December 30, 2014
At Basho, we are proud of our documentation. All design, updates, and edits are done with our community top of mind and we encourage community participation. Given the pace at which our documentarian expert, Luc Perkins, is updating the content, it can be easy to fall behind in reading new and updated materials. So we have a holiday gift to help you out.
Below is our Top 10 suggested New Year’s reading list.
#10 – A Migrating from an SQL Database to Riak tutorial can help prepare you as embrace a new style of development and persistence.
#7 – Strong consistency has gone from having light documentation to being one of our best-documented open-source features. Strong Consistency docs are spread across the following:
#6 – We now have client-side security docs! There’s an introductory doc that walks you a bit through how client security works in Riak as well as client-specific docs for Java, Ruby, Python, and Erlang.
#5 – A new Erlang VM Tuning doc. This is still a work in progress. As we said at the beginning, we really encourage community involvement. What tuning have you done to optimize your Erlang environment?
In addition to the above, there is new documentation on the topics below.
Drum roll please….
#1 – Riak 2.0 – if you missed this you missed a lot.
We want to thank everyone in the community who participates in making the Basho documentation the most useful set of materials possible. Remember: to submit issues is human, to submit PRs is divine.
Happy New Year!
For years, the press and industry analysts have been telling us that cloud is mainstream, but the reality is that Enterprises must shift their workloads to the cloud in an orderly, low risk manner. While there are many applications already built and running in the cloud, there are many new (or underutilized and, perhaps, misunderstood) technologies like Docker, Chef and object storage that are changing the way cloud applications are implemented.
At RICON 2014, Basho worked with Citrix to host “Build a Cloud Day.” Build a Cloud day sessions explore new technologies and show how to bring some order to the chaos of moving workloads to the cloud. The attendees learn the concepts and best practices to deploy a cloud computing environment using Apache CloudStack and other cloud infrastructure tools, including those from XenServer, Docker, RiakCS, Chef, Zenoss, Puppet and many others that automate server and network configuration for building highly available cloud computing environments.
Cloud Architecture: Virtualization, Orchestration and Storage
“Build a Cloud Day” started with an excellent presentation by Mark Hinkle. Many of us know him as @mrhinkle. Mark is the Senior Director of Open Source Solutions at Citrix Systems where he helps support the Apache CloudStack and Xen.org projects.
Mark has an excellent grasp of cloud computing and provides an overview of cloud computing architecture and the open source software that can be used to deploy and manage a cloud-computing environment. He looks at virtualization and containers and provides a brief description of Docker and how it is being used in today’s applications.
He also provides an overview of OpenStack. Mark closes the presentation with insights into how to deliver Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and what technologies can be used to compliment this evolving cloud computing paradigm.
Software is Eating Infrastructure
Other presenters at “Build a Cloud Day” included Basho’s own John Burwell (@john_burwell). John is a Senior Software Engineer at Basho Technologies. He also serves as an Apache CloudStack PMC member and committer focused on storage architecture and security integration. John’s talk explores cloud design strategies to achieve high availability and reliability using commodity components and how to apply these strategies using Apache CloudStack and Riak CS.
By migrating reliability and scalability responsibilities up the stack from specialized hardware to software, cloud orchestration platforms such as Apache CloudStack (ACS) and object stores such as Riak CS increase the utilization and density of compute and storage resources by dynamically shifting workloads based on demand.
John describes two workloads predominately managed in cloud environments — traditional virtualization and cloud — and how to use Apache CloudStack to efficiently manage both simultaneously. He then explores storage design to support this dual workload model, including the use of Riak CS with Apache CloudStack to reduce infrastructure costs without sacrificing reliability.
Riak CS provides software-defined, fault-tolerant object storage uniquely built to handle a variety of unstructured and big data needs using commodity hardware.
Apache CloudStack, Apache Brooklyn and more…
There were many great presentations at “Build a Cloud Day” including:
- Primary Storage in CloudStack by Mike Tutkowski (Slides | Video)
- Introduction to Apache CloudStack by David Nalley (Slides | Video)
- Hypervisor Selection in the Cloud by Tim Mackey (Slides | Video)
- Cloud Application Blueprints with Apache Brooklyn by Alex Henevald (Slides | Video). Alex also did a Riak-specific presentation at RICON 2014, Running Riak in a Docker Cloud using Apache Brooklyn.
You can find out more about RICON 2014 in our blog post. http://basho.com/wrapping-up-ricon-2014/.
The videos of the presentations at RICON 2014 can be found on our RICON Archive site. The Keynote by Peter Alvaro – Outwards from the Middle of the Maze is very popular.
In just a few days we’re heading out to Vegas for RICON 2014! Keep reading to find out FAQs and everything you need to know about RICON 2014.
Location and Dates
October 27-29, 2014
How do I register for RICON 2014?
Please register for RICON 2014 here.
What is the cancellation policy?
Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable within seven days of the start of the event. No refunds are issued for any cancellations to RICON after October 20, 2014. Refunds will not be provided for registrants who do not attend the conference.
At the event
What is Build a Cloud Day?
Presented by Citrix, Build a Cloud Day is on October 27 and is designed to expose attendees to the concepts and best practices around deploying cloud computing infrastructure. Mark Hinkle, senior director, open source solutions at Citrix, will start the day and is followed by speakers from CloudSoft, SolidFire and Basho. This will be held on October 27 and you can still register. The detailed schedule for Build a Cloud Day is here.
What are the registration hours and locations?
- Monday, October 27: 7-9 a.m. and 5-6 p.m. at registration desk
- Tuesday, October 28: 7 a.m.-6 p.m. at registration desk
- Wednesday, October 29: 7 a.m.-1 p.m. at registration desk
*Registration desk is located in the Ballroom Foyer, 2nd floor of the Palms conference center
What do I need to register?
