By: Peter Coppola
We had the opportunity to stop by DATAVERSITY’S NoSQL Now! conference in San Jose last week. I was very impressed with the level of energy and the wide-ranging selection of sessions offered. According to Tony Shaw, the CEO of DATAVERSITY, the organizer of NoSQL Now, registrations were up 15 percent from 2013.
The exhibition hall was packed and lively as attendees jostled between booths. DATAVERSITY did an outstanding job keeping the show floor tightly packed with exhibitors. The industry was well represented by Cloudera (saw “Data is the new bacon” t-shirts), MarkLogic, MongoDB, Oracle and EnterpriseDB – all present as major sponsors. Between conversations, I was able to nab a nifty versatile screw-driver disguised as a pen from DataStax.
NoSQL Now sessions do rely heavily on sponsors, but with such a wide selection of tracks there’s bound to be a topic of interest at any given time slot. I had a choice of the following concurrent sessions at 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday:
- Internet of Things with MongoDB – MongoDB
- Out with MapReduce, In with Spark – DataStax
- Case Studies in Search and Semantics – MarkLogic
- Just the Right Weather for our Company: How We Chose Our Data Stores – The Weather Company
- NoSQL on ACID – EnterpriseDB
I attended The Weather Company’s session – not only was it the only non-vendor presenter, but the company is also a customer and big fan of Riak. The Weather Company manages five data centers that in production handle 25,000 requests per second and distribute 60 GB of data to each data center every 10 minutes. Surya Kangeyan Sivakumar took us through the journey of how The Weather Company selected its data store solutions and how it overcame the mindset of having to use its existing relational database solution just because the company had invested so much in it. Riak was selected, along with other NoSQL solutions, due to the speed and ease at which it could be stood up.
In 2015 Basho looks forward to being a more active participant in NoSQL Now.
By: Jeremy Hill
Business Intelligence makes it possible for organizations to make sense of the vast amount of customer, manufacturing and competitive information they have available in order to make smarter and better informed decisions. In turn, this enables organizations to become more responsive to customer needs, increase efficiencies in manufacturing processes, and respond to significant events quickly.
Historically the data that drives business intelligence has been stored in structured formats in a data warehouse, such as customer information on how much is spent. However, this approach misses out on the value of semi-unstructured and unstructured data, like the details from a customer call or a customer tweet.
With such information missing, a complete view of the customer or business can be limited. The consequence is that an inability to gain knowledge and measure customer information means businesses can fall behind, especially in a competitive market.
Business Intelligence needs NoSQL
Having access to all types of relevant customer information – structured, semi-structured and unstructured – is an essential requirement for business intelligence (BI) to help enterprises get ahead of the competition. Unlike structured, relational data warehouses, NoSQL databases make this possible with improved availability, scalability and fast response times. NoSQL databases are ideal for BI and data warehousing not only because of the diverse types of information it can deal with, but also because they are able to deliver data at the very time it is needed.
Enabling real-time analytics
NoSQL keeps up with transaction speeds as-it-happens, enabling real-time analytics. E-commerce transactions, for example, benefit from a NoSQL database because it can make a decision about what to do next when a buyer doesn’t complete a purchase. Instead of waiting 24 hours or longer for the data to move through a traditional data warehouse system, with a NoSQL system a feed goes straight from a transaction through a connecter to a NoSQL database. A sales analytics process can make a decision with the intelligence at that very minute, to consult the customer and understand the behavior in real-time, helping secure the purchase and preventing the loss of a customer transaction.
A recently announced Basho partner, Caserta Concepts, a technology consulting firm specializing in big data analytics, data warehousing and business intelligence, works with CIOs to deliver analytics solutions that support business goals. It uses Riak and Riak CS to accommodate unique client requirements across a broad range of data types – structured, semi-structured and unstructured – and provides continuous availability to keep critical line-of-business applications going around the clock. Caserta’s practice illustrates the viability for NoSQL in the database revolution to take on the volume, variety and velocity of data dynamics of today’s web-scale applications.
