Tag Archives: Riak Enterprise

World-Class Basho Engineering Support and Riak Enterprise Now Available Online

March 3, 2014

Earlier this year, we expanded our product portfolio to better meet the needs of our diverse and growing community. Not only did we add support-only options for open source Riak and Riak CS, but we also expanded our commercial licensing options and added various levels of pre-packaged Professional Services. These product options ensure customers of all sizes and at all stages are successful with Riak and Riak CS, even if they’re not quite ready for the benefits of Enterprise.

In addition to offering these new product options, we have also added credit card acceptance to Basho.com. Users that already know what they need can visit payments.basho.com, select the option that is right for them, and get started right away. As always, we recommend starting with at least five nodes. However, the Payments Page will accept purchases ranging from three to 19 nodes. Users will be able to purchase Riak Starter, Riak Basic, Riak Enterprise, Riak Enterprise Plus, and the Professional Services options (excluding Daily Rate and Test Drive).

For a full list of product options and what they include, visit our Product Page for Riak and Professional Services. To purchase now, visit our Pricing Page. For Riak CS products and services, please contact us to get started.

If you have any questions or aren’t quite sure which option is best for your needs, feel free to Contact Us.


A Closer Look at Starter, Basic, and Enterprise

January 15, 2014

Yesterday, we announced our newly expanded product portfolio. We have added many new offerings for both Riak and Riak CS to better meet the needs of our growing user base. You can check out prices and what’s been added here.

To complement this announcement, we wanted to provide a few more details around what each product tier provides.

For both Riak and Riak CS, we now offer Starter, Basic, Enterprise, and Enterprise Plus packages. All of these options offer the built-in benefits of Riak and Riak CS, which include a masterless system with automatic replication, a straightforward key/value data model, HTTP API and Protocol Buffers, Client Security (both Authorization and Authentication), Riak Control (a visual GUI to monitor your cluster), Riak Search (now with integrated SOLR), Secondary Indexes, MapReduce, Basho Hadoop Connector, and Riak Data Types (distributed counters, sets, and maps). For more information about many of these features, check out our Intro to Riak webinar.

All four tiers also offer Basho Engineering Support – offering access to our Client Services Engineers for assistance. For Riak Starter, this support is available 8am – 8pm Eastern. For Basic, Enterprise, and Enterprise Plus, it is available 24x7x365.

Technical Account Management Checkpoints are available quarterly for Starter and weekly for the other tiers. These checkpoints are meant to evaluate your cluster architecture and provide assistance where necessary.

All tiers offer Online Ticket Tracking for issues and Enterprise and Enterprise Plus also offer Emergency Patches. SLAs are available for urgent tickets with a 12-hour guarantee for Starter, a 1-hour guarantee for Basic, and a 30-minute guarantee for Enterprise and Enterprise Plus (with Special Event SLAs available in real-time for Enterprise and Enterprise Plus).

Both Riak Starter and Riak Basic have an Apache 2 license for the open source product and Enterprise and Enterprise Plus have a Commercial license for more flexible permitted usage.

Finally, as with Riak Enterprise and Riak CS Enterprise in the past, both Enterprise and Enterprise Plus include Multi-Datacenter Replication (which also enables cluster-to-cluster replication for secondary workloads), Reduced Replicas at Secondary Sites for more efficient storage, and SNMP and JMX Support. Enterprise Plus adds a Basho Baseline and Annual Health Check, which provides added Basho assurance and ensures long-term platform stability and performance.

Discounts are available based on the number of nodes in production or based on usage (for Riak CS). Perpetual Licensing is available upon negotiation. For more information on these options, contact us.

In addition to the four product tiers, we also added a range of Professional Services pricing options that include on-site trainings (for groups of all sizes) and Riak/Riak CS Test Drive. With Test Drive, the Professional Services team will help with initial backend design and assist new users in pre-production phases with on-site and continuous support.

