James Morris - JMOZ

Webmaster in '97.

Improve Redis Performance With Pipelining

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I have been playing with Python and Redis recently, specifically redis-py which is available on github and can be easily installed with pip install redis.

With NoSQL (Redis) a common usage pattern is to save items, such as users or tweet type things as hashes, indexed in a set or list, then retrieve them by key individually but in a large looped batch. In SQL this is analogous to querying a table by id in a loop rather than one select statement with a WHERE clause. If you did this in SQL other developers would probably talk about how much of a noob you were over Skype; in Redis it’s ok because Redis is web-scale and optimised for this kinda stuff.

I’ve been wondering about the performance of Redis and redis-py’s pipelining feature which “can be used to dramatically increase the performance of groups of commands by reducing the number of back-and-forth TCP packets between the client and server”.

I created a script that simulates some typical Redis processing with and without pipelining and timed it using Python’s timeit.


To test the performance of the Redis pipeline feature the following actions are executed non-pipelined and then pipelined.

  • Create 10000 user keys in a list.
  • Update 10000 user hashes with id, name and email fields.
  • Retrieve 10000 user hashes into a Python list.
  • Delete the user list and 10000 user hashes.

Each test is timed and executed one time but repeated 7 times then the minimum timing is reported. For some of the tests there is some setup code that is executed by timeit. I also throw in a timing on the cleanup() delete.

The pipe() function I have written decorates the test functions with the pipelining functionality by replacing the Redis r instance inside the test function with an instance of the pipeline then executing it.

The script

The results

(venv)james on moz-air in ~/code/jmoz.co.uk-flask (develop)
 $ py redis-pipe-test.py 
* working with 10000 items
* repeating timeit() 7 times with 1 iteration each time






You can see clearly that pipelining improves the performance of multiple calls to Redis - it’s roughly about 5 times faster when using pipeline() so start using it!