Tag Archives: community

Quarterly Riak Community Survey

October 23, 2013

The Q3 Riak Community Survey is still available! These surveys help us gain a better understanding of how the community is using Riak and Riak CS. The feedback we hear from these surveys is also a key factor in deciding which features need improvement and how to prioritize future features in the roadmap.

Once all responses are collected, we will anonymize the data and share it with the community to provide a more holistic view of how Riak/Riak CS is being used.

To participate in this survey, simply click here to get started. All survey participants will receive Basho swag as a thank you for helping. Be sure and complete the survey before it closes on Friday, October 25th.

Thanks for participating in our survey and we’re excited to hear how you’re using Riak and Riak CS.

Basho

Help us Present at OpenStack Summit

August 19, 2013

The OpenStack Summit takes place in Hong Kong from November 5-8th. It is a conference for developers, users, and administrators of OpenStack Cloud Software. Basho is a big supporter of the open source community and, with the added OpenStack integration available with Riak CS 1.4, we aim to make our open source cloud storage software as accessible as possible.

This OpenStack integration adds a lot of exciting possibilities to Riak CS. A few Basho engineers have submitted speaking proposals to OpenStack Summit about how the two technologies can work together.

We need your help though! Part of the presentation selection process involves community voting. You can vote for your favorites now through August 25th.

Here’s a look at our submissions. Please vote for any or all of them.

“Riak CS: Coexisting with Swift” – Casey Rosenthal
Vote Here: www.openstack.org/rate/Presentation/riakcs-coexisting-with-swift
Riak CS is an open source, fault-tolerant, large object storage platform. With Keystone integration and Swift-API compatibility made available in version 1.4, Riak CS can now serve as a drop-in replacement to Swift in many deployments. When would you want to choose one versus the other?

Explore the architecture underlying Riak CS, the problems that Riak CS is trying to solve, and how these goals contrast with the architecture of Swift. OpenStack integration is a key driver for Riak CS adoption and is now part of the core commitment of the Riak CS team to open source and enterprise users alike. Learn how Riak CS is coexisting with Swift in the OpenStack ecosystem to solve large object storage and scaling problems.

“Highly Scalable Global Keystone Token Storage using Riak” – Dean Proctor
Vote Here: www.openstack.org/rate/Presentation/highly-scalable-global-keystone-token-storage-using-riak
Concurrent requests to Keystone scale with your OpenStack deployment; however, simple methods for linearly scaling Keystone request capacity do not currently exist. This issue is compounded when you attempt to unify authentication across multi-datacenter installations.

Learn how the Riak key value store can be used to provide an operationally simple, linearly scalable Keystone service with the ability to sync globally in real time.

“Using Riak CS as a Backend for Glance” – James Martin
Vote Here: www.openstack.org/rate/Presentation/using-riakcs-as-a-backend-for-glance
Glance can use a number of different methods to store VM images and snapshots, including object-stores. The image object store’s availability is critical to the functionality of OpenStack’s Nova service, and as time goes by it’s going to grow massively in scale; let’s not forget to mention how complex it can be to manage such as system. And for those interested in consistency across their OpenStack deployments, maintaining and replicating images can be a painful process. Learn how to use Riak CS as the storage backend for Glance and gain all the benefits of Riak – horizontal scalability, ease of administration, and dead-simple multi-datacenter replication.

Basho

Documentation – Designing for Clarity and Comprehension

July 24, 2013

It is tempting, when considering documentation, to decide that it is “someone else’s problem.” In truth, writing and maintaining documentation is a cross-disciplinary function. Content is paramount, clarity and comprehension of design determines whether the content is accessible, and information architecture will expedite learning…or frustration.

At Basho, we are proud of our documentation. All design, updates, and edits are done in the open and we encourage community participation. Recently, we launched a major refresh to our docs and, in the interest of sharing our learnings with our community, we wanted to describe some of the ideas and principles behind it.

Design

With this recent update, we were particularly interested in a clean and legible design. We wanted a redesign that was easy to read, easy to reference, and easy to reuse.

To that end, we updated the font set to include a serif and a sans serif (Gandhi and Open Sans, respectively). Our design team selected two open source types that worked well together, but also had the best cross-browser and cross-display consistency.

We made the text larger, changed its color to be black on white for higher contrast, and limited the width of the page for ease of reading (à la Matthew Butterick’s suggestions). This focus on legibility allows us to scale content within the same design theme as needed.

As we continue updating Riak, prior documentation remains relevant and accessible. Previously, the Riak version selection was displayed horizontally, with all major releases visible. We added a selection menu that flows vertically and now only indicates the currently-viewed product version.

The navigation has also been updated so the collapse behavior maintains state across pages and links to the Help Page and GitHub repository remain static.