Professional Services now has à la carte options such as Health Check, Quickstart, Operations and Automation Support, and Use Case and Data Access Pattern Analysis.

Contact us to get started with these new Riak and Riak CS product tiers.


An Inside Look: Basho’s Decision to Expand Open Source Options

January 14, 2014

Today, we announced our newly expanded product portfolio. We have added many new offerings for both Riak and Riak CS to better meet the needs of our growing user base. You can check out prices and what’s been added here.

An Inside Look

In 2009, Basho first open sourced Riak. That decision has driven our culture, our development process, our business model, and – in large part – our current success. The Basho team strongly believes that open source drives adoption (a concept discussed at length in Stephen O’Grady’s book, The New Kingmakers). In addition to being a favorite of start-ups, open source continues to attract more and more IT organizations, enterprise architects, and CIOs.

Basho support for Riak and Riak CS open source users is at the heart of this expanded product portfolio. Since launching Riak 1.0 just over two years ago, providing guaranteed support for non commercial-software users has been a topic of much discussion within Basho. As a distributed database, Riak is built for mission-critical applications where any downtime is not tolerable, revenue is often on the line, and a bulletproof, low-latency customer experience is absolutely required.

Our Enterprise customers love our support. Fortune 500 customers that put Riak into production never leave Riak. Our front-line Client Services Engineers are all full-stack engineers who resolve issues directly. In 2013, Basho’s average time to first respond to an Urgent ticket was 11 minutes. The team also handled over 2,000 customer requests that ranged from Riak configuration questions and performance tuning, to application design and full-stack inquiries. Some recent examples of customer praise:

Scott Densmore with CenturyLink

Brian Akins at Turner Broadcasting

In addition to our Enterprise customers, we also have a fast-growing community of users that are in different stages of their software development lifecycle. Our Enterprise level of support (24×7) may not always be necessary. Many early-stage users simply do not yet require the advanced features of Riak Enterprise and Riak CS Enterprise, such as Multi-Datacenter Replication.

As Basho has transitioned from start-up to growth stage, we’ve continued to evaluate how we can continue the ultra-high support experience our Enterprise customers have come to rely on, while expanding support to other users. This expanded product portfolio allows us to do both.

The Finer Details of the New Portfolio

For both Riak and Riak CS, we now offer four levels of service: Starter, Basic, Enterprise, and Enterprise Plus. All of these options combine the built-in benefits of open source Riak and Riak CS with Basho engineering support, providing access to our global team of Client Services Engineers for assistance.

All tiers offer online ticket tracking for issues and Enterprise and Enterprise Plus also offer emergency patches. SLAs are available for guaranteed ticket response by a Basho engineer:

  • 12-hour guarantee for Starter
  • 1-hour guarantee for Basic
  • 30-minute guarantee for Enterprise and Enterprise Plus
  • Enterprise and Enterprise Plus also offer a continuous support availability option during customer special events

Finally, as with Riak Enterprise and Riak CS Enterprise in the past, both Enterprise and Enterprise Plus include Multi-Datacenter Replication (which also enables cluster-to-cluster replication for secondary workloads), reduced replicas at secondary sites for more efficient storage, and SNMP and JMX Support. Enterprise Plus adds a Basho baseline and annual health check, which provides added Basho assurance and ensures long-term platform stability and performance. All Enterprise offerings include a commercial license – providing more flexible permitted usage.

Contact us to get started with these new Riak and Riak CS product tiers.


Basho Expands Product Portfolio for Riak to Meet the Needs of its Rapidly Growing Global User Base

CAMBRIDGE, MA – January 14, 2014Basho today announced the expansion of its product portfolio to meet the needs of the rapidly growing user communities surrounding both Riak, the industry leading distributed NoSQL database, and Riak CS, Basho’s fast growing cloud storage software. Since the launch of Riak 1.0 in 2011, Basho has grown to serve over one-third of the Fortune 50 and many of the world’s most popular brands.