Intelligence for IoT transactions
With the vast amounts of information from Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, more business intelligence needs and use cases are at the cusp. Consider oil and gas organizations providing annual service contracts for boilers – analytics tells the business that anything beyond the second call out (or truck roll) wipes out the profit on the contract. In the connected world, NoSQL enables the next level of intelligence, which allows organizations to collect information so that, in the event of failure, they are able to determine which parts are needed in advance, eliminating the need for multiple visits. Gathering intelligence from this data also allows organizations to perform preemptive maintenance during the annual inspections to lower the frequency of unplanned, costly site visits.
With NoSQL, BI and data warehousing can become quicker and much more efficient. It allows organizations to react to events more quickly, increase customer attention, streamline the supply chain, predict customer behavior at the point it matters and predict future service calls. At the rise of big, unstructured data, NoSQL presents enormous opportunity for the future of business intelligence.
March 24, 2014
When selecting a NoSQL solution, there are many options to choose from, each different and with their own benefits depending on your use case. To help you decide what the right choice for your needs may be, there are two amazing events this week where many NoSQL providers (including Basho) will be speaking.
The first is in conjunction with Ad:Tech in San Francisco. For advertisers to stay competitive in the modern landscape, the need to crunch massive amounts of consumer profile data and enable real-time bidding has made NoSQL the gold standard in database technology. That’s why Basho partner, GoGrid, will be hosting the panel, “NoSQL: Digital Advertising’s ‘Bad Boy’ Database Comes of Age” at 111 Minna Gallery. Speakers from Basho, Couchbase, DataStax, and MongoDB will be there to discuss how NoSQL is helping advertisers push the envelope now, and what is to come in 2014. This panel will take place on Wednesday, March 26th at 5:30pm. Registration is free and tickets are still available.
The other is hosted by the New York Software Engineers. This meetup, “The Battle of Distributed Databases – Data Modeling in the Enterprise Ecosystem,” will address some of the challenges the NoSQL community faces in enterprise adoption. Casey Rosenthal, Director of Professional Services at Basho, will be speaking about Riak and its adoption with 30% of the Fortune 50. This meetup will take place on Wednesday, March 26th at 7pm at Foursquare’s office. Be sure and register for this free event.
To see how enterprises are using Riak, check out the Users Page.
In addition to these meetups, Basho will be at multiple other events and conferences. A complete list can be found on our Events Page.
December 23, 2013
A few weeks ago, we hosted a webinar with 451 Research entitled, “Beyond NoSQL – Distributed Databases in Production.” This webinar featured Matt Aslett (Research Director at 451 Research), Bobby Patrick (EVP and CMO at Basho Technologies), and Wes Jossey (Systems Engineer at Tapjoy).
During this one-hour webinar, we discuss the history of NoSQL, the current NoSQL landscape, and then dive into Basho’s Riak. Wes Jossey also presents a case study from Riak User, Tapjoy, about how they use Riak as the cornerstone of their data management strategy. Finally, we wrap up with a look at what’s to come with Riak 2.0.
If you weren’t able to attend this webinar (or would like to rewatch it), the recording is now available. Simply register here to receive a link to watch the recording: info.basho.com/BeyondNoSQL_Recorded.html
December 18, 2013
Downtime, planned or unplanned, is no longer an option. It can have a dramatic impact on revenue and lead to negative customer experiences and attrition. Luckily, distributed NoSQL databases (such as Basho Riak) are designed to provide high availability, even during network partition or server failure. This means there will never be an excuse for downtime again.
To help demonstrate the cost of downtime and how Riak can help, we have put together an infographic, “Down With Downtime.” Zoom in by clicking the image below.
December 9, 2013
Tomorrow (December 10th) at 10am PT/1pm ET, we will be hosting a live webinar, “Beyond NoSQL – Distributed Databases in Production.” This webinar will feature Matt Aslett (Research Director at 451 Research), Bobby Patrick (EVP and CMO at Basho Technologies), and Wes Jossey (Systems Engineer at Tapjoy). There are still seats available, and you can register here for more details.
This webinar will talk about the history of NoSQL and what issues NoSQL aimed to solve in regard to relational systems. It will then look at the current NoSQL landscape and architecture trends. From there, the webinar will focus on Basho’s Riak, a distributed NoSQL database, and some of its key features and use cases. Tapjoy, the mobile performance-based advertising platform (and Riak user) will discuss how they use Riak to provide reliable data locality to their customers and why they selected Riak to be the cornerstone of their data management strategy. Finally, it will wrap up with a look at what’s to come with Riak 2.0 and have a live question and answer session.
