April 30, 2012
The majority of the Basho team is descending upon Cambridge, MA this week for an All-Hands Meetup. We’re a distributed company, and function well as such, but it’s great to get everyone together when feasible to see new faces, build culture, and reinforce why we are all a part of the company. We all look forward to these meetups, but this one is extra-special: we have a new office in Cambridge.
Basho was founded here in 2008, and since then Cambridge has served as our headquarters while we work on database world domination. On April 2nd, the crew here in Cambridge moved into a new space on the 2nd Floor at 700 Massachusetts Avenue. Located above Rodney’s Bookstore, this place has all the charm of a space built for a startup with all the amenities that come with recurring revenue; the best of both worlds.
We’ll be doing a good number of events out of this space, the first of which is the Boston Clojure Meetup. If you’re passing through the Boston area and need a desk for a day, or simply want to stop by and chat about databases, coffee, and beer, get in touch with Reid Draper – email@example.com – or shoot a message to us on Twitter and we’ll do our best to accommodate.
And if you want to work for Basho in Cambridge, San Francisco, Reston, or out of your home office, we are hiring talented individuals across the board.
April 26, 2012
At Basho we love Yammer. Besides making a product that we rely on internally, they are long-time Riak fans and advocates, and have built a large Riak cluster to power notifications for their entire user base. But not every use case is a fit for Riak. Running multiple databases in production is not uncommon, and skilled engineering teams like Yammer’s will always select the best tool for the job.
To that end, Ryan Kennedy, Yammer’s Director of Core Services, presented at BashoChats 003 about some of the impressive work that he and his colleagues are doing with Berkeley DB. He goes in depth on how they came to select BDB, what they added on top of Berkeley to ensure it could scale and satisfy their availability requirements, and what their data set and request profile look like in production. There’s a lot of worthwhile and valuable information in here. (Ryan’s slides are here if you’re interested in the PDF.
Enjoy, and if you’re interested in speaking at a future BashoChats meetup, email me – firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if you want to work with companies like Yammer, Twitter, Square, Simple, LinkedIn, and Basho building distributed systems, you should be at the next meetup. Keep an eye on the Meetup page for details.
March 26, 2012
This is a big week for Basho.
The first three days of Erlang Factory are primarily workshops, and Daniel Reverri will be teaching a 3 day class on Building Distributed Clusters with Riak. All attendees will walk away with a clear understanding of exactly why Riak is the best distributed database you will ever run in production.>
The actual conference spans Thursday – Friday, and the talk lineup for this year’s event is exceptional. The Basho team will be well-represented. Put these talks on your calendar if you’re attending:
- Test-First Construction of Distributed Systems – Joseph Blomstedt
- Building Healthy Distributed Systems – Mark Phillips
- Building Cloud Storage Services with Riak – Andy Gross
Several members of the Riak Community are also on the schedule:
- Erlang for .NET Developers – OJ Reeves
- Rewriting GitHub Pages with Riak Core, Riak KV, and Webmachine – Jesse Newland
Basho Bash West
We’re really excited about all the success surrounding Riak in 2011 and we’re continuously building on that momentum as we move deeper into 2012. The number of Riak users and community members are growing exponentially so we decided to throw a party to celebrate. We’re calling it Basho Bash West 2012, and it’s co-sponsored by our friends at Joyent, Yammer and Voxer.
Come join us on Thursday, March 29th, at 6:30PM. We are renting out Roe, and you won’t be allowed to pay for anything. You’ll also be leaving with some limited edition Riak swag that will make you the envy of all your friends. Various members of the Basho team will be in attendance, along with hundreds of developers, executives, and technology enthusiasts from the Bay Area. Miss this at your peril.
You must RSVP to attend.
I’m happy to announce the addition of Thomas Santero to the Basho family. Thomas (who also goes by “Tom”) is joining as Technical Evangelist and will be part of the Community Team.
He’s based in Staten Island and will be focusing his time on bringing Riak to developers everywhere along the Eastern seaboard. If you’re anywhere near Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, etc., and aren’t yet using Riak, Tom will soon change this. He’ll also be supporting global community growth in various venues as Riak adoption continues to explode in all corners of the world.
Tom can be found on Twitter as tsantero and goes by the same nick on IRC. Say “hello” when you get the chance and ask him a hard question about Riak.
*We are hiring another Technical Evangelist based in London or Amsterdam. If you want to help us take over Europe, get in touch with me – email@example.com.
March 5, 2012
Happy Monday. What better way to start the week than with a smart, insightful tech talk from a thoughtful, talented engineer?
Ted Nyman is the lead engineer at Simple, a startup that is changing the way people bank. Ted was kind enough to come out to BashoChats last week in San Francisco to share his views on building scalable, JVM-based services that just work in a talk called *Instant-ish Real Service Architecture*.