Basho’s expanded Product Portfolio includes the following offerings:

  • The introduction of Riak Starter and Riak Basic providing Basho engineering and customer support for users of its Apache 2-licensed open source product. Starting at $2,800 per node/year, Riak Starter provides a new, low-cost entry point for Riak users to gain access to Basho’s support engineers. At $4,400 per node/year, Riak Basic provides enterprise-class, 24×7 support to open source users not requiring the benefits provided by Riak Enterprise or Riak CS Enterprise, Basho’s commercial software.
  • Riak Enterprise, Basho’s flagship distributed database software, will continue to offer additional enterprise-class features, such as multi-datacenter replication, combined with 24×7 support, and wrapped in Basho’s commercial license offering flexible permitted usage and ultra-high service levels. Our Riak Enterprise SLA for urgent tickets improves from 1-hour guarantee to 30 minutes in 2014. As a scale-out, multi-datacenter database, volume discounts are available.
  • Riak CS Enterprise, Basho’s flagship distributed cloud storage software, will continue to offer additional enterprise-class features, such as multi-datacenter replication, combined with 24×7 support, and wrapped in Basho’s commercial license with flexible permitted usage and high service levels. Our Riak CS Enterprise SLA for urgent tickets improves from 1-hour guarantee to 30 minutes in 2014. As a scale-out, multi-datacenter database, volume discounts are available.
  • The introduction of Riak Enterprise Plus and Riak CS Enterprise Plus integrates a baseline and annual system health check with a Riak Enterprise or Riak CS Enterprise license, providing an added assurance from Basho and ensuring long-term platform stability and performance.
  • The introduction of Riak Test Drive and Riak CS Test Drive – pre-packaged solutions offering Basho Professional Services for initial design and, with a 6-month Riak developers-node option, to assist new users in pre-production phases with on-site and continuous support.

“Our portfolio expansion is a significant response to serve the diverse needs of a rapidly growing Riak user community,” commented Bobby Patrick, Executive Vice President and CMO at Basho. “We are excited to expand our ability to offer Basho’s world-class customer support to a new segment of Riak open source users. These new offerings allow Basho to allocate resources to serve a broader variety of customer support needs, while simultaneously enhancing our support capacity to ensure the highest levels of quality and responsiveness to our Riak Enterprise and Riak CS Enterprise customers, many of whom run revenue and service-critical platforms and applications in production today that depend on Riak.”

Additional Pricing Information

Basho’s expanded subscription pricing for Riak Starter, Riak Basic, Riak Enterprise, and Riak Enterprise Plus is available on the Basho site. In addition, Basho also offers perpetual licensing options and reduced prices for developer-only nodes. Basho Professional Services offers additional services, including developer and operations training, Riak health checks, and custom engagement services.

Update on Riak 2.0

Basho anticipates the general availability of Riak 2.0 within the next 75 days. All Basho customers will have immediate access to customer support and Riak 2.0 software code at that time, subject to the support terms of their product tier. For more information on Riak 2.0, visit our blog: basho.com/introducing-riak-2-0/.

Introducing Riak 2.0: Data Types, Strong Consistency, Full-Text Search, and Much More

October 29, 2013

Today at RICON West in San Francisco, we announced the Technical Preview of Riak 2.0 is now available. This major release adds a number of new features that many of you have been waiting for.

Throughout RICON West, we will be discussing many of the Riak 2.0 features (both in track sessions or during lightning talks), so keep your eyes on the live stream over the next two days. Videos of all sessions will also be made available after the conference.