Be sure and register now for “Beyond NoSQL – Distributed Databases in Production.”
November 27, 2013
Join Basho and 451 Research on Tuesday, December 10th at 10am PT for a live webinar, “Beyond NoSQL – Distributed Databases in Production.”
This webinar will feature Matt Aslett, Research Director at 451 Research, and Bobby Patrick, EVP and CMO at Basho Technologies. This webinar will set the stage with NoSQL trends and adoption across various industries. It will then discuss some of the key benefits of distributed NoSQL systems and explore how systems like Riak are evolving.
Wes Jossey, Systems Engineer at Tapjoy, will also be joining the webinar to discuss how Tapjoy uses distributed databases to provide reliable data locality to their customers through multi-datacenter replication.
Register here for the free “Beyond NoSQL – Distributed Databases in Production” webinar.
October 28, 2013
The technology community is extremely agile and fast-paced. It can turn on a dime to solve business problems as they arise. However, with this agility comes budding terminology that can often provide false categorizations. This can lead to confusion, especially when companies evaluate new technologies based on a surface understanding of these terms. The world of data is full of these terms, including the notorious “NoSQL” and “big data.”
As described in a previous post, NoSQL is a misleading term. This term represents a response to changing business priorities that require more flexible, resilient architectures (as opposed to the traditional, rigid systems that often happen to use SQL). However, within the NoSQL space, there are dozens of players that can be as different from one another as they are from any of the various SQL-speaking systems.
Big data is another term that, while fairly self-explanatory, has been overused to the point of dilution. One reason why NoSQL databases have become necessary is because of their ability to easily scale to keep up with data growth. Simply storing a lot of data isn’t the solution though. Some data is more critical than others (and should be accessible no matter what) and some data needs to be analyzed to provide business insights. When digging into a business, big data is too vague a term to describe both of these use cases.
As these terms (to highlight a few) are used, it can lead to industry confusion. One area of confusion that we have experienced relates to Basho’s own distributed database, Riak, and the distributed processing system, Hadoop.
While these two systems are actually complementary, we are often asked “How is Riak different from Hadoop?”
To help explain this, it’s important to start with a basic understanding of both systems. Riak is a distributed database that is built for high availability, fault tolerance, and scalability. It is best used to store large amounts of critical data that applications and users need to constantly be able to access. Riak is built by Basho Technologies and can be used as an alternative to or in conjunction with relational databases (such as MySQL) or to other “NoSQL” databases (such as MongoDB or Cassandra).
Hadoop is a framework that allows for the distributed parallel processing of large data sets across clusters of computers. It was originally based on the “MapReduce” system, which was invented by Google. Hadoop consists of two core parts: the underlying Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS), which ensures stored data is always available to be analyzed, and MapReduce, which allows for scalable computation by dividing and running queries over multiple machines. Hadoop provides an inexpensive, scalable solution for bulk data processing and is mostly used as part of an overarching analytics strategy, not for primary “hot” data storage.
One easy way to distinguish between the two is to look at some of the common use cases.
Riak Use Cases
Riak can be used by any application that needs to always have access to large amounts of critical data. Riak uses a key/value data model and is data-type agnostic, so operators can store any type of content in Riak. Due to the key/value model, certain industry use cases fit easily into Riak. These include:
- Gaming – storing player data, session data, etc
- Retail – underpinning shopping carts, product inventories, etc
- Mobile – social authentication, text and multimedia storage, global data locality, etc
- Advertising – serving ad content, session storage, mobile experiences, etc
- Healthcare – prescription or patient records, patient IDs, health data that must always be available across a network of providers, etc
For a full list of use cases, check out our Users Page.
Hadoop Use Cases
Hadoop is designed for situations where you need to store unmodeled data and run computationally intensive analytics over that data. The original use cases of both MapReduce and Hadoop were to produce indexes for distributed search engines at Google and Yahoo respectively. Any industry that needs to do large scale analytics to better improve their business can use Hadoop. Some common examples include finance (build models to do accurate portfolio evaluations and risk analysis) and eCommerce (analyze shopping behavior to deliver product recommendations or better search results).
