Tag Archives: mobile

2013 Basho Resources

December 26, 2013

This year, we added a wide variety of resources to help you better understand Riak and Riak CS for different use cases. These resources include whitepapers, webinars and videos, sample apps, and outside articles and reports. Here’s a look at some of what was added in 2013.

Whitepapers

With multiple releases over the past year, all of the primary product whitepapers have been updated. Check out new versions of:

Relational to Riak
Multi-Datacenter Replication in Riak
Riak CS Technical Overview

We also added a number of vertical-specific whitepapers to help companies in various industries better evaluate Riak and Riak CS.

Riak for Gaming
Riak for Mobile
Riak for Retail
Riak for Advertising

Intro to Riak Webinar

In addition to hosting multiple introduction webinars throughout the year, we also created a standalone “Intro to Riak” webinar that can be watched and shared easily. To watch this webinar, simply fill out the webinar request form.

Sample Applications

To showcase the power of indexing in Riak, we created a Zombie Sample App that’s run on Riak. This app has one million “Zombielepsy” victims loaded into Riak and lets the user locate them using zip code as the index value. It supports both Term-Based Inverted Indexes and Secondary Indexes. In addition to better understanding indexing in Riak, users can:

  • Create a Zombie Sighting Report System so the concentration of live zombies in an area can quickly be determined based on the count and last report date.
  • Add a crowd-sourced Inanimate Zombie Reporting System so that members of the non-zombie population can report inanimate zombies.
  • Add a correlation feature, utilizing Graph CRDTs, so we can find our way back to Patient Zero.

More details about this app can be found here.

Articles and Reports

Outside of what has been created by Basho, we think that outside sources can also be a valuable tool when evaluating Riak or Riak CS. Our updated News Page helps to showcase much of this, but we thought we’d call out a few helpful articles from the past year.

Information Week – “Big Data Reshapes Weather Channel Predictions
IDC – “IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Object-Based Storage 2013 Vendor Assessment
The Register – “What Do We Want? Strong Consistency! When Do We…Oh It’s In Riak v2
Programmable Web – “Seagate Releases Open Source API to Eliminate Data Storage Complexity
The Register – “Distributed Systems Boffins Flock to RICON West
Computer Weekly – “Computer Weekly European User Awards for Storage: Winners
Gartner – “IT Market Clock for Database Management Systems, 2013
Information Week – “Basho Embraces OpenStack with Riak Cloud Storage
Flyclops Blog – “Taking the Riak Plunge
Forrester Research – “To Get National Healthcare Right Requires Adaptive Intelligence
451 Research – “451 Research Survey Highlights Growing Adoption of NoSQL Databases
GigaOm – “Storage Player Basho Open Sources Riak CS

To learn more about how Riak and Riak CS can be used, check out the Resources Page or sign up for a Tech Talk.

Basho

Social-Map Innovator and Riak User Citymaps Predicts Where You Want to Go

December 5, 2013

By combining local, social, and mobile into a single experience, Citymaps has quickly revolutionized online mapping. Citymaps’ innovations marry a vector-based, detailed view of a city’s business landscape, with local search, interactive discovery, social sharing, and commerce. Citymaps launched its new mapping service this past summer, earning praise from many users and from Techcrunch and GigaOM.

Unlike traditional online mapping, Citymaps learns user patterns and adapts to a user’s personal interests. Users can share their favorite personal maps or check out the personal maps of their friends, mentors, and favorite celebrities. Today, Citymaps has over 15 million businesses already plugged into the service. Citymaps users can easily retrieve directions, menus, Instagram photos, Foursquare tips, and they can easily contribute content and pictures to a generated map.

Citymaps selected Basho Riak to store strategic data at the heart of their service. Citymaps wanted a distributed database that could meet the need of their rapid growth, while also being operationally easy to manage. Riak stores user avatars, business images and icons, and other strategic map data. It will also be used for distributed API caching in the future.

Citymaps is available on iOS in the Apple App Store. Citymaps plans to serve Android users by year-end.