Here is a look at some of the major enhancements available in Riak 2.0:

  • Riak Data Types. Building on the eventually consistent counters introduced in Riak 1.4, Riak 2.0 adds sets and maps as new distributed data types. These Riak Data Types simplify application development without sacrificing Riak’s availability and partition tolerance characteristics.
  • Strong Consistency. Developers have the flexibility to choose whether buckets should be eventually consistent (the default Riak configuration today that provides high availability) or strongly consistent, based on data requirements.
  • Full-Text Search Integration with Apache Solr. Riak Search is completely redesigned in Riak 2.0, leveraging the Apache Solr engine. Riak Search in 2.0 supports the Solr client query APIs, enabling integration with a wide range of existing software and commercial solutions.
  • Security. Riak 2.0 adds the ability to administer access rights and utilize plug-in authentication models. Authentication and Authorization is provided via client APIs.
  • Simplified Configuration Management. Riak 2.0 continues to improve Riak’s operational simplicity by changing how, and where, configuration information is stored in an easy-to-parse and transparent format.
  • Reduced Replicas for Multiple Data Centers. Riak Enterprise 2.0 can optionally store fewer copies of replicated data across multiple data centers to better maintain a balance between storage overhead and availability.

Ready to get started? Download the Technical Preview.

Please note that this is only a Technical Preview of Riak 2.0. This means that it has been tested extensively, as we do with all of our release candidates, but there is still work to be completed to ensure it’s production hardened. Between now and the final release, we will be continuing manual and automated testing, creating detailed use cases, gathering performance statistics, and updating the documentation for both usage and deployment.

As we are finalizing Riak 2.0, we welcome your feedback for our Technical Preview. We are always available to discuss via the Riak Users mailing list, IRC (#riak on freenode), or contact us.

Riak 2.0 Technical Preview: Deep Dive

Riak Data Types
In distributed systems, we are forced to trade consistency for availability (see: CAP Theorem) and this can complicate some aspects of application design. In Riak 2.0, we have integrated cutting-edge research on data types known as called CRDTs (Conflict-Free Replicated Data Types) pioneered by INRIA to create Riak Data Types. By adding counters, sets, maps, registers, and flags, these Riak Data Types enable developers to spend less time thinking about the complexities of vector clocks and sibling resolution and, instead, focusing on using familiar, distributed data types to support their applications’ data access patterns.

A more detailed overview of Riak Data Types is available that examines implementation considerations and the basics of usage.

Strong Consistency
In all prior versions, Riak was classified as an eventually consistent system. With the 2.0 release, Riak now lets developers choose when operations should be strongly or eventually consistent. This gives developers a choice between these semantics for different types of data. At the same time, operators can continue to enjoy the operational simplicity of Riak. Consistency preferences are defined on a per bucket type basis, in the same cluster.

A RICON West 2012 talk entitled, Bringing Consistency to Riak, shares much of the initial thinking behind this effort. In addition, the pull request that adds consistency to riak_kv provides detailed information about related repositories and the implementation approach.

Redesigned Full-Text Search
Riak is a key/value store and the values are simply stored on disk as binary. With previous versions of Riak Search, Riak developers have long been able to index the content of these stored values. In Riak 2.0, Riak Search (code-named Yokozuna) has been completely redesigned and now uses the Apache Solr full-text document indexing engine directly. Together, Riak and Solr provide a reliable full-text context indexing solution that is highly available and built for scale. In addition, Riak Search 2.0 also fully supports the Solr client query APIs, which enables integration with existing software solutions (either homegrown or commercial).

The Basho engineers responsible for Yokozuna have created a resources page that includes recorded talks, Solr documentation links, and books on the topic.

Basho designed Riak with critical data in mind. Whether it’s data that affects revenue, user experience, or even a patient’s health (as is the case with the NHS), Riak ensures that this critical data is always available. However, often this critical data is also sensitive data. Riak 2.0 adds security to this data through the ability to administer access rights and plug-in various secure authentication models commonly used today.

The initial RFC that describes the security effort, including related Pull Requests, is available at github.com/basho/riak/issues/355.

Simplified Configuration Management
At Basho, we pride ourselves on providing operationally friendly software that functions smoothly when dealing with the challenges of a distributed system. In the past, configuration of Riak occurred in two files: app.config and vm.args. Riak 2.0 changes how and where configuration information is stored. It no longer uses Erlang-specific syntax but, rather, provides a layout more suited for all operators and automated deployment tools. This layout is easy to parse and transparent for Riak administrators.

