As microservices architecture gains more popularity, managing individual components becomes more challenging, particularly when it comes to resource constraints like memory utilization. One of the most commonly used caching databases, Redis, can quickly consume a lot of memory if not managed properly. This article aims to guide you through setting up a Redis memory limit using a Docker Compose file.
Without setting memory limits, Redis will consume as much memory as it can, potentially leading to system-level issues such as running out of memory. This could trigger the infamous Linux OOM (Out of Memory) Killer, affecting other services running on the same host.
The lack of memory restrictions may result in resource contention, leading to degraded performance across all services utilizing that system’s resources.
Setting a limit could cause Redis to evict data to stay within the set memory size. Depending on your eviction policy, this can cause unexpected application behavior or performance hits.
Another risk is memory fragmentation, which may require the Redis instance to use more memory than what you’ve set as the limit, affecting its operational capabilities.
Here’s the original
networks: web: external: true volumes: redis-data: services: redis: image: redis:latest restart: always expose: - 6379 command: ["redis-server", "--appendonly", "no"] hostname: redis networks: - web volumes: - redis-data:/data
You can easily set Redis memory limits by appending
--maxmemory-policy to the
command field in the
Here’s the fully updated
networks: web: external: true volumes: redis-data: services: redis: image: redis:latest restart: always expose: - 6379 command: ["redis-server", "--appendonly", "no", "--maxmemory", "500mb", "--maxmemory-policy", "allkeys-lru"] hostname: redis networks: - web volumes: - redis-data:/data
To ensure that the settings are applied correctly, exec into the Redis Docker container:
docker exec -it <container_id_or_name> sh
Then, access the Redis CLI:
Finally, execute the following command:
CONFIG GET maxmemory
If the settings have been applied correctly, you will see the memory limit, represented in bytes (e.g.,
524288000 for 500MB).
--maxmemoryLimit? RAM or Disk Space?
A common query that arises is whether the
--maxmemory option controls the computer’s RAM or the amount of disk space Redis can write to. The
--maxmemory configuration specifically targets Redis’s in-memory data store, meaning it controls the RAM usage, not the disk space.
RAM: Redis keeps its dataset in RAM. When you set a
--maxmemory limit, you’re limiting how much RAM Redis can use to store its dataset. When this limit is reached, the eviction policy (
--maxmemory-policy) kicks in to remove some keys and make space for new ones.
Disk Space: The disk space is used when Redis persistence features like RDB snapshots or AOF log files are enabled. In your Docker Compose configuration, you’ve set
--appendonly no, which means you’re not using AOF persistence. Therefore, disk space isn’t a primary concern in this setup.
Setting a memory limit helps manage RAM utilization, ensuring Redis doesn’t consume all available memory, which could lead to system instability or crashes. However, this doesn’t impact how much disk space Redis can use for persistence. Disk space would be a separate constraint you’d have to manage, usually at the Docker volume or filesystem level.
Managing memory in Redis, particularly when running in a containerized environment, is essential for system health and service reliability. While setting a memory limit introduces its own risks, like data eviction and fragmentation, the consequences of not setting any limits are often more severe, such as system crashes and service interruptions. Therefore, it’s crucial to find a balance based on your application’s needs.