Basho

Tapjoy Deploys Riak to Support Worldwide Mobile Advertising

November 21, 2013

Tapjoy is a mobile advertising and monetization platform that allows end users to select personalized advertisements that they can engage with in exchange for rewards. Tapjoy is available on over one billion devices to users all over the world. Riak has been the cornerstone of their data management strategy for the past year.

Tapjoy’s global growth required the company to consider scalability. Their original infrastructure was built on SimpleDB; however, with billions of requests coming in on an average day, they started to experience performance issues due to latency, as well as limits on the size and location of data being stored. With their growth straining their data store, they wanted to find a new solution that would guarantee performance and uptime, even with peak traffic.

“Tapjoy can’t have downtime ever, planned or unplanned,” stated Wes Jossey, Systems Engineer at Tapjoy. “If Tapjoy goes down, end users can’t interact with our platform and they leave, which is unacceptable to us and to our partners.” Due to Tapjoy’s high requirements for availability, scalability, and data redundancy, there were really only a few players in the space to choose from.

The Tapjoy team found that DynamoDB didn’t have all of the features they needed (especially Secondary Indexes, at that time); HBase wasn’t the right fit for their use case; and Cassandra was deemed too operationally intensive for their small team, based on information provided by third parties who had been using Cassandra in production for years. With Riak, the Tapjoy team estimates that they have been able to keep costs down, decrease engineering complexity, and reduce operational effort due to its ease of use and general stability.

With Riak, Tapjoy is able to meet its high availability mandate, and achieve its stringent low-latency requirements with requests as quick as 750 microseconds (due to the real-time aspects of their platform). Tapjoy stores 48TB of data in Riak and operates hundreds of thousands of reads and writes per second against their clusters.

Their current clusters are replicated between multiple data-centers, to allow for failover in the event of unexpected downtime in one of their main facilities. Tapjoy opted to become Riak Enterprise customers not only to facilitate this replication requirement, but also because of the excellent customer support the Basho team is able to provide. “We rarely have issues with Riak, so I don’t get paged,” said Jossey. “Riak is a critical piece of our business, and it’s a huge relief that it just works.”

Tapjoy leverages many open source tools and cloud-based technologies to achieve the team’s “Get stuff done” philosophy. Their stack includes:

  • Javascript, jQuery, Backbone.js, D3.js
  • Ruby on Rails, Java, Objective-C
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Chef, IronFan, Sensu, RabbitMQ
  • Riak, MySQL, Couchbase, PostgreSQL, Zookeeper
  • Hadoop, HBase, Vertica

Basho

Relational to Riak – High Availability

November 13, 2013

This series of blog posts will discuss how Riak differs from traditional relational databases. For more information about any of the points discussed, download our technical overview, “From Relational to Riak.”


One of the biggest differences between Riak and relational systems is our focus on availability. Riak is designed to be deployed to, and runs best on, multiple servers. It can continue to function normally in the presence of hardware and network failures. Relational databases, conversely, are simplest to set up on a single server.

Most relational databases offer a master/slave architecture for availability, in which only the master server is available for data updates. If the master fails, the slave is (hopefully) able to step in and take over.

However, even with this simple model, coping with failure (or even properly defining it) is non-trivial. What happens if the master and slave server cannot talk to each other? How do you recover from a split brain scenario, where both servers think they’re the master and accept updates? What happens if the slave is slow to respond to updates sent from the master database? Can clients read from a slave? If so, does the master need to verify that the slave has received all updates before it commits them locally and responds to the client that requested the updates?

Conversely, Riak is explicitly designed to expect server and network failure. Riak is a masterless system, meaning any server can respond to read or write requests. If one fails, others will continue to service client requests. Once this server becomes available again, the cluster will feed it any updates that it missed through a process we call hinted handoff.

Because Riak’s system allows for reads and writes when multiple servers are offline or otherwise unreachable, data may not always be consistent across the environment (usually only for a few milliseconds). However, through self-healing mechanisms like read repair and Active Anti-Entropy, all updates will propagate to all servers making data eventually consistent.