More information on the vision and specific implementation considerations are contained in the repository at github.com/basho/cuttlefish.

Bucket Types
In versions of Riak prior to 2.0, keys were made up of two parts: the bucket they belong to and a unique identifier within that bucket. Buckets act as a namespace and allow for similar keys to be grouped. In addition, they provide a means of configuring how previous versions of Riak treated that data.

In Riak 2.0, several new features (security and strong consistency in particular) need to interact with groups of buckets. To this end, Riak 2.0 includes the concept of a Bucket Type. In addition to allowing new features without special prefixes in Bucket names, Riak developers and operators are able to define a group of buckets that share the same properties and only store information about each Bucket Type, rather than individual buckets.

More information about Bucket Types can be found in the Github Issue at github.com/basho/riak/issues/362. This issue describes the planned functionality, discussions about implementation, and includes related pull requests.

Change in Defaults for Sibling Resolution
Riak has always supported both application-side and timestamp and vector clock-based Last Write Wins server-side resolution. Prior to Riak 2.0, vector clock-based Last Write Wins has been the default. Moving forward, new clusters will hand off siblings to applications by default. This is the safest way to work with Riak, but requires developers to be aware of sibling resolution.

In a blog series entitled, Understanding Riak’s Configurable Behaviours, Basho Evangelist John Daily discusses the configuration of Last Write Wins, and many other options, in great detail.

More Efficient Use of Physical Memory
Riak nodes are designed to manage the changing demands of a cluster as it experiences network, hardware, and other failures. To do this, Riak balances each node’s resources accordingly. Riak 2.0 has vastly improved LevelDB’s use of available physical memory (RAM) by allowing local databases to dynamically change their cache sizes as the cluster fluctuates under load.

In the past, it was necessary to specify RAM allocation for different LevelDB caches independently. This is no longer the case. In Riak 2.0, LevelDB databases that manage key/value or active anti-entropy data share a single pool of memory, and administrators are free to allocate as much of the available RAM to LevelDB as they feel is appropriate in their deployment. Detailed implementation documentation can be found in the basho/leveldb wiki.

Riak Ruby Vagrant Project
If you are interested in testing Riak 2.0, in a contained environment with the Riak Ruby Client, Basho engineer Bryce Kerley has put together the Riak-Ruby-Vagrant repository. In addition, this environment can be easily adapted to usage with other clients for testing the new features of Riak 2.0.


Sign Up For a Riak Tech Talk

May 20, 2013

Are you and your team evaluating Riak? Basho offers Tech Talks for companies that are evaluating Riak Enterprise and Riak CS Enterprise. In these sessions, our technical evangelists will provide your engineers, developers, and ops team with a personalized Riak deep-dive to help develop your use case and answer questions. The goal is to accelerate your learning process, give you direct access to our team, and ensure your evaluations and deployments are a success. You can sign up for a Tech Talk here. Simply provide your contact information, some details on your use case, and what stage you’re in, and we’ll work with you to set up an in-person or virtual meeting depending on location and availability.

Riak Tech Talks cover topics including:

  • Riak’s architecture, properties and principles
  • Structuring applications with Riak’s key/value data model
  • Various querying options including search, secondary indexing, and MapReduce
  • What your operations team needs to know before implementation
  • Riak configuration, tuning, and performance considerations
  • Case studies of similar use cases in production and what they learned
  • What’s new in Riak and features under development

You can sign up for a Tech Talk here.


Top Five Questions About Riak CS

May 1, 2013

This post looks at five commonly asked questions about Riak CS – simple, available, open source storage built on top of Riak. For more information, please review our full documentation, or sign up for an intro to Riak CS webcast on Friday, May 10.

What is the relationship between Riak and Riak CS?

