April 16, 2014
The world of gaming can be unpredictable. It can be hard to judge if a game is going to be the next Angry Birds and experience exponential, global growth. Riak is designed to help gaming platforms handle this uncertainty with ease. Its focus on high availability means that all data remains accessibility, even during node failure. Its flexible data model and redundant, fault-tolerant design easily allows gaming platforms to store any type of data needed. Riak is also built for operational simplicity at scale, so Riak will seamlessly grow with data and popularity. Finally, the option for multi-datacenter replication means that gamers all over the world will get the same low-latency experience across multiple devices.
Top Use Cases for Riak in Gaming
- Player Data: Riak provides low-latency, highly available data storage for key player data, including user and profile information, game performance, statistics and rankings, and more. Riak also provides many different tools for querying and indexing this data, such as Riak Search, Secondary Indexing, and MapReduce.
- Session Storage: Riak is frequently used to store and serve session data with predictable low-latency – necessary for game play. Riak imposes no restrictions on the type of content stored (since all objects are stored on disk as binaries), so session data can be encoded in many ways and can evolve without administrative changes to schemas.
- Social Information: Riak provides flexible, robust storage for social data such as social graph information, player profiles and relationships, and social authentication tokens.
- Global Data Locality: When gaming, players require a low-latency experience, regardless of where they’re physically located. Otherwise, interrupted or slow game play can lead to poor user experience and possible user abandonment. Riak Enterprise’s multi-datacenter capabilities allow game data to be physically close to players and serve them data no matter where they happen to be.
Riak in Production
Riak is already in production by many top gaming platforms. Here’s a look at a few that have switched to Riak.
Rovio is the creator of the popular mobile game, Angry Birds. Since user growth can be hard to predict, they needed an infrastructure that could support unexpected viral growth without failing or causing downtime. They selected Riak due to its ease-of-scale and fault tolerance. Riak now powers their new cartoon series, Angry Birds Toons, and new mobile games. Learn more about why they moved to Riak in this case study and video from GDC.
Hibernum is a creator and developer of unique gaming experiences that combine the latest in social gaming, top quality visuals and animations, and cutting edge design. They switched from a relational database to Riak due to the high availability, ability to scale to peak loads, and predictable operational cost. Riak is used to store user game information for one of their most popular social games. Check out the complete case study, Hibernum Selects Riak for User Data Storage.
Kiip is a platform for building rewards and achievements into your games. Kiip replaced MongoDB with Riak in order to achieve low read/write latencies and horizontal scalability. Kiip uses Riak for storing and serving session and device data. Learn more from the video on scaling Riak to 25MM Ops/Day.
Riot Games is the creator of League of Legends and faced some challenges with supporting millions of concurrent players at any given moment. They switched to Riak from MySQL for their next generation stats system, which tracks gameplay statistics and stores terabytes of data that gets aggregated and presented to players in near real-time. More information on how they use Riak and why they selected it can be found here.
Data Modeling in Riak
Riak has a “schemaless” design. Objects are comprised of key/value pairs, which are stored in flat namespaces called buckets. Here are some common approaches to structuring gaming data with Riak’s key/value design:
|Player Data||Login, Email, UUID||Player Attributes (often stored as a JSON document); Player Rewards and Stats|
|Social Data||Login, Email, UUID||Player Profiles, Social Graph Information, Facebook/Twitter Tokens|
|Session Information||User/Session ID||Session Data|
|Image or Video Content||Content Name, ID or Integer||.JPG .PNG, .GIF or other image format; .MOV, .MPG, .MP4 or other video file format|
To learn more about how gaming platforms can use Riak for their data needs, check out the complete overview, “Gaming on Riak: A Technical Introduction.” To get started with Riak, Contact Us or download it now.
Riak commended by Computer Weekly European User Awards for Storage
London, 25 October 2013 – The Computer Weekly European User Awards for Storage has announced Rovio as the winner of the Best Technology Innovation award for its work with Basho. The Angry Birds creator swooped the victory after deploying Basho’s open source distributed Riak database for massive scalability.
The judging panel for the Computer Weekly European User Awards for Storage included analysts from Forrester, IDC, Ovum and Quocirca and Basho’s winning entry was summarised by Henry Baltazar, Senior Analyst at Forrester. “Scalability and data distribution are key challenges in the application and storage works. Basho’s Riak distributed database deals with both challenges and has allowed companies such as Rovio to launch its mobile applications across the globe.”
With demand surging globally through the expansion of its mobile games series and the launch of new cartoon series, Angry Birds Toons, Rovio required new data infrastructure that would maintain high service levels in a cost effective and consistent manner. Rovio also needed its infrastructure to handle viral growth without failing and causing downtime. Flexibility was also key to allow Rovio to scale its IT both up and down to accommodate changing levels of demand in a cost effective way.