Please bring a government issued ID.
What are the breakfast and lunch hours and locations?
Breakfast and lunch will be served in Grand Ballroom 1-3 each day.
- Breakfast: 7:30-8:30 a.m.
- Lunch: 12-1 p.m.
There are also two short breaks during the day from 10:15-10:30 a.m. and 2:45 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
Are there any receptions or after parties?
Of course! Please join us for our kick-off event on Monday, October 27 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. in the Kingpin Suite for appetizers, drinks and bowling hosted by AdRoll. It’s a great opportunity to meet other attendees and have some fun before the conference starts. The Kingpin Suite is located on the second floor of the Palms Fantasy Tower, on the 25th floor.
The official RICON after party will be on Tuesday, October 28 from 7-10 p.m. at the iconic MOON Nightclub. Co-hosted by Basho and Pivotal, the party will include appetizers, drinks, entertainment and the best view in Vegas! MOON is located on the top floor of the Palms Fantasy Tower and don’t forget to bring your conference badge – it’s your ticket to the party.
Tweet to @RICONconf and feel free to use #RICON in your tweets from the event. Post your pics at the event and keep an eye out to snap a photo with Basho man.
Are there special hotel rates?
There are discounted rates and special offers for RICON attendees, but with limited availability. You can book your hotel room here or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
What time are standard check-in and check-out at the Palms?
Standard check-in is at 3 p.m. Standard check-out is at 11 a.m.
If you arrive before 3 p.m. and your room is not available, you can store your luggage at the bell desk. Please note that late check-out requests are subject to availability and occupancy on the date of departure and additional charges may apply.
Does the Palms offer a shuttle to and from the airport?
Yes, they have a shuttle service that runs direct from the Palms to the airport every hour on the hour from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a cost of $8.
Does the Palms offer free parking?
Yes, they offer free self-parking and free valet.
Where are the designated smoking areas at the Palms?
Smoking is permitted throughout the casino floor, at both pools, on three floors of the Palms Ivory Tower and at ghostbar and Moon. The Fantasy Tower, and Palms Place Hotel and Spa are non-smoking.
Other Common Questions
What should I wear during RICON?
We’d love to see as many RICON t-shirts as possible. You are more than welcome to wear t-shirts or hoodies from past years. If you don’t have any old RICON swag don’t worry, attire is casual – jeans and a t-shirt is ok with us!
Whom should I contact if I have special dietary needs or allergies?
Please let a staff member know when you pick up your conference badge or send us an email – email@example.com.
What should I do if I lose or find an item at RICON?
Please bring any found items to the registration desk located in the Ballroom Foyer.
To report a missing item: visit the registration desk or send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to return it to you.
Does RICON have a code of conduct?
Of course, we want all of our attendees to feel welcome and safe. You can view our code of conduct in further detail here.
What if I can’t attend RICON but I want to watch the sessions?
We will be livestreaming our keynote presentations and all other sessions will be available on-demand after the event. Please register for the livestream here.
What if I still have questions about RICON?
For more information, visit ricon.io or contact email@example.com.
Quick RICON 2014 Details:
- Date: October 27-29, 2014
- Location: The Palms, Las Vegas
- Agenda: http://ricon.io/event-details/index.html#agenda
- Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ricon-2014-tickets-12372024057
- Social: Tweet to @RICONconf
- More details: Visit ricon.io for more information
September features developer conferences, Chicago Erlang, and even an “unconference.” Take a look at where Basho will be around the U.S. this month.
Strangeloop (September 17-19 in St. Louis, MO): Strangeloop is a great opportunity to learn about emerging languages, concurrent and distributed systems, and new database technologies. Basho is attending, so tweet us @basho if you’re interested in meeting.
Analytics and Big Data Summit (September 18 in San Jose, CA at 3:05 p.m. PT): Produced by the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), the Analytics and Big Data Summit brings together IT professionals to discuss how to leverage analytics, and big data applications and systems. Seema Jethani from Basho will be presenting on Optimizing Cloud Storage to Manage Big Data, which will explore different data types and storage solutions. Attendees will gain an understanding of the needs of big data storage and the current cloud storage options available to organizations.
2014 High Performance Computing for Wall Street (September 22 in New York, NY at 2:30 p.m. ET): The 11th annual HPC networking opportunity is focused on high put-through, low latency networks, data centers and lowering the costs of operations. Our director of technical marketing, Tyler Hannan, will be presenting a Code Writing Session – Architecting for Global Scale.
Chicago Erlang (September 22 in Chicago, IL): Chicago Erlang is a one-day event focused on real world applications of Erlang. At 10:40 a.m. CT, Basho’s Reid Draper will present on Building Fault Tolerant Teams at Basho during which he will explain how Basho coordinates the activities of more than 25 Erlang programmers to build Riak. Then, at 3:20 p.m. CT, Steve Vinoski from Basho will discuss Optimizing Native Code for Erlang.
REST Fest 2014 (September 25-27 in Greenville, SC): REST Fest is an “unconference” with the objective of bringing together people interested in REST, hypermedia APIs, web service APIs and related topics to share ideas, trade stories and show examples of current work. Sean Cribbs from Basho will be the opening keynote! His keynote, HTTP: The Good Parts, will explore interesting and powerful ways to enhance interaction and efficiency when developing applications. Sean will leverage his 10 years of experience as a developer to provide insight into HTTP features and how you can tap into them more declaratively.
Surge 2014 (September 24-26 in National Harbor, MD): We will be attending and sponsoring OmniTI’s scalability and performance conference, Surge. We’d love to meet and chat, so tweet us @basho if you’re attending.
Lastly, RICON 2014 is just one month away, October 28-29. Early bird prices are good through September 22. Register here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.