If you are serious in running Redis, you will want to run it under HA mode (High Availability). So far for learning purpose you can run a single instance of redis under your docker environment quite easily, but what if you need to run it in production? This is where Redis Sentinel comes in to play, let’s see what the official document of Redis Sentinel have to say.

Redis Sentinel
Redis Sentinel provides high availability for Redis. In practical terms this means that using Sentinel you can create a Redis deployment that resists without human intervention to certain kind of failures.

The main thing that Redis Sentinel provides is when there is a failure on master node, it will automatically choose a salve and promote it to a master. How does it do that, it basically periodically check the health and live of a Redis instance, it will also notify clients and slaves about the new master. The protocol used is gossip protocol with leader election algorithms. Sentinel also acts as a central source of authority for client discovery, clients are connected to Sentinel for the address of the master node.

Things that Sentinel doesn’t do are mainly:

  1. Manage client connections
  2. Store configurations changes to disk

Usually you would want to run your Sentinel on different servers than your Redis Server, for the very simple fact that you don’t want your monitoring software on the same server right? Can you imagine a sql server with sql monitoring on the same machine to tell you if its alive? What if the sql server machine goes down, then both goes down? One can potentially run Sentinel on client nodes and its best to not to run it on master nodes.

Here is a typical way of setting up Sentinel.



Unfortunately Redis StackExchange does not support Sentinel there are pull request that have the functionality (https://github.com/StackExchange/StackExchange.Redis/pull/692) but have not been merged into Redis StackExchange yet as we speak.

What are the alternative? You can roll your own RedisClient and have Sentinel support or manage it yourself in your code, or use Service Stack is another option.
If you are interested in rolling your own you may want to go through this code by PaulB from Stack Overflow provided

The concepts remain the same as in ask sentinel for who the master is and then do the connection.

Note: The code is not mine its from the link above.

In the next post we will go through redis cluster, I wanted to talk about sentinel first such that readers tend to mix them up and by first explaining sentinel we can talk about clusters which are different concepts.