January 29, 2013
This is the first in a series of blog posts covering the benefits Riak offers to developers and operators of retail and eCommerce platforms. To learn more, join our “Retail on Riak” webcast on Friday, February 8th.
As retailers grow and have to store more and more data, traditional relational databases aren’t always the best option. Retailers want to scale easily, without the operational burden of manual sharding. Meanwhile, business requirements demand their data is always available for reads and writes. Riak is a highly available, low latency distributed database that is ideal for retailers who need to serve product data quickly and maintain “always on” shopping experiences. Riak is based on architectural principles from Amazon. Riak is designed for high availability and scale so retailers can always serve customers, even under failure conditions, and rapidly grow to meet peak loads.
Retailers of all sizes have chosen Riak to power parts of their business, including:
- Best Buy: Best Buy is North America’s top specialty retailer of consumer electronics, personal computers, entertainment software, and appliances. Riak has been an integral part in the transformation push to re-platform Best Buy’s eCommerce platform. For more info, check out Best Buy’s talk from our 2012 developer conference, RICON.
- ideal: ideel is one of the fastest growing retailers with over 5 million members and more than 1,000 brand partners. They use Riak to serve HTML documents and user-specific products. ideel chose Riak to power their event-based shopping experience due to Riak’s ability to serve users information at low latency and provide ease of use and scale to ideel’s operations team. Check out the complete case study for more details.
- Copious: Copious is a social commerce marketplace that makes it easy for people to buy and sell the things they love. They currently store all registered accounts in Riak as well as the tokens that make it possible for users to authenticate with Copious via their Facebook or Twitter accounts. They chose to use Riak for their social login functionality because of its operational simplicity, which allows them to easily scale up without sharding and provides the high availability required for a smooth user experience. For more details, check out the complete Copious story on our blog.
For more information about the benefits of Riak for retailers and the retailers already using it, register for our “Retail on Riak” webcast on February 8th!
November 22, 2012
With a growing community understanding of distributed systems architectures, where is the field evolving? How are Riak and other Dynamo-inspired databases handling complex data structures and meeting demands for stronger consistency and more queriability? This blog highlights three talks from last month’s RICON that tackle these questions.
Advancing Distributed Systems – Eric Brewer
In this keynote talk, Dr. Eric Brewer, author of a theorem that helped kick off the NoSQL movement, talks about the challenges facing distributed systems today. Beginning with some historical context–“SQL vs. NoSQL is not really a new religious war, it’s actually the latest round of a very old religious war”– Dr. Brewer walks us through the advantages and disadvantages of top-down (relational) and bottom-up (NoSQL) worldviews, his work at Google, and his thoughts on where next generation databases are headed.
Bringing Consistency to Riak – Joseph Blomstedt
With regard to the CAP Theorem, Riak is an eventually-consistent database with AP semantics. But, this may soon change. In this talk, Basho engineer Joseph Blomstedt presents, for the first time, on-going R&D at Basho to add true strongly-consistent/CP semantics to Riak.
Data Structures in Riak – Sean Cribbs and Russell Brown
Since the beginning, Riak has supported high write-availability using Dynamo-style multi-valued keys – also known as conflicts or siblings. The tradeoff for this type of availability is that the application must include logic to resolve conflicting updates. This ad hoc resolution strategy is error-prone and can result in surprising anomalies. In this talk, Basho engineers Sean Cribbs and Russel Brown present recent work done to address these issues by adding convergent data structures to Riak.
For more RICON videos on a range of distributed systems topics, visit our RICON aftermath site.
Several Basho team members will be presenting on distributed systems topics at QCon San Francisco.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – November 7, 2012 – Attending QCon International Software Development Conference this week in San Francisco? We’d love to meet up and talk to you about Riak! You can catch us in the exhibitor’s hall all week, or at the welcome party taking place after the talks Wednesday, November 7 at Thirsty Bear. Additionally, several Basho team members will be presenting on distributed systems topics. Check out the talk synopsis below and hope to see you there.
Thursday, November 8
Riak and Dynamo, 5 Years Later
Andy Gross, Basho Chief Architect
October 2012 marks the five year anniversary of Amazon’s seminal Dynamo paper, which inspired most of the NoSQL databases that appeared shortly after its publication, including Riak. In this session, Andy will reflect on five years of involvement with Riak and distributed databases and discuss what went right, what went wrong, and what the next five years may hold for Riak as we outgrow our Dynamo roots.
Fear No More: Embrace Eventual Consistency
Sean Cribbs, Basho Software Engineer
A number of years ago, Eric Brewer, father of the CAP theorem, coined an architectural style of loosely-coupled distributed systems “BASE”, meaning, “Basically Available, Soft-state, and Eventually-consistent”. Clearly he meant this as a counterpoint to the “ACID” properties of traditional database systems. BASE systems choose to remain available to operations, sacrificing strict synchronization. While developers are very comfortable with the convenience of ACID, eventual consistency can be frightening, unfamiliar territory.
This talk will dive into the design of eventually consistent systems, touching on theory and practice. We’ll see why EC doesn’t mean “inconsistent” but is actually a different kind of consistency, with different tradeoffs. These new skills should help developers know when to embrace eventually-consistent solutions instead of fearing them.