Riak CS is built on top of Riak, exposing higher-level storage functions including large object support, an S3-compatible API, multi-tenancy, and per-user storage and access statistics. Riak itself provides the replication, availability, fault-tolerance, and underlying storage functions for the Riak CS implementation. Riak and Riak CS should both be installed on every node in your cluster. While Riak and Riak CS could be run on separate virtual or physical nodes, running them on the same machine minimizes intra-cluster bandwidth usage and is the recommended approach. As with Riak, we advise a minimum 5-node cluster.

When objects are uploaded to Riak CS, the object is broken up into smaller chunks which are then streamed, stored, and replicated in the underlying cluster. A manifest is maintained for each object, that points to which blocks comprise the object, and is used to retrieve all blocks and present them to the client on read. In addition to running Riak and Riak CS on each node, Stanchion, a request serializer, must be installed on at least one node in the cluster. This ensures that global entities, such as users and buckets, are unique in the system.

What use cases does Riak CS support that Riak doesn’t?

Riak CS has several features that are not provided in the standalone Riak database. One of the most obvious differences is in the size of objects supported. Riak CS exposes large object support, and includes multi-part upload so you can upload objects as a series of parts. This allows you to upload single objects to the system into the terabyte range. In Riak, the data model is simply key/value; in Riak CS, the key/value model provides the underlying structure for higher-level storage semantics – users, buckets and objects. The Riak CS interface is an S3-compatible HTTP API, allowing you to use existing S3 libraries and tools. In contrast, Riak exposes an HTTP and protobufs API and offers many language-specific clients. Unlike Riak, Riak CS is multi-tenant, with the concept of “users” and per-user reporting on storage and access. This makes it a fit for both private cloud scenarios, with multiple internal users, or as a foundation for a public cloud storage offering.

How does multi-tenancy, authentication and reporting work?

Riak CS exposes an interface for user creation, disablement and credential management. Riak CS can be set so that only administrators can create new users. Administrators also have special privileges including being able to retrieve a list of all users in the system and query the user account information of any user. Once issued credentials, users are able to authenticate, create buckets, upload and download files, retrieve account information, obtain new credentials, or disable their account through the API. Riak CS supports the standard S3 authentication scheme, with support for header and query string authorization.

Riak CS exposes storage, usage and network statistics that support use cases like accounting, subscription, billing or multi-group utilization for public or private clouds. Riak CS will report information on how much storage a user is consuming and the network operations related to access. This data is exposed via an HTTP interface and can be queried on the default timespan “now” or as a range from start time through end time. Access statistics are reported as bytes in and bytes out for both object and bucket operations. Reporting of this information can be scheduled for a set interval or manually triggered.

What’s the difference between Riak CS and Riak CS Enterprise?

Riak CS Enterprise provides multi-datacenter replication on top of Riak CS. For multi-datacenter replication in Riak CS, global information for users, bucket information and manifests are streamed in real-time from a primary implementation to a secondary site so global state is maintained across locations. Objects can then be replicated in either full sync or real-time sync mode. The secondary site will replicate the object as in normal operations. Additional datacenters can be added in order to create availability zones or provide additional data redundancy and locality. Riak CS Enterprise can also be configured for bi-directional replication. Riak CS Enterprise also comes with 24/7, enterprise-level support. More information and pricing can be found here, and full technical information is available on our docs portal. Ready to get started? Sign up for a developer trial of Riak CS Enterprise.

What are your plans for integration of Riak CS with open source compute solutions?

Riak CS provides highly available, distributed storage, making it a natural fit for usage alongside compute solutions. We have partnered with Citrix to collaborate on the integration of Apache CloudStack and Riak CS to create a complete cloud software offering that combines compute and storage in an integrated platform. For more information on our partnership with CloudStack, check out this blog post with the latest update. API and authentication support for OpenStack is also in progress.

Ready to get started? You can download Riak CS here, and check out the Riak CS Fast Track for a hands-on getting started guide.