For many use cases, high availability is more important than strict consistency. Data unavailability can negatively impact revenue, damage user trust, lead to poor user experience, and cause lost critical data. Industries like gaming, mobile, retail, and advertising require always-on availability. Visit our Users Page to see how companies in various industries use Riak.

Basho

Praekelt Foundation Deploys Riak to Improve the Health and Well-Being of People Living in Poverty Throughout Africa

September 17, 2013

The Praekelt Foundation is a non-profit that builds open source, scalable mobile technologies and solutions to improve the health and well-being of people living in poverty. Their Vumi solution was created as a response to the rapid spread of mobile phones across Africa. Vumi allows for large scale mobile messaging using SMS and USSD, so no internet connectivity is required. Vumi uses Riak as a super reliable backend to store all the messages that are being processed and all responses. This data is all archived to allow for further analysis to see trends of areas and which campaigns are the most successful.

The Vumi Network reaches hundreds of thousands of end users across many countries. It works with non-governmental organizations to set up campaigns and services for emerging markets. These include education (Wikipedia uses Vumi to allow end-users to search and retrieve information from Wikipedia over SMS/USSD), health (partnering with Johnson & Johnson, the MAMA campaign (Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action) allows pregnant women to receive health information over SMS based pregnancy stage and HIV diagnosis), peaceful messaging (Sisi Ni Amani uses Vumi to prevent election violence in Kenya through grassroots engagement and tracking of early conflict warning signs), as well as many other utilities.

They had been using Postgres for years but, when it came to storing messages, they knew Postgres was only an interim solution. Since they needed a non-relational system, they started evaluating the key players in the NoSQL space. With MongoDB, they found the durability defaults needed for a performance boost were not adequate for their zero downtime needs; CouchDB did not give them the performance they needed; and Cassandra was too operationally intensive for their small team and Riak offered better features. When they began testing Riak, Praekelt Foundation Chief Engineer, Simon de Haan, was able to get a three-node cluster up and running on his laptop in 20 minutes. This operational simplicity, the reliability of the system, the ability to seamlessly scale to entire populations, and the range of query options made Riak a clear choice to power Vumi.

“It blew my mind how easy it was to set up Riak and was a huge selling point for our small operations team,” said de Haan. “We also needed a reliable system with solid up-time guarantees. Riak has never gone down on us and continues to survive individual restarts. The whole thing just works.”

Since launching Riak two years ago, they are running five nodes and push 1,000 messages each second. All messages are stored as JSON in Riak, which makes it easy for them utilize Secondary Indexing and MapReduce when querying this data. With the introduction of pagination with Secondary Indexes and Eventually Consistent Counters in Riak 1.4, they have also been able to move a lot of data from Redis over to Riak to take advantage of these new features. Additionally, The Praekelt Foundation will expand their querying capabilities later this year when Riak Search gets a makeover in the Riak 2.0 release.

The Praekelt Foundation is currently evaluating Riak and Riak CS for some of their other technologies and Basho is proud to be a part of such a great cause. For more information on the Praekelt Foundation and Vumi, visit their site at www.praekeltfoundation.org/

Basho

Rovio Uses Riak to Power Angry Birds Toons and New Mobile Games

September 10, 2013

Rovio, the creator of Angry Birds, has announced that they use Riak to manage their exponential data growth from their cartoon series, Angry Birds Toons, and their new mobile video games.

In March of 2013, Rovio’s games had been downloaded 1.7 billion times, with hundreds of millions of active users. Their upcoming mobile game and cartoon series were expected to draw in an even larger audience. However, since popularity can be hard to predict, Rovio needed an infrastructure that could support viral growth if needed, without failing and causing downtime. Similarly, if demand was lower than anticipated, they also needed the flexibility to rein back the infrastructure to avoid unnecessary expenditure. Riak’s ease-of-scale was the perfect solution to support this uncertainty and now the Rovio IT team is able to scale from tens of Riak servers to hundreds based on customer demand.

