"After all, the engineers only needed to refuse to fix anything, and modern industry would grind to a halt." -Michael Lewis

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Breaking down Lettuce MSET Commands in Clustered Redis

Apr 2021

To follow along with this post, it would be best if you have already set up your local redis cluster and know how to connect to a redis cluster and interact with it via Lettuce. And the source code for what follows can be found on Github.

If you are interacting with clustered redis, and you issue an MSET or MGET command directly against a node without a hash tag, you are very likely going to get rejected from the redis node that you're interacting with unless you get lucky and the hash slot that the keys go into just happen to all go into that single redis node. For example [assuming you have clustered redis running locally, and one port is 30001]:

$ redis-cli -p 30001 -c                                        > MSET "one" 1 "two" 2 "three" 3
(error) CROSSSLOT Keys in request don't hash to the same slot

To solve this problem when you're interacting using the cli, you typically have to provide a hash tag that prefixes your key. If these are all the same, then redis will use that in the hash slot calculation and put them all on one node:

$ redis-cli -p 30001 -c> mset {one}first 1 {one}second 2 {one}third 3
-> Redirected to slot [9084] located at
1) "{one}third"
2) "{one}second"
3) "{one}first"

If you're using lettuce, you might initially think that you have to do the same thing. However, that doesn't turn out to be the case--lettuce is smart enough to do the hash slot calculation for you before issuing the MSET commands. For example, building off of the configuration we used in our last article:

public class PostConstructExecutor {

    private static final Logger LOG = Loggers.getLogger(PostConstructExecutor.class);

    private final RedisClusterReactiveCommands<String, String> redisClusterReactiveCommands;

    public PostConstructExecutor(RedisClusterReactiveCommands<String, String> redisClusterReactiveCommands) {
        this.redisClusterReactiveCommands = redisClusterReactiveCommands;

    public void doStuffOnClusteredRedis() {

    private void showMsetAcrossCluster() {
        LOG.info("starting mset");

        Map<String, String> map = new HashMap<>();
        for (int i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
            map.put("key" + i, "value" + i);

        // can follow with MONITOR to see the MSETs for just that node written, under the hood lettuce breaks
        // up the map, gets the hash slot and sends it to that node for you.
        LOG.info("done with mset");

With this code, we don't see the same error message. We can further verify that the key/value pairs are actually getting set correctly with a tiny script:

$ for port in 30001 30002 30003; do redis-cli -p $port -c keys '*'; done
1) "key7"
2) "key3"
3) "key2"
4) "key6"
1) "key5"
2) "key1"
3) "key9"
1) "key4"
2) "key8"
3) "key0"

So what's happening? Well there are two pretty quick ways to try and find out. The first is to get on a node and run MONITOR:

✗ redis-cli -p 30001 -c> MONITOR

This will hold and send changes to the cluster until you send a SIGINT signal. If I fire up that java/lettuce code from above I see:

1618703092.639258 [0] "MSET" "key6" "value6"
1618703092.646877 [0] "MSET" "key7" "value7"
1618703092.666848 [0] "MSET" "key2" "value2"
1618703092.678183 [0] "MSET" "key3" "value3"

If you then set a debugger on the mset command above, you can see that lettuce is actually calculating the hash slot on your behalf [information it periodically collects from the cluster], and batches them against the appropriate node on your behalf using pipelining. Pretty cool stuff.

Nick Fisher is a software engineer in the Pacific Northwest. He focuses on building highly scalable and maintainable backend systems.