Basho’s distributed open source Riak database proved the perfect solution, offering a robust and scalable service that could deal with Rovio’s fluctuating demand. Consistent service without failure was guaranteed thanks to Riak replicating data across multiple nodes within the database; ensuring that if one server were to fail, another would seamlessly take up the load. Riak was also able to address Rovio’s demand to support multiple platform access to give gamers a consistent experience regardless of the device they use. Significantly, all of this was achieved without disrupting the existing architecture.
“We are delighted that our work with Basho has been awarded the Best Technology Innovation prize by Computer Weekly. The success of Angry Birds meant we were facing a massive increase in the amount of data we were dealing with and we had to find a way of managing the spikes in demand, caused by both the new releases and the continued growth of Angry Birds,” said Juhani Honkala, Vice President of Technology at Rovio. “Basho’s distributed data store, Riak, allows us to deliver the availability to our customers that they demand whilst maintaining a consistent standard of service that we can pride ourselves on.”
“Rovio is one of the most recognised gaming franchises in the world, so receiving this recognition award for Rovio’s deployment of Riak is a very good example of how crucial flexibility and scalability is to growing businesses today,” said Greg Collins, CEO of Basho. “The steps Rovio has taken to support exceptional customer service will continue to draw in fans and make its products stand out from the crowd, and we at Basho are delighted to be part of that.”
October 9, 2013
Each year, The Computer Weekly European User Awards for Storage recognizes innovations in data storage projects that improve efficiency and effectiveness. We are delighted to announce that Basho Technologies has been selected as the Best Technology Innovation for our work with Rovio.
With global demand growing rapidly, Rovio needed an infrastructure that would support viral growth as needed, with no failure or downtime, and provide a cost-effective way to handle low-latency service requirements. They selected Basho’s open source distributed database, Riak, to underpin Angry Birds Toons and other new mobile games.
With Riak, the Rovio IT team can easily scale from tens to hundreds of servers based on customer demand. This agility allows Rovio to economically and effectively manage its unpredictable data volumes. Rovio has also benefitted from Riak’s robust, low-latency features, which have served to ensure users receive the service levels they expect. Additionally, Riak is designed to handle hardware failure without losing critical data or suffering from downtime. Based on how it replicates data, nodes can fail and the system will remain available.
Basho and Rovio were assessed by a group of judges based on the level of innovation in technology, improvements in IT management, ability to reduce costs, improvements to business efficiency, and ability to deliver measurable business benefits. According to Awards judge, Henry Baltazar (Senior Analyst at Forrester Research), “Scalability and data distribution are key challenges in the application and storage works. Basho’s Riak distributed database deals with both challenges and has allowed companies such as Rovio to launch its mobile applications across the globe.”
For a full list of awards, check out the announcement on Computer Weekly.
September 10, 2013
Rovio, the creator of Angry Birds, has announced that they use Riak to manage their exponential data growth from their cartoon series, Angry Birds Toons, and their new mobile video games.
In March of 2013, Rovio’s games had been downloaded 1.7 billion times, with hundreds of millions of active users. Their upcoming mobile game and cartoon series were expected to draw in an even larger audience. However, since popularity can be hard to predict, Rovio needed an infrastructure that could support viral growth if needed, without failing and causing downtime. Similarly, if demand was lower than anticipated, they also needed the flexibility to rein back the infrastructure to avoid unnecessary expenditure. Riak’s ease-of-scale was the perfect solution to support this uncertainty and now the Rovio IT team is able to scale from tens of Riak servers to hundreds based on customer demand.
Riak was also selected due to its robust, low-latency features, which have ensured that customers receive the service levels they have come to expect. Riak replicates data across multiple nodes within the database, meaning even if nodes fails, the system maintains its high performance profile and never loses critical user data. Finally, Riak supports multiple data formats, which means consistent services are guaranteed regardless of the type of device a gamer is using.
Since implementing with Riak, internal development has become much more streamlined due to Riak’s operational simplicity. The new in-house user-interface named “Bigbird Library” was built on top of Riak and provides Rovio’s developers with a consistent and simple interface. This means that less time is spent grappling with complex IT systems, and more time can instead be focused on improving existing services and developing new, engaging content.
For more details about why Rovio chose Riak and why distributed systems such as Riak are the right solution for gaming companies, check out Timo Herttua’s (Rovio Entertainment Product Manager) talk from the Game Developers Conference.
Open source distributed database provides resilient infrastructure and eases growing pains
London – 3rd September 2013 – Basho Technologies, an expert in distributed systems and cloud storage software, has today announced that Angry Birds creator, Rovio, has implemented Riak. The scalable, open source NoSQL database has enabled Rovio to economically and effectively manage growing data volumes resulting from its growing number of data operations resulting from its new cartoon series, Angry Birds Toons, and new mobile video games.
