it matters, just seemed odd!
Chapter 7 onwards start to deal with interesting challenges in real world applications. By building out an Ad Server and social network the author tackles issues such as how to model none trivial data and relationships, index data and search/sort/filter.
Chapters 9 & 10 deal with performance tuning and scaling redis. Some of the tips in here are worth the cost of the book alone if you're planning on using redis at scale.
Chapter 11 covers how lua can be used to optimise performance. By reworking some of the earlier examples the author achieves a 20x performance improvement against the original autocomplete implementation. On future projects I'll be looking at using lua to speed things up.
In summary this is a significant book that's well worth the price. Recommended.
The code samples in the book are in python but java (and work in progress node) versions are available here: [...]
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