Riak was also selected due to its robust, low-latency features, which have ensured that customers receive the service levels they have come to expect. Riak replicates data across multiple nodes within the database, meaning even if nodes fails, the system maintains its high performance profile and never loses critical user data. Finally, Riak supports multiple data formats, which means consistent services are guaranteed regardless of the type of device a gamer is using.

Since implementing with Riak, internal development has become much more streamlined due to Riak’s operational simplicity. The new in-house user-interface named “Bigbird Library” was built on top of Riak and provides Rovio’s developers with a consistent and simple interface. This means that less time is spent grappling with complex IT systems, and more time can instead be focused on improving existing services and developing new, engaging content.

For more details about why Rovio chose Riak and why distributed systems such as Riak are the right solution for gaming companies, check out Timo Herttua’s (Rovio Entertainment Product Manager) talk from the Game Developers Conference.

For more information on building gaming services with Riak, check out the Gaming Spotlight page and download the Gaming on Riak Whitepaper.

Basho

Rovio Avoids a Birdquake; Deploys Riak to Underpin Angry Birds Toons

Open source distributed database provides resilient infrastructure and eases growing pains

London – 3rd September 2013Basho Technologies, an expert in distributed systems and cloud storage software, has today announced that Angry Birds creator, Rovio, has implemented Riak. The scalable, open source NoSQL database has enabled Rovio to economically and effectively manage growing data volumes resulting from its growing number of data operations resulting from its new cartoon series, Angry Birds Toons, and new mobile video games.

During December 2012, Rovio had 263 million monthly active users and by March 2013, its games had been downloaded 1.7 billion times. With global demand surging and the launch of Angry Birds Toons and new mobile games set to put further strain on the infrastructure, Rovio needed to ensure that its high service levels could be maintained in a cost effective way. To add further complexity, data transactions across multiple platforms, including smartphones and tablets, meant that investment was needed to keep the user experience consistent.

“Rovio started as a gaming company in 2003, but the success of Angry Birds meant we were facing an exponential increase in the amount of data we were dealing with. The game is now the number one paid app of all time and this popularity prompted us to release Angry Birds Toons. We had to find a way of dealing with the spikes in demand caused by our new releases as well as supporting the continued growth of Angry Birds,” said Juhani Honkala, Vice President of Technology at Rovio. “Basho’s distributed data store, Riak, allows us to deliver availability to our customers whilst maintaining a standard of service that we can pride ourselves on. These standards are crucial for us as gaming users will simply not continue to play if the interface is latent or unreliable.”

Angry Birds Toons and new mobile games were expected to draw in a large audience but as with any game or entertainment medium, popularity is hard to predict. Rovio needed an infrastructure that could support viral growth if needed without failing and causing downtime. Similarly, if demand was lower than anticipated, flexibility was needed to ensure that infrastructure could be reined back, avoiding unnecessary expenditure. The Riak solution addressed these goals and Rovio’s IT team is now able to scale from tens of Riak servers to hundreds, based on customer demand.

As well as being agile, Rovio has benefitted from Riak’s robust, low-latency features which have served to ensure customers receive the service levels they expect. Riak replicates data across multiple nodes within the database, providing a high tolerance for hardware failure without losing critical user data. This means that even if one node fails, the system maintains its high performance profile. Multiple data formats are also supported meaning consistent services are guaranteed regardless of the type of device a gamer is using.

Maintaining impeccable customer service has been a key benefit of this project and internal development has also become more streamlined since implementing Riak. A new in-house user-interface named ‘Bigbird library’ has been created on top of Riak, providing Rovio’s developers with a consistent and simple interface. This means that less time is spent grappling with complex IT systems, and more time can instead be focused on improving existing services and developing new, engaging creative.