During December 2012, Rovio had 263 million monthly active users and by March 2013, its games had been downloaded 1.7 billion times. With global demand surging and the launch of Angry Birds Toons and new mobile games set to put further strain on the infrastructure, Rovio needed to ensure that its high service levels could be maintained in a cost effective way. To add further complexity, data transactions across multiple platforms, including smartphones and tablets, meant that investment was needed to keep the user experience consistent.
“Rovio started as a gaming company in 2003, but the success of Angry Birds meant we were facing an exponential increase in the amount of data we were dealing with. The game is now the number one paid app of all time and this popularity prompted us to release Angry Birds Toons. We had to find a way of dealing with the spikes in demand caused by our new releases as well as supporting the continued growth of Angry Birds,” said Juhani Honkala, Vice President of Technology at Rovio. “Basho’s distributed data store, Riak, allows us to deliver availability to our customers whilst maintaining a standard of service that we can pride ourselves on. These standards are crucial for us as gaming users will simply not continue to play if the interface is latent or unreliable.”
Angry Birds Toons and new mobile games were expected to draw in a large audience but as with any game or entertainment medium, popularity is hard to predict. Rovio needed an infrastructure that could support viral growth if needed without failing and causing downtime. Similarly, if demand was lower than anticipated, flexibility was needed to ensure that infrastructure could be reined back, avoiding unnecessary expenditure. The Riak solution addressed these goals and Rovio’s IT team is now able to scale from tens of Riak servers to hundreds, based on customer demand.
As well as being agile, Rovio has benefitted from Riak’s robust, low-latency features which have served to ensure customers receive the service levels they expect. Riak replicates data across multiple nodes within the database, providing a high tolerance for hardware failure without losing critical user data. This means that even if one node fails, the system maintains its high performance profile. Multiple data formats are also supported meaning consistent services are guaranteed regardless of the type of device a gamer is using.
Maintaining impeccable customer service has been a key benefit of this project and internal development has also become more streamlined since implementing Riak. A new in-house user-interface named ‘Bigbird library’ has been created on top of Riak, providing Rovio’s developers with a consistent and simple interface. This means that less time is spent grappling with complex IT systems, and more time can instead be focused on improving existing services and developing new, engaging creative.
“Providing the infrastructure for hundreds of millions of users is no small feat. The world is becoming much more connected, and people are using more devices than ever before. Keeping track of those data types and scaling to meet demand cost-effectively can be a huge challenge,” continued Juhani Honkala, Vice President of Technology at Rovio. “With Riak, Basho has provided us with the fast, scalable and flexible foundation needed to address the challenges associated with cross-platform entertainment. This has been done while keeping operational costs affordable and while providing the best possible experience to our global fan base.”
“Gaming providers increasingly face new challenges. Providing services at a global scale, with zero downtime, and while handling data in a number of different formats can be hugely complex. Get it wrong and the entertainment medium – whether that is a game or otherwise – will not be successful,” said Bobby Patrick, chief marketing officer at Basho. “Rovio is one of the most recognised gaming franchises in the world and the steps it has taken to support exceptional customer service will continue to draw in fans and make its products stand out from the crowd.”
About Basho Technologies
Basho is a distributed systems company dedicated to making software that is highly available, fault-tolerant and easy-to-operate at scale. Basho’s distributed database, Riak, and Basho’s cloud storage software, Riak CS, are used by fast growing Web businesses and by over 25 percent of the Fortune 50 to power their critical Web, mobile and social applications and their public and private cloud platforms.
Riak and Riak CS are available open source. Riak Enterprise and Riak CS Enterprise offer enhanced multi-datacenter replication and 24×7 Basho support. For more information, visit basho.com. Basho is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts and has offices in London, San Francisco, Tokyo and Washington DC.
About Rovio Entertainment
Rovio Entertainment Ltd is an industry-changing entertainment media company headquartered in Finland, and the creator of the globally successful Angry Birds™ characters franchise. Angry Birds, a casual puzzle game, became an international phenomenon within a few months of its release. Angry Birds has expanded rapidly into multifaceted entertainment, publishing, and licensing to become a beloved international brand. Rovio’s animated Angry Birds feature film is slated for July 1, 2016. www.rovio.com
May 6, 2013
At the Game Developers Conference this March, Basho Chief Architect Andy Gross and Rovio Entertainment Product Manager Timo Herttua co-presented a session on Riak at Rovio. Angry Birds developer Rovio is using Riak as the database supporting its new mobile gaming platform, including features such as payments, game state storage, and push notifications. The Croods game was the first to use this new platform and is now available on Android and iOS.
In this video, Andy and Timo discuss how Rovio uses Riak and the data storage requirements for today’s high-scale, high-performance gaming platforms. Topics covered include:
- Why gaming companies are moving to NoSQL to meet changing business requirements
- How to evaluate distributed systems and databases like Riak
- Structuring applications for common gaming use cases
- Setting up and optimizing Riak, with a look at how Rovio uses Riak on the Amazon cloud
- Use cases for Riak at Rovio, including push notifications, user profiles, and game state
- Lessons learned from running Riak in production