December 16, 2013

At Strange Loop 2013, Garrett Eardley (Software Engineer at Riot Games) presented “Tracking Millions of Ganks in Near Real Time.” His talk focused on the popular game, League of Legends, and the challenges that come with supporting millions of concurrent players at any given moment of the day. At this scale, tracking even simple gameplay statistics results in the creation of terabytes of data that must be aggregated and presented to players in near real-time. Garrett and his team found that scaling the system and developing additional features became difficult while using Riot’s initial technology choice for statistics, MySQL.

They found that they weren’t using many of the features available with MySQL and began to evaluate some NoSQL solutions. They looked at HBase, Cassandra, CouchDB, and Riak. With this new system, they wanted high availability over consistency, which narrowed the options down to Riak and Cassandra. Based on negative past experiences and a lack of conflict resolution control, the team ultimately decided on Riak over Cassandra.

Garrett’s talk explores how Riak is leveraged for their next generation stats system, discusses why they selected Riak, looks at how they structure their data and indexes, and shares strategies for working with eventually consistent data. The complete recording of Garrett’s talk is now available. You can check out the talk and his slides here.

For more information on how Riak is being used for gaming services and applications, download the Gaming on Riak whitepaper.