Information Architecture

To appeal to our audience of both developers and operators, we now have two distinct tracks of content that are highlighted and organized in the left-hand navigation menu. These tracks are bookended by new introductory content (a slimmed-down version of “The Riak Fast Track”) and conceptual information relevant to both developers and operators.

Furthermore, since developers tend to actually write code, our examples are being refreshed to use code samples, rather than HTTP calls. This will be an ongoing process.

Where Art Meets Science

The decisions about the documentation refresh combined instinct, preference, and empirical data about usage. As the community provides feedback, we will continue to make changes to improve usability.

As with any project of this scope, many members of the Basho team were involved: our engineers who write documentation, the Docs Cabal that managed the process, and the Basho design team that provided dozens of possible designs. This distributed team was able to leverage the best of each others work to produce something beautiful and, most important of all, useful.

Basho Docs Cabal

Basho and Open Source

July 23, 2013

This week is O’Reilly OSCON, a conference dedicated to all things open source. Basho is a sponsor and Basho engineer, Eric Redmond, will be delivering a presentation entitled “Distributed Patterns In Action“.

Basho first open sourced Riak in 2009. It’s a decision that helped us grow our business, and become a leader in newer, agile enterprise environments. Our participation in the open source community benefits our culture, our development process, and our business.

In honor of OSCON, we thought it important to explore the commercial aspects of our open source decision.

The Business of Open Source

Open source is in the DNA of our company, with both Riak and Riak CS available under the Apache 2 license. (It is worth noting that these products are but a few of our open source contributions, which also include Webmachine and Lager.) To turn this great code into a business, we chose to stay true to our roots as a software company, instead of just selling services. The enterprise versions of Riak and Riak CS offer the entirety of our open source software, with the addition of multi-datacenter replication and monitoring capabilities.

The decision to sell licenses to the enterprise, rather than to rely just on services, makes Basho unique. It allows us to engage with our enterprise customers in the transformation of their application architecture. They can be confident in the software’s availability and in Basho’s commitments to support them – as customers. Enterprises need an alternative to traditional database vendors, but one that can still fit — in license structure, operational management, and process integration — into a traditional organization.

Our licensing model for Riak Enterprise and Riak CS Enterprise lets us balance agility with tradition. Our community helps us develop groundbreaking software, while the enterprise license helps corporate IT and Operations sleep at night.

Open source drives adoption (a concept discussed at length in Stephen O’Grady’s book The New Kingmakers). That means Riak is used across many different industries, powering thousands of applications. That commercial validation — our success in production deployments — is accelerated due to the open source availability.

We remain keenly aware, and tremendously appreciative, that our community (from the individuals to the large organizations) guides Riak and Riak CS updates, and has been crucial to the refinement and forward momentum of this software.

Basho’s success is open source’s success. Our strengths reside both in our team and in our community, as their combined efforts improve our technology and its utilization. We are excited to see what other open source showcases are in view at OSCON 2013.

Greg Collins

Riak Community Survey

July 15, 2013

Today, we are sending out our quarterly Riak Community Survey. This survey is to help us better understand how you’re using Riak. By understanding how Riak is being used, we can make more educated decisions about how to improve Riak in the future. We will also anonymize this data and share it with the community to provide a more holistic view of how Riak is being used.

To participate in this survey, simply click here to get started. All survey participants will receive Basho swag and a discount code for RICON West tickets. One lucky participant will be selected to receive a free RICON West ticket.

Thanks for participating in our survey and be sure to grab a RICON West ticket. Early bird prices end August 29th.

Basho

Webmachine 1.10.0: never breaks eye contact

May 3, 2013

We recently tagged version 1.10.0 of Webmachine and, in addition to a slew of bug fixes, it includes some notable new features. Those features are the subject of today’s post; but first a bit of background on the driving force for these additions.

The development of Riak CS is great for dogfooding and bringing home some of the pain points in application development using Riak. The same is also true for Webmachine.

Webmachine has not received a great deal of attention recently because it had what Riak needed and, for the most part, Webmachine has just worked. With Riak CS we needed things from Webmachine that either were not possible or did not work in a way that suited our needs. Besides there was more pressing work to be done making Riak more awesome. With Riak CS that was not always the case. So we have been adding new features we needed and we believe these features will be of use and interest to the larger Webmachine community. Dogfooding FTW again!

We have now also created a 1.11.0 tag that includes an updated tag of mochiweb so that Webmachine can be built and used with Erlang R16.

New features for 1.10.0


Run multiple dispatch groups within a single application
Users can now specify multiple groups of dispatch rules that listen on different IP addresses and ports within the same Erlang application. Read about how to configure this here.

Event-based logging system
The server modules that previously handled Webmachine logging have been replaced with an event-based system. Log event handlers can be added and removed dynamically and custom log modules can be easily added and run in concert with any existing log handlers. More details about the new logging system are here.

