April 23, 2014
Traditional database architectures were the default option for many pre-Internet use cases and architectures, such as MySQL, remain common today. However, these traditional solutions have limits that quickly become apparent as companies (and data) grow. Modern companies have changing priorities: downtime (planned or unplanned) is never acceptable; customers require a fast and unified experience; and data of all types is growing at unimaginable rates. Solutions such as Riak are designed to handle these shifting priorities.
Top Reasons to Move to Riak
- Zero Downtime: Distributed NoSQL solutions like Riak are designed for always-on availability. This means data is always read/write accessible and the system never goes down. Downtime, planned or unplanned, can make or break a customer experience.
- Ease-of-Scale: Traffic can be unpredictable. Businesses need to scale up quickly to handle peak loads during holidays or major releases, but then need to scale back down to save money. Riak makes it easy to add and remove any number of nodes as needed and automatically redistributes data across the cluster. Scaling up or down never needs to be a burden again.
- Flexible Data Model: From user generated data to machine-to-machine (M2M) activity, unstructured data is now commonplace. Riak can store any type of data easily with its simple key/value architecture.
- Global Data Locality: Every company is a global company and needs to provide consistent, low-latency experiences to everyone, regardless of physical location. Riak’s multi-datacenter replication makes it easy to set up datacenters wherever users are, for both geo-data locality and maintaining active backups.
Users That Switched to Riak
Many top companies have already moved from relational architectures to Riak. Here’s a look at a few that have made the switch.
Bump (acquired by Google)
Bump, acquired by Google in 2013, allows users to share contact information and photos by bumping two phones together. Bump uses Riak to store almost all of its user data: contacts, communications sent and received, handset information, social network OAuth tokens, etc. Bump moved from MySQL to Riak due to its operational qualities: “No longer will we have to do any master/slave song and dance, nor will we fret about performance, capacity, or scalability; if we need more, we’ll just add nodes to the cluster.” Learn more about their move in their case study.
Alert Logic helps companies defend against security threats and address compliance mandates, such as PCI and HIPAA. Alert Logic switched from MySQl to Riak to collect and process machine data and to perform real-time analytics, detect anomalies, ensure compliance, and proactively respond to threats. Alert Logic processes nearly 5TB/day in Riak and has achieved performance results of up to 35k operations/second. Learn more about how Alert Logic improved performance through Riak in our blog post.
The Weather Company
The Weather Company provides millions of people every day with the world’s best weather forecasts, content and data, connecting with them through television, online, mobile and tablet screens. Riak is central to The Weather Company’s weather data services platform that delivers real-time weather services to aerospace, insurance, energy, retail, media, government, and hospitality industries. Check out our blog to see why The Weather Company selected Riak over MySQL to support their massive big data needs.
Dell uses Riak as the core distributed database technology underlying its customer cloud management solutions. Riak is used to collect and manage data associated with customer application provisioning and scaling, application configuration management, usage governance, and cloud utilization monitoring. In 2012, Enstratius (acquired by Dell) switched to Riak from MySQL in order to provide cross-datacenter redundancy, high write availability, and fault tolerance. Check out the full Enstratius case study.
Data Modeling in Riak
Riak has a “schemaless” design. Objects are comprised of key/value pairs, which are stored in flat namespaces called buckets. Below is a chart with some simple approaches to building common application types with a key/value model.
|Session||User/Session ID||Session Data|
|Advertising||Campaign ID||Ad Content|
|Sensor||Date, Date/Time||Sensor Updates|
|User Data||Login, eMail, UUID||User Attributes|
|Content||Title, Integer||Text, JSON/XML/HTML Document, Images, etc.|
January 24, 2013
Alert Logic, the industry-leading Security-as-a-Service provider and protector of customer infrastructure and data, uses Riak to help manage their massive amount of data collection needs and to support their rapid business growth.
Recently named a Leader in Emerging Managed Security Services by Forrester Research, Alert Logic helps companies defend against security threats and address compliance mandates, such as PCI and HIPAA. Alert Logic’s Security solutions include intrusion detection, web application security, log management and vulnerability assessment, coupled with 24×7 monitoring and expert guidance services. Alert Logic is used by dozens of the world’s largest hosting service providers.
With the help of Riak, Alert Logic collects and processes machine data and uses this information to perform real-time analytics, detect anomalies, ensure compliance and proactively respond to threats. Alert Logic introduced Riak in 2012 to support the development of a new analytics infrastructure, and ultimately replace an existing MySQL system that could not support the anticipated increase in workload.
The new analytics infrastructure performs statistical and correlation processing on all data collected from Alert Logic’s products – including log messages, network intrusion detection events, and NetFlow data – processing approximately 5 TB/day. All of this data is processed in real-time as it streams in from over 2,000 customers, 5,000 appliances, and hundreds of thousands of data sources on customer networks. The data grows more than 50% a year, outpacing revenue growth of 40%.
Today, Alert Logic’s analytics infrastructure, powered by Riak, achieves performance results of up to 35,000 operations/second across each node in the cluster – performance that eclipses the existing MySQL deployment by a large margin on single node performance. In real business terms, the initial deployment of the combination of Riak and the analytic infrastructure has allowed Alert Logic to process in real-time 7,500 reports, which previously took 12 hours of dedicated processing every night. In addition, Alert Logic’s expert security analysts’ benefited as well, by gaining increased functionality and efficiency.
Alert Logic uses Riak Enterprise advanced replication technology to deploy clusters that can handle different priority workloads. This frees up Alert Logic’s primary cluster to ensure it is always available to receive and write customer-specific analytic data, even during times requiring extreme scale. Other Riak clusters will provide data mining and reporting that are critical to Alert Logic’s solutions.
“Alert Logic depends on the reliable processing of massive amounts of machine data and turning that into actionable information,” said Paul Fisher, Director of Platform Services, at Alert Logic. “Our security operations center depends on this information for analysis to detect and respond to real-time security incidents that occur on our customers networks. We selected Riak for scalability and fault-tolerance, and it continues to be a vital component helping ensure that the Alert Logic Platform can scale to keep up with our rapid growth.”
Alert Logic plans to accelerate development of its real-time analytical capabilities in 2013, and expand the presence of Riak as a foundational technology throughout Alert Logic’s solutions. On deck next is the replacement of the largest existing MySQL workload at Alert Logic, which today sustains 9,000 queries per second, and peaks at over 20,000.
Basho plans to announce the inaugural Houston Riak meet-up featuring the Platform Services team at Alert Logic shortly. Stay tuned.