This talks runs just under 40 minutes and covers everything from valuable lessons learned shipping production applications to high-level, illustrative code samples that demonstrate how and why you should use the Dropwizard framework and its reliable, battle-tested underlying libraries when you need to ship services that make money. Ted’s also an entertainer and he brings almost as much humor and wit as he does worthwhile lessons and knowledge.
March 2, 2012
The second BashoChats Meetup was held last week at BashoWest. The office was packed with area developers and our two speakers, Ted Nyman and Peter Bailis, each delivered exceptional talks. Our awesome videographer Matt Fisher finished Peter’s talk first and it’s so good that we didn’t see any reason to keep it from you while he put the final touches on Ted’s.
Peter is Graduate Student in the much-heralded Berkeley CS department. Suffice it to say that we were honored to have him at BashoChats. He and some colleagues have been working on something called Probabilistically Bounded Staleness for Practical Partial Quorums (PBS). In short, PBS aims to define just how eventual “eventual consistency” is, and their research produced some fascinating findings that should affect how people view and deploy distributed databases like Riak, Cassandra and Voldemort.
This talk, the subject matter, and the presenter are all fantastic. Watch it twice and tell three friends about it. (The PDF version of the slides are here for any interested parties.)
We’ll have Ted Nyman’s talk up next week. In the meantime, join BashoChats so you can be a part of the next event.
February 22, 2012
Riak Control is Basho’s new OSS, REST-driven, user-interface for Riak. The code has been available for a few months now, but it’s officially supported in Riak 1.1, so we wanted share some details on what it’s about and why you should be excited about it.
Lowering the Barrier for Entry
Once a Riak cluster is up and running we want it to be as hands-free to administer as possible. Things should “just work,” like plumbing. But we’ll be the first to admit that a new user’s initial welcoming with Riak isn’t always as pleasant as it should be.
Some steps are unavoidable: downloading, installing, and/or building from source, etc. But once the initial work is done, the experience should be as inviting as possible. Riak is a very powerful database with numerous options and commands. Riak Control allows you to easily manage/inspect your cluster while ignoring many of these until needed.
Empowering Riak Administrators
When we first sat down to decide what the more important features for any Riak interface should be, one theme stood out above all the others: cluster management. We wanted to give developers and administrators the ability to quickly build a cluster, inspect nodes, and diagnose the health of their cluster. And we wanted it to happen fast.
Riak is about large datasets and clusters replicating that dataset for maximum availability and persistence. We’re working hard to help companies that write many, many GBs per day to clusters containing 50+ nodes. Riak Control is a tool that brings issues and risks front-and-center. And it gives customers the ability to take action in real-time.
The Two-Minute Tour
Riak Control is currently broken up into nested levels of detail. Each page in Riak Control is designed to give you just as much information as you need, nothing more. As you navigate the UI, you’ll gradually be taken deeper into the rabbit hole.
The Snapshot is what you’ll see when you first fire up Riak Control. It should give you a warm-fuzzy feeling when everything is A-okay: an unmistakable, beautiful green check mark.
For times when things aren’t perfect, you will be presented with a list of concern areas. Each will have links to other pages of Riak Control where you can take a closer look at the problem.
The cluster page is where you can get a quick look at all of the nodes in your cluster and manage membership.
With a glance you can see which nodes are partitioned from the rest of the cluster or offline, which are leaving or joining the cluster, view partition ownership, monitor memory, and more. And with a click you can add nodes to the cluster, take nodes offline for maintenance, and leave the cluster.
One level deeper than the cluster view is the ring page. This is where you can see the health of each partition. Most of the time, your ring will be too large to really manage from the ring view. But with the filters you can immediately find which partitions are owned by which nodes, partitions whose primary nodes are unreachable, current handoffs, and more.
Riak Control is not standing still. Riak 1.1 includes Riak Control in its early stages so we can begin to gather feedback. We want to know what it does right and what it does wrong. Your feedback and ideas are encouraged. Additionally, we have a list of features and functionality slated for future releases. None of these are set in stone, but here is a list of what we have planned…
While Riak Control is – at its heart – a simple REST API, we’re working to modularize it in a way that allows you to write your own modules/plugins. We want to see Riak Control become a collection of pieces that all snap and work together, empowering you to manage your cluster in the way that best fits your needs.
Currently Riak Control uses a pull model to gather information about the cluster. While this isn’t a performance issue, we very much want to make it a push-system. As things happen to the cluster, the cluster should notify Riak Control of the changes, which in-turn will notify the user.
Clicking on a node name from anywhere should take you to a page giving details specifically about that node, similar to the data you would get from a
riak-admin status command.
Bucket & Object Inspection
While low-level object manipulation isn’t designed to be a primary feature of Riak Control, it is a very handy tool to have, and extremely valuable when initially setting up Riak for the first time. More importantly, Riak buckets will be available to create and inspect.