“Providing the infrastructure for hundreds of millions of users is no small feat. The world is becoming much more connected, and people are using more devices than ever before. Keeping track of those data types and scaling to meet demand cost-effectively can be a huge challenge,” continued Juhani Honkala, Vice President of Technology at Rovio. “With Riak, Basho has provided us with the fast, scalable and flexible foundation needed to address the challenges associated with cross-platform entertainment. This has been done while keeping operational costs affordable and while providing the best possible experience to our global fan base.”

“Gaming providers increasingly face new challenges. Providing services at a global scale, with zero downtime, and while handling data in a number of different formats can be hugely complex. Get it wrong and the entertainment medium – whether that is a game or otherwise – will not be successful,” said Bobby Patrick, chief marketing officer at Basho. “Rovio is one of the most recognised gaming franchises in the world and the steps it has taken to support exceptional customer service will continue to draw in fans and make its products stand out from the crowd.”

About Basho Technologies
Basho is a distributed systems company dedicated to making software that is highly available, fault-tolerant and easy-to-operate at scale. Basho’s distributed database, Riak, and Basho’s cloud storage software, Riak CS, are used by fast growing Web businesses and by over 25 percent of the Fortune 50 to power their critical Web, mobile and social applications and their public and private cloud platforms.

Riak and Riak CS are available open source. Riak Enterprise and Riak CS Enterprise offer enhanced multi-datacenter replication and 24×7 Basho support. For more information, visit basho.com. Basho is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts and has offices in London, San Francisco, Tokyo and Washington DC.

About Rovio Entertainment
 Ltd.
Rovio Entertainment Ltd is an industry-changing entertainment media company headquartered in Finland, and the creator of the globally successful Angry Birds™ characters franchise. Angry Birds, a casual puzzle game, became an international phenomenon within a few months of its release. Angry Birds has expanded rapidly into multifaceted entertainment, publishing, and licensing to become a beloved international brand. Rovio’s animated Angry Birds feature film is slated for July 1, 2016. www.rovio.com

Media Contacts
Jeremy Hill, Basho, Jeremy@basho.com
Adele Connell, AxiCom, Adele.Connell@axicom.com

Mobile Taxi Platform Flywheel Uses Riak to Power Their Application

September 5, 2013

Flywheel is a mobile taxi hailing platform that is in more than half of the cabs in San Francisco and has recently expanded to LA. Through the mobile application, users can request cabs, view their location, and pay via their smartphone. Flywheel is currently using Riak for their underlying passenger and driver engine. This engine stores information such as user accounts, passenger information, taxi information, and ride details. Riak also stores real-time production data, such as passenger ride requests and ride accepts from drivers.

Part of the future growth strategy for Flywheel was shifting to a purely Linux and open source based infrastructure. This meant moving away from a more traditional closed source relational database system. They needed something that was easy to get up and running and that didn’t require a lot of developer resources to manage. Flywheel evaluated a number of different open source choices, including Redis, MongoDB, Cassandra, and CouchDB. Ultimately, they decided to move to Riak and supplement it with Postgres, as Riak offered the most operational simplicity.

Flywheel went into production with Riak in September of 2012. They are currently running eight nodes in their cluster and handle 25,000-30,000 writes and 50,000-60,000 reads each day. Riak’s key/value data model has been a natural fit for the application’s “events” that happen each time a taxi ride is processed. These events include taxi hails, driver response, taxi rides, ride payments, etc. and buckets are used to group them together within Riak.

For more information about Flywheel, check out their site or download their app. To learn more about Riak, visit basho.com/riak/.

Basho

Mobile Taxi Hailing Application, Flywheel, Uses Basho’s Riak to Ensure App Availability During Peak Events

SAN FRANCISCO – SEPTEMBER 5, 2013Flywheel, a mobile taxi hailing platform, works with Basho’s distributed NoSQL database, Riak, to power their passenger and driver engine. During Bay to Breakers 2013, San Francisco’s popular marathon, Flywheel saw their highest traffic spikes due to the hundreds of thousands of people trying to get around the city. While their application was experiencing peak loads, Riak ensured that this concurrent usage had no impact on the end-user experience and seamlessly handled this traffic at low-latency with zero downtime.

