Linux Foundation unveils Redis alternative, 'Valkey', with backing from AWS, Google Cloud, and Oracle

Concept image of a female software developer sitting at computer station using open source Redis alternative, Valkey
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A host of cloud industry players have pledged their support for an open source Redis alternative since the company’s shift to a ‘source-available’ license setup last month. 

Redis shocked the open source community in late March after its decision to switch to a dual-license approach that will see the firm adopt a more restrictive software distribution model.

Under the proposals, Redis releases will be made available under RSALv2 (Redis Source Available License) and SSPLv1 (Server Side Public License) licenses moving forward.

This shift to a ‘source available’ approach marked a departure from the company’s traditional setup, which allowed developers to freely use source code for commercial purposes.

The move by Redis sparked criticism from open source developers and prompted calls for a new open source ‘fork’ - or alternative - to be made available as soon as possible.

Last week, the Linux Foundation stepped up to the plate on this front, announcing its intent to launch ‘Valkey’, an open source alternative to Redis’ in-memory data store.

The Linux Foundation said the decision to create an open source alternative was due to the widespread popularity and use of Redis since its creation in 2009.

Developers have used Redis’ in-memory data store capabilities for caching, data analysis, and as a higher throughput data store alternative to backend databases for more than a decade, the foundation said.

“Developers ranked Redis the sixth most used database in the 2023 Stack Overflow developer survey, and it was among the top three most admired,” according to a statement from the foundation..

“To continue improving on this important technology and allow for unfettered distribution of the project, the community created Valkey, an open source high performance key-value store.”

Valkey will support the Linux, macOS, OpenBSD, NetBSD, and FreeBSF platforms, the organization said in a blog post.

“In addition, the community will continue working on its existing roadmap including new features such as a more reliable slot migration, dramatic scalability and stability improvements to the clustering system, multi-threaded performance improvements, triggers, new commands, vector search support, and more.”

Cloud giants welcome the open source Redis alternative

Several major industry stakeholders have welcomed the move by the Linux Foundation, including AWS, Google Cloud, Oracle, Ericsson, and Snap Inc. 

All have confirmed their support for Valkey and aim to make contributions that “support the long-term health and viability” of the project, according to the foundation.

Madelyn Olson, former Redis maintainer, co-creator of Valkey and a principal engineer at AWS, said the creation of Valkey will enable contributors to “pick up where they left off and continue to contribute to a vibrant open source community”.

Moving forward, Valkey will follow an open governance model, creators said, and a technical leadership committee has been established to oversee the development of the Redis alternative.


Chris Aniszczyk, CTO at the Linux Foundation and Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), said keeping Valkey in the hands of the community will prevent any snap changes to licensing and potential future disruption.

“Valkey is a fully open source successor built by long standing Redis contributors and maintainers. Fostering open collaboration that benefits all and not just a single organization is critical in building long term, sustainable open source communities,” he said.

“Also, having this project in the hands of a foundation, rather than a single company, means Valkey will be community-driven without surprise license changes that break trust and disrupt a level open source playing field.”

Aniszczyk initially cautioned restraint from the community in the wake of the Redis announcement last month. Speaking to ITPro on the situation from KubeCon 2024 in Paris, he said while the move was disappointing, an alternative would inevitably become available.

The Redis move marked the latest pivot to more restrictive licensing schemes in the open source space. In mid-2023, HashiCorp revealed plans to change its source code license to BSL (Business Source License), which prohibits commercial use.

MongoDB previously made its own changes, which prompted a similar backlash to that witnessed during the HashiCorp switch.

Ross Kelly
News and Analysis Editor

Ross Kelly is ITPro's News & Analysis Editor, responsible for leading the brand's news output and in-depth reporting on the latest stories from across the business technology landscape. Ross was previously a Staff Writer, during which time he developed a keen interest in cyber security, business leadership, and emerging technologies.

He graduated from Edinburgh Napier University in 2016 with a BA (Hons) in Journalism, and joined ITPro in 2022 after four years working in technology conference research.

For news pitches, you can contact Ross at, or on Twitter and LinkedIn.