Riak Control will feature a powerful interface for creating MapReduce queries. You will be able to debug, save, load, and execute previously saved queries with ease.
Customer Support Tools
In addition to the general tools provided for manipulation of the cluster and data, we also are planning for improve monitoring tools.
- View the log files of individual nodes
- See graphs of load, memory latency, disk usage, etc.
- Coalesce and bundle data for support tickets
- File support tickets
Any Comments, Questions, or Feature Requests?
Anything you’d like to share or ask? Join the Riak-Users Mailing List and tell us what you think. The other option is to fork the code and make your opinions known with a pull request or by filing an issue. You can also find some formal documentation on the Riak Wiki.
Thanks for being a part of Riak.
February 07, 2012
Basho’s usage of Travis is mainly via Riak’s client libraries and we’ve been thrilled with it to date. Over the past few months, Sean Cribbs, Basho’s lead on Riak’s Ruby Client, has been using Travis. Reid Draper, another member of the Basho Team, has also started using it for builds of Sumo, a Riak Clojure Client that he and a few others are spearheading. There is also a handful of other Riak-related projects that are using Travis regularly.
Based on Sean and Reid’s experience with Travis and their opinion of the project’s usefulness and viability, it was an easy decision for us to donate money to support its ongoing development. Basho is also dedicated to the usage and proliferation of quality open source projects, and Travis is a great example of this. So we are proud to be a Silver Sponsor of Travis CI and are looking forward to watching the tool and its community grow.
January 31, 2012
The videos from last month’s San Francisco Riak Meetup are online and ready for consumption. The first features Julio Capote giving a short overview of the work he and Posterous are doing with Riak as a post cache. The second presentation was from Mark Phillips and it was all about Riak Control, the new Riak Admin Tool that will be fully supported in the forthcoming Riak 1.1 release.
Enjoy, and thanks for being a part of Riak.
Riak In Production At Posterous
This talk runs about 11 minutes. In it, Julio details the importance of the post cache at Posterous, what their initial solution to the problem was, and how they went about selecting Riak over MongoDB, MySQL, and Redis.
Preview of Riak Control
This talk runs just under 30 minutes. Mark starts with a history of the Riak Admin UI, details Basho’s motivations for writing and open-sourcing Riak Control, and then gives a live demo of the tool and talks about future enhancements.
Former Basho Developer Advocate Mathias Meyer authors a comprehensive, hands-on guide to Riak.
CAMBRIDGE, MA – January 17, 2012 – Basho Technologies, the leader in highly-available, distributed data store technologies, today announced that former Basho developer advocate Mathias Meyer has completed Riak Handbook, a comprehensive, hands-on guide to Riak, Basho’s industry-leading, open source, distributed database.
Riak Handbook begins by exploring the driving forces behind Riak, including Amazon Dynamo, eventual consistency and CAP Theorem. Through a collection of examples and code, Mathias Riak Handbook walks through Riaks many features in detail including the following capabilities:
- How to store-and-retrieve data in Riak
- Build and search full-text indexes with Riak Search
- Index and query data using secondary indexes
- Model data for eventual consistency
- Scale to multi-node clusters in less than five minutes
- Operate Riak in production
- Handle failures in your application
Mathias Meyer is an experienced software developer, consultant and coach from Berlin, Germany. He has worked with database technology leaders such as Sybase and Oracle. He entered into the world of NoSQL in 2008 and worked at Basho Technologies from 2010 to 2011.
“We are excited that Mathias took on the endeavor to build a comprehensive book all about Riak,” said John Hornbeck, Vice President of Client Services, Basho Technologies. “Our customers and community will benefit from having a single source that covers everything from setting up Riak, to scaling out quickly, to operating and maintaining Riak. We have already seen strong customer interest in Riak Handbook, including many seeking site licenses to outfit their entire teams.”
Riak Handbook is available for purchase at riakhandbook.com. Single editions are available at $29/download. Site licenses are available for organizations implementing Riak for only $249.
About Basho Technologies
Basho Technologies is the leader in highly-available, distributed data store technologies used to power scalable, data-intensive Web, mobile and e-commerce applications. Our flagship product, Riak, frees customer applications from the performance, scalability, and availability constraints of traditional databases while reducing overall storage and support costs by up to 80%. Basho customers, including fast-growing Web businesses and large Fortune 500 enterprises, use Riak to implement global session stores, to aggregate large amounts of data for logging, search, and analytics, and to manage, store and stream unstructured data.
Riak is available open source for download at basho.com/resources/downloads. Riak EnterpriseDS is available with advanced replication, services and 24/7 support. For more information visit basho.com or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/basho.
Basho Technologies is based in Cambridge, MA, and maintains regional offices in San Francisco, CA and Reston, VA.