Flywheel is in more than half of the cabs in San Francisco and has recently expanded to the LA area. Due to their quick growth and need for operational simplicity, Flywheel decided to move their platform to Riak in September of 2012. Riak provided the scale and ease-of use necessary for Flywheel’s small team and beat out many alternative NoSQL databases.

“Bay to Breakers was an important time for us to solidify our place in the mobile taxi market,” said Cuyler Jones, Chief Architect at Flywheel. “Part of why we moved to Riak was to leverage its high availability and scalability, which it achieved perfectly. It was great to have one less thing to worry about during this key event.”

Flywheel’s passenger and driver engine stores information such as user accounts, passenger information, taxi information, and ride details. In addition, Riak is also used to store real-time production data, such as passenger ride requests and ride accepts from drivers.

Basho’s Riak is an open source distributed database is designed for always-on availability, fault-tolerance, scalability, and ease-of-use. It is used by companies worldwide that need to always store and access critical data. Mobile is one of the most common use cases for Riak, due to the high availability and low-latency requirements, as well as the need to scale quickly to meet peak loads. For a look at how others use Riak to solve the challenges of mobile applications and services, visit the Mobile Spotlight page.

Flywheel is currently running eight nodes in their Riak cluster and handle 25,000-30,000 writes and 50,000-60,000 reads each day. For more information about Flywheel, check out their site and download their app. To learn more about Riak, visit basho.com/riak/.

About Basho
Basho is a distributed systems company dedicated to making software that is highly available, fault-tolerant and easy-to-operate at scale. Basho’s distributed database, Riak and Basho’s cloud storage software, Riak CS, are used by fast growing Web businesses and by over 25 percent of the Fortune 50 to power their critical Web, mobile and social applications and their public and private cloud platforms.

Riak and Riak CS are available open source. Riak Enterprise and Riak CS Enterprise offer enhanced multi-datacenter replication and 24×7 Basho support. For more information, visit basho.com. Basho is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts and has offices in London, San Francisco, Tokyo and Washington DC.

About Flywheel
With offices in San Francisco and Redwood City, Flywheel Software, Inc was founded in 2010 to provide an all-new experience to both passengers and drivers of for-hire vehicles. The Flywheel service includes a mobile app whereby its customers order taxi rides in real-time, track arrival via GPS and automatically pay their fare–all from their smart phone device.

Flywheel’s Investors include Craton Equity Partners of Los Angeles, Shasta Ventures, RockPort Capital, Sand Hill Angels and members of the Band of Angels. Flywheel can be found at www.flywheel.com

Basho Lead Designer Speaking at DevCon5

New York, NY– July 24, 2013 – Basho is a proud sponsor and exhibitor of DevCon5 2013, the HTML5 and mobile application developer conference. DevCon5 takes place July 24-25 in New York, NY.

DevCon5 is a conference where both front and back end developers are familiarized with disruptive technologies that enable UX/UI and back end mobile development. While this is Basho’s first year at DevCon, their distributed database, Riak, is already a key tool for backend mobile developers looking to provide “always on” user experiences. Due to Riak’s redundant, fault-tolerant design, Riak also provides a consistently fast mobile user experience that can easily scale and support highly concurrent access. It is currently used to power mobile applications like Voxer, Bump, and Rovio. For more information on how mobile applications and platforms can use Riak, download “Mobile on Riak: A Technical Introduction.”

In addition to sponsoring, Basho UX/UI Lead Designer, Sarah Drasner, will be speaking at DevCon5. Drasner’s talk, “CSS Animations to Tell A Story” will be a deep-dive into creating scalable web graphics for maximum impact, while telling a broader story of emerging tools that allow for less operational complexities and amplified impact. Like Basho’s flagship product Riak, Drasner will discuss how technologies are shifting to meet emerging business requirements, while minimizing immediate operational burdens and enabling ease of scale.

Drasner’s talk begins at 3:30pm ET on Wednesday, July 24th.