Build Your Own Redis: Introduction [0/4]

This is the introductory article in a series where we’ll build a toy Redis clone in Ruby. If you’d like to code-along, try the Build your own Redis challenge!

Next article: Barebones TCP Server

Sections in this article:

Introduction to Redis

Redis is a data store that supports supports multiple data-structures such as strings, hashes, lists, sets and more.

Redis clients talk to Redis by issuing commands over TCP, using the Redis Protocol.

Here’s an example of the redis client talking to a redis server.

➜  redis-cli> PING
PONG> SET a hey

What we’ll build

In this course, we’ll build a toy redis clone that’s capable of handling basic commands like PING, SET and GET. Along the way we’ll learn about event loops (how Redis serves multiple clients using a single thread), the Redis protocol and more.

Since our implementation will speak the Redis Protocol, we’ll even be able to interact with it using redis-cli.

[1] Barebones TCP Server

We’ll spawn a TCP server that binds to a port and accepts connections from clients.

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[2] PING <-> PONG

We’ll respond to the PING command. The reply to this command will be sent using the Redis Protocol.

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[3] Concurrent Clients

We’ll make our server more capable when it comes to handling multiple clients at the same time. We’ll do this using an event loop, like the official Redis implementation does.

This is probably the most challenging part of this entire series.

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[4] ECHO

We’ll respond to the ECHO command. In this stage, we’ll learn to parse RESP (the Redis Protocol).

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[5] SET & GET

We’ll implement SET and GET. Our server will now be capable of handling state.

This article is still in progress.

Ready for the first lesson?