Ablity to specify a URL rewrite module
This feature is very similar to the mod_rewrite module for Apache httpd. A rewrite module specifies a set of rules for rewriting the URL and the rewritten URL is what is processed by the dispatch rules of Webmachine. Docs are here. The module used by Riak CS to rewrite S3 API requests can be found here.

Stream large response objects without buffering the entire object in memory
Streaming content has long been possible with Webmachine, but it was not suitable for use with large objects when not using multipart/mixed because Webmachine buffered all of the content in memory to determine the size in order to properly set the Content-Length header. This was important for Riak CS because it needed to stream back very large objects and the S3 API does not use multipart responses for this operation. Now streaming large content where the size can be determined in advance can be accomplished without having to pay the price of buffering everything in memory. More info on using this feature is here.

Ability to override the resource_module value in the request metadata
The impetus for this feature is more esoteric than the other features so an example is probably the best description. Take the case where the Webmachine resource modules duplicate a lot of code in implementing the required callbacks to service requests. One way to address this is to move much of that common code to a single module and use that common module as the resource in all dispatch rules. The ModOpts for each dispatch rule are used to specify a smaller set of callbacks for resource specialization so that logging data reflects the specialized resource module and not the common module. We will provide further details about the motivations this in a subsequent blog post focused on Riak CS. Documentation on how to configure this option can be found here.

Kelly Mclaughlin

Upcoming Basho Events – April

April 23, 2013

During the rest of April, Basho will be speaking and sponsoring events around the United States and internationally. If you want to meet up with a Basho team member at one of these events, contact us to set up a time, or send us a note on Twitter. Below are some of the highlights:

NY Tech Day: Basho will be exhibiting at NY Tech Day (April 25) in New York, a massive science fair where entrepreneurs can exhibit their startups to thousands of consumers, investors, first adopters, job seekers, major companies, press and media.

NoSQL Matters: Basho is sponsoring NoSQL Matters (April 26-27) in Cologne, Germany. Additionally, Basho engineers, Sean Cribbs and Eric Redmond, will be speaking about Riak Technologies.

RailsConf: Basho will be attending RailsConf (April 29-May 2) in Portland. It is the largest gathering of Rails developers (and most of the time, Rubyists) in the world, drawing world-class developers and companies together to see the state of the art in Rails and web development.

Meetups: This month, we are hosting meetups in Atlanta at Atlanta Tech Village on April 23rd and in Portland on the 29th at NedSpace.

Sponsored Events: Basho will be sponsoring Railsberry in Krakow, Poland (April 23-24), GOTO Chicago in Chicago (April 23-24), and ChefConf in San Francisco (April 24-26).

We hope to see you at one of these events! For a full list of events this month and in upcoming months, visit our Events Page.

Basho

Riak Community Survey

We’d sincerely appreciate it if you could take some time to complete our first quarterly Riak community survey. The goal of this survey is to help us better understand how you are using Riak. Our hope is that your insights will help us make better decisions moving forward with the future of Riak.

All contributors to the survey will be provided Basho swag, as well as a discount for RICON tickets. One lucky contributor will be pseudorandomly selected to receive a free ticket to RICON | East!

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to hit up te@basho.com.

Riak Core Now Has Its Own Mailing List

November 4, 2012

Thanks to the urging of DeadZen, we now have a dedicated mailing list for Riak Core. You can subscribe here.

For those of you not familiar with Riak Core, it’s more-or-less the distributed systems infrastructure that makes up, well, the core of how Riak distributes data and scales. For some introductory reading (that’s not pure code), there’s an old but still valuable blog post on the Basho Blog that’s well worth your time.

Why a separate list? Because Core is a powerful library that can be (and is being) used to build applications distinct of the other OTP apps (kv, search, pipe, etc.) that make up Riak. I know of at least 10 companies that have Riak Core apps in production, and I’m sure there are many more just waiting to share their use cases with the

world (hint hint…). Plenty of Riak issues are Core-related, and these should still be handled on the Riak Mailing List. However, as Core gets more use, there are questions, comments, and concerns that will be specific to Core, so a separate forum for these makes sense. There will be some overlap, too, and Basho will take responsibility for cross-posting when necessary.

We’ve long been convinced of the power of Core, but it has received less tooling (docs, tutorials, etc.) due to lack of engineering time. This is a great first step to helping put more community power and focus behind Core.

Enjoy.

Mark

Riak Community Release Notes v0.4

July 6, 2012

I’m excited to announce that v0.4 of the Riak Community Release Notes are official, covering what happened in the Riak Community from approximately June 1 thru June 30. Some highlights include:

The community also shipped a bunch of code during the month of June, so if you have a few minutes read what else the Riak Community accomplished. Also, we’re already rolling with the 0.5 Release Notes (which will cover July 2 up through August 1). You’re encouraged to contribute to past, present, and future release notes, so don’t hold back.

Enjoy, and thanks for being a part of Riak.

Tom