Friday, November 9
Dynamo: Theme and Variations
Shanley Kane, Basho Director of Product Management
The Dynamo paper, released by Amazon five years ago, laid out a set of technical “themes” for highly available, fault-tolerant distributed systems. Since then, numerous NoSQL products have been built on its core principles. These “variations,” along with recent advances in research, represent both a fascinating study in technical evolution and the forefront of the non-relational world. In this talk, we’ll cover the foundations of Dynamo – consistent hashing, vector clocks, hinted handoff, gossip protocol – advances in each area, and how querying and application development has changed as a result of them.
Basho Technologies today announced the immediate availability of the second edition of Riak Handbook.
CAMBRIDGE, MA – June 1, 2012 – Basho Technologies today announced the immediate availability of the second edition of Riak Handbook. The significantly updated Riak Handbook includes more than 43 pages of new content covering many of the latest feature enhancements to Riak, Basho’s industry-leading, open-source, distributed database. Riak Handbook is authored by former Basho developer and advocate, Mathias Meyer.
Riak Handbook is a comprehensive, hands-on guide to Riak. The initial release of Riak Handbook focused on the driving forces behind Riak, including Amazon Dynamo, eventual consistency and CAP Theorem. Through a collection of examples and code, Mathias’ Riak Handbook explores the mechanics of Riak, such as storing and retrieving data, indexing, searching and querying data, and sheds a light on Riak in production. The updated handbook expands on previously covered key concepts and introduces new capabilities, including the following:
- An overview of Riak Control, a new Web-based operations management tool
- An entirely new section on deploying Erlang code in a Riak cluster
- Additional details on secondary indexes
- Insight into load balancing Riak nodes
- An introduction to network node planning
- An introduction to Riak CS, includes Amazon S3 API compatibility
The updated Riak Handbook includes an entirely new section dedicated to popular use cases and is full of examples and code from real-time usage scenarios.
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 joined Basho Technologies in 2010.
About Basho Technologies
Basho Technologies is the leader in highly-available, distributed database technologies used to power scalable, data-intensive Web, mobile, and e-commerce applications and large cloud computing platforms. Basho customers, including fast-growing Web businesses and large Fortune 500 enterprises, use Riak to implement content delivery platforms and global session stores, to aggregate large amounts of data for logging, search, and analytics, to manage, store and stream unstructured data, and to build scalable cloud computing platforms.
Riak is available open source for download at http://wiki.basho.com/Riak.html. Riak EnterpriseDS is available with advanced replication, services and 24/7 support. Riak CS enables mutli-tenant object storage with advanced reporting and an Amazon S3 compatible API. For more information visit www.basho.com or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/basho.
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.
July 28, 2010
Sometimes you need more than words to illustrate a point. Here is Basho’s humble attempt to clarify the difference between “Dynamo-Style” systems (like Riak) that use consistent hashing to achieve fault tolerance, simple scaling, and prevent data loss, and systems that use techniques like sharding.
May 4, 2010
There is nothing easy about making software simple to learn and understand. Every potential user has different nuances to their learning styles, and this makes for a hard road to simple usage. This is especially true with Riak.
Internally at Basho, we are constantly addressing questions like, “How do we make a ‘distributed, Dynamo-inspired key/value store’ inviting and less daunting to first time users?” and “How do we lower the barrier to adoption and usage?” Though resources like the Riak Mailing List, the Riak Wiki, and Riak IRC channel are great, we kept asking ourselves, “What can we do to make it dead simple for those new to and interested in Riak to learn about it and how it works?”
Our answer (in part) is the Riak Fast Track.
What is the Riak Fast Track?
The Fast Track is an interactive module on the Riak Wiki that, through a combination of concise content and brief screencasts, will bring you up to speed on a) what Riak is, b) what its key features and benefits are, and c) how to use it.
As I stated above, the Fast Track is aimed at developers who may be new to Riak or those who may have heard about it in passing but haven’t spent too much time fiddling with it.
We put a lot of time into making this, but there are undoubtedly some kinks that need to be worked out. And, regardless of how long we try to tweak and refine it, there will always be some small aspects and details that we aren’t going to get right. It is for that reason that we are appealing to you, the rapidly-growing Riak Community, to help us.
So, here is the challenge: Take 45 minutes and go through the Riak Fast Track. Then, when you’re done, take five minutes to write us an email and tell us what you thought about it. That’s it.
We are looking for answers to questions like:
- Was it effective?
- Did you learn anything?
- What did we get right?
- What did we get wrong?
- What should we add/remove?
And, to sweeten the pot, we are going to send a “Riak Swag Pack” (contents of which are top secret) to everyone who sends us their review and thoughts on the Fast Track by the close of business on Tuesday (5/11) of next week. It doesn’t have to be anything extensive (though we love details). A simple, “I liked x, y, and z, but you could have done this better” would suffice. You can send your emails to email@example.com. I am looking forward to hearing from you!
So, without further ado, go forth and test out the Riak Fast Track.
We hope you’ll find it useful and we’re looking forward to your thoughts on how to make it better.