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.|
December 30, 2013
2013 was a huge year for Basho Technologies and before we dive into 2014, we thought we’d take a moment to reflect on how far we’ve come.
2013 was the year of the Riak User. We love hearing about all the amazing ways companies across various industries are using Riak. This year, we were able to share dozens of exciting case studies. These include:
- Synacor’s TV Everywhere platform
- Enstratius (acquired by Dell)
- Best Buy
- Alert Logic
- Viggle (through OmniTI)
- Turner Broadcasting
- Hosted Graphite
- Gilt Groupe
- Praekelt Foundation
- National Health Service
- City Maps
- The Weather Company
For even more Riak Users, check out the Users Page.
We released Riak 1.3, Riak 1.4, and the Technical Preview of Riak 2.0 this year. These releases added such features as Active Anti-Entropy, revamped Riak Control, queryability improvements, Riak Data Types, and much more. Be on the lookout for the general release of Riak 2.0 early next year.
This year, we expanded RICON, Basho’s distributed systems conference, to both RICON East and RICON West. These were both sold out conferences that featured speakers from bitly, Comcast, Google, Netflix, Salesforce, The Weather Company, Turner Broadcasting, Twitter, and many more.
We drastically increased the number of Basho partners in 2013. For a full list of partners, check out the Partnerships Page. Some key ones to note include Tokyo Electron Device, SoftLayer, and Seagate.
Our amazing community team hosted over 200 meetups around the world this year. On top of that, they also attended dozens of industry events to spread the word about Basho. Keep an eye on the Events Page to see where we’ll be in 2014.
2013 was a busy year but, with some exciting announcements coming, we look forward to an even busier 2014. Happy New Year!
June 11, 2013
Mobile platforms and applications need to provide low-latency user experiences that can scale quickly and support highly concurrent user access. That is why so many mobile applications have selected Riak to handle their data.
To see if Riak is a fit for your mobile use case, we have put together a number of resources that showcase how mobile companies are using Riak to solve a variety of challenges. Below are some highlights:
- The “Mobile on Riak” whitepaper provides a technical introduction of Riak, specifically for mobile needs.
- Voxer has both a case study and a video that look at how they use Riak to support their massive, sudden growth.
- Bump, one of the most popular mobile apps, has a case study that looks at why they chose Riak to store their user data, and a video that goes into more details about their data model.
- Comcast uses Riak as the primary datastore for their “Highly-Available Object Storage System,” which is used by their mobile applications and websites. More details can be found in their case study and from their talk at RICON 2012.
- OmniTI uses Riak to power the mobile rewards provider, Viggle.
- On our blog, there are posts on the advantages of Riak for mobile and how to build mobile applications with Riak.
For a complete list of resources, visit our Resources Page.
March 25, 2013
We have a few new pages on our site to help you start building retail, advertising, mobile, or gaming apps and services on Riak. On each of these pages, you will find industry use cases for Riak, relevant case studies from companies already using it in production, and information on Riak’s key/value model and querying features. Here’s a quick overview:
Riak lets retailers provide always-on, highly scalable eCommerce and mobile services. Retail use cases for Riak include:
- Shopping carts
- Product catalogs
- Mobile applications/sites
Advertisers need to serve data reliably and quickly. Common ways advertisers leverage Riak include:
- Serving ad content
- Session storage
- Mobile experiences
Riak provides the scalable, small object storage required by mobile applications and platforms. Riak can be used for many different mobile needs, including:
- User and session data storage
- Text and multimedia storage
- Social authentication
Gaming platforms and applications benefit from Riak’s scale-out, low-latency design, and flexible storage capabilities. Some common use cases include:
- Player data
- Session data
- Social information
- Gaming assets
February 26, 2013
Mobile platforms and applications pose unique infrastructure challenges for today’s companies. These applications require low-latency, always-available small object storage that can scale to millions or more users, and support highly concurrent access and traffic spikes.
Riak provides a number of benefits for these platforms, including:
- Low-Latency Data Storage: Riak is designed to serve predictable, low-latency requests to provide a fast, available experience to all users.
- Straightforward Data Model: Riak uses a simple key-value data model, which is ideal for storing and serving mobile content, user information, events, and session data. Riak is content agnostic, so there are no restrictions on content type.
- Accommodates Peak Loads Gracefully: To handle increasing user data and accommodate peak loads during events, Riak makes it easy to add additional capacity and scale out quickly. Riak automatically rebalances data when new nodes are added, while its consistent hashing methodology prevents hot spots in the database.
- Multi-Datacenter Replication: Riak Enterprise’s multi-datacenter replication allows mobile platforms to serve low-latency content to users all over world by maintaining a global data footprint.
- For a full overview, download our new whitepaper on building mobile services with Riak
Bump is a popular mobile app that makes it easy for users to share their contact information, photos, and other objects by simply “bumping” their smartphones. They use Riak to store user data and currently run 25 nodes of Riak storing about 3TB of data.
For more details about how Bump uses Riak and how they designed their application, check out Bump’s presentation at RICON2012, Basho’s 2012 developer conference. You can also read the complete case study for more information about why Bump chose Riak.
Voxer is a popular Walkie Talkie application for smartphones that allows users to send instant voice messages to one or more friends. They switched to Riak due to its fault-tolerance and ability to scale quickly and easily. They currently run more than 50 machines on Riak to support their huge growth and user base. For more details about how Voxer uses Riak, check out the complete case study and watch Matt Ranney’s talk at a Riak Meetup in San Francisco.
To learn more about how mobile platforms can use Riak for their data needs, check out the complete overview, “Mobile on Riak: A Technical Introduction.”
February 13, 2013
Bump, one of the most popular mobile apps of all time, makes it easy for users to share their contact information, photos and other objects by simply “bumping” their smartphones. Bump uses Riak to store user data including events, communications sent and received, handset information and tokens needed to authenticate using social networks.
Bump chose Riak for its operational ease-of-use, ability to scale writes, and availability under failure conditions.
“It’s a relief that we don’t need to spend time thinking about whether or not Riak is working,” said Will Moss, Server Engineer at Bump. “It does what it’s supposed to do; nodes can go down but Riak will still work. It’s great to be able to deal with node failures the next day instead of at 3am.”
Recently, Bump expanded their mobile app offerings and launched Flock, a photo-sharing app. For more information on how Flock uses Riak, including their data model, watch Bump’s presentation at RICON2012, Basho’s 2012 developer conference. Bump is now running 25 nodes on Riak and storing around 3TB of data.
You can also check out the complete case study.