Riak and Hadoop are based on many of the same tenets, making their usage complementary for some companies. Many companies that utilize Riak today have created scripts, or processes, to pull data from Riak and push into other solutions (like Hadoop) for the purpose of historical archiving or future analysis. Recognizing this trend, Basho is exploring the creation of additional tools to simplify this process.
If you are interested in our thinking on these data export capabilities, please contact us.
Every tool has its value. Hadoop excels at being used by a relatively small subset of the business to answer big questions. Riak excels at being used by a very large number of users and powering critical data for businesses.
August 20, 2013
NoSQL is a misleading name. SQL was never the problem. However, this poorly named industry term does represent a response to changing business priorities and new challenges that require different kinds of database architectures.
Traditional database architectures were first developed in the late 60s and early 70s. They were the default option for many pre-Internet use cases and remain useful today for certain use cases requiring a relational data model. However, their limits are painfully apparent to many companies. Despite what traditional database vendors might have us believe, very little data generated today actually requires a SQL architecture. Businesses face many new challenges today that traditional databases simply are not designed to handle reliably or efficiently. These include:
- Global Users. It is no longer enough to provide a fast experience in one country. Users from all over the globe expect a low-latency experience, making geo-data locality more important than ever.
- Zero Downtime. Planned and unplanned. Both are bad for business. There is now an expectation for always-on availability. Operations teams emphasize must resiliency over recovery.
- Scale Matters. Businesses need to scale up quickly to meet peak loads during the holidays or product launches, and then they need to scale back down. They need an architecture that makes scaling the least of their worries.
- Flexible Data. From user generated data to machine-to-machine (M2M) activity, unstructured data is now commonplace. Businesses need flexibility to handle all the data generated and flowing.
- Omnichannel. Whether users are on a tablet, laptop, or smartphone, they require a device agnostic experience and low-latency.
- Amazon Economics. Every business wants Amazon Economics. With the nature of data growth today, businesses can’t afford expensive machines at every juncture. They need commodity machines to scale horizontally, not vertically.
Attempts to address these challenges with traditional databases result in an inflexible architecture with super high costs. “NoSQL” databases represent a fresh approach towards building flexible, resilient architectures. “NoSQL” goes where no database has ever gone before — into the wild space of the Internet and the massive scale requirements it represents.
Which brings us to NoSQL Now! Basho is sponsoring because the movement is more important than any single industry term. Andy Gross will also be on-hand to further discuss the larger trend of distributed systems:
Dealing with Systems in a New Distributed World
Chief Architect and Co-creator of Riak
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Please join us in San Jose for a look at the future of database technology.
At NoSQL NOW!, industry leaders and developers come together to share ideas at the largest vendor agnostic event of disruptive NoSQL technologies for infrastructure architecture.
Basho has a strong and salient presence at this conference. Both their open source distributed database, Riak, and cloud storage software, Riak CS, are NoSQL technologies that offer high availability, fault-tolerance, and operational ease-of-use. Unlike traditional databases, Riak automatically distributes data in the cluster, eliminating the need for manual sharding, and its masterless design means that nodes can fail without bringing down the entire system. Due to this architecture, Riak has become foundational to many of the world’s fastest-growing Web-based, mobile and social applications like Comcast, Voxer, and Best Buy. The Basho team will be available at the conference to answer questions about Riak and how to move from a relational system to a distributed one.
In addition to exhibiting, Basho Chief Architect and Co-Creator, Andy Gross, will be speaking on August 22 at 3:00pm. His talk, “Dealing with Systems in a New Distributed World” will discuss the resurgence in interest of both theoretical and applied distributed systems and its consequences for software developers. He will explore new areas of promising research, and provide practical advice for dealing with systems in our new distributed world. Finally, he will discuss how technologies are shifting to meet emerging business requirements, while simultaneously minimizing immediate operational burdens and enabling ease of scale.
Andy is a distributed systems nerd, co-creator of Riak and Webmachine, and Chief Architect at Basho Technologies. Before Basho, Andy hacked on various distributed systems at Apple, Akamai, and Mochi Media.
For more information about Riak, common use cases, and an in-depth analysis of the benefits of migrating to a distributed NoSQL database, download “From Relational to Riak.”