Riak Available On SoftLayer Platform

April 30, 2013

Today we are pleased to announce the availability of Riak and Riak Enterprise on SoftLayer’s global cloud platform. Users can now easily configure and deploy Riak environments on the SoftLayer platform with a flexible, pay-as-you-go service model. The solution makes it easy for organizations to quickly deploy scalable production-grade Riak systems on-demand. The partnership accelerates the speed of developing and launching applications with Riak, provides ease of operations with scale, and enables global multi-datacenter replication.

Features of the joint offering include:

  • Web-based tool to configure and deploy Riak on demand and at the click of a button
  • Pay-as-you-go model providing the flexibility of monthly or annual billing and no long-term contracts
  • Rapid deployment on dedicated, bare-metal servers for optimum performance

With the Riak Enterprise offering on SoftLayer, users can replicate data stored in Riak across SoftLayer’s global infrastructure. This multi-datacenter replication capability provides data locality, disaster recovery, global load balancing, and active backups. SoftLayer’s global private network allows for high-speed, secure replication between clusters.

The integrated solution provides the availability, fault tolerance, operational simplicity, and scalability of Riak combined with the flexibility, performance, and agility of SoftLayer’s on-demand infrastructure.

Bump is one of the most popular mobile apps on the market today, and is already using Riak on the SoftLayer platform. “Operational ease is key to our business success,” says Mark Smith, Operations Lead at Bump. “The combination of SoftLayer, who we already trust with our business and data, and Basho, who makes the database that we trust at scale, saves us time and effort and allows us to focus on our business, not our data infrastructure.”

For more information on how Bump uses Riak, check out the case study. For more information on Riak Enterprise, visit the product page or documentation.

SoftLayer is also sponsoring the RICON East 2013 after party. On night one of the conference, we’re renting out Hudson Terrace for a one-of-a-kind party. SoftLayer and Basho are furnishing drinks, food, and entertainment. All RICON attendees are automatically registered for the party…but, as of today, the party is open to anyone who wants to register.

Multi-Datacenter Replication: Availability Zones and Public Cloud

February 28, 2013

In the last post, we looked at how Riak Enterprise’s multi-datacenter replication can be configured for backups and data locality. In this post, we examine two other common implementations: availability zones and public cloud use cases. For more information on Riak Enterprise architecture and configuration, download the complete whitepaper.

Availability Zones

Availability zones provide efficient multi-datacenter replication and data redundancy within a geographic region (such as a coast or a country). In this configuration, data is replicated within an availability zone’s series of datacenters. In the event that one of datacenters experiences an outage or serious failure, data can still be served from other datacenters within the same region.

One approach to setting this up is to have a “primary” site in a region where all reads and writes for specific users, applications, or data sets are directed. This primary cluster can then be replicated to one or more proximal secondary clusters. In other approaches, data can be replicated in real-time from one cluster to both another datacenter and other cold backups maintained for emergency conditions. The right approach is highly dependent on the requirements of users, availability, expense of bandwidth, and other constraints.

Public Cloud Use Cases

Riak is designed to be easy to use and operate on public clouds, and is partnered with many of the leading cloud providers, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Joyent. Hosted Riak is also available from Engine Yard and Riak packages can always be manually installed on any physical or virtual provider, even if a machine image isn’t explicitly supported.

There are several use cases for Riak Enterprise’s multi-datacenter replication in the public cloud. Many enterprises want to maintain a cold or hot backup of their cluster in a public cloud for business continuity in the event of a datacenter outage in their private infrastructure. For other customers, the public cloud can provide a more cost-effective way of meeting peak loads, rather than building out private infrastructure to accommodate them year-round. For example, many retailers and media providers need to offer increased capacity over the holiday season. Riak Enterprise is used to scale out capacity on public clouds over these periods, either with full-sync or real-time sync depending on the business needs.

Finally, some enterprises run certain applications or services entirely on public clouds. Riak Enterprise allows for redundancy and data locality across public cloud availability zones for this use case, ensuring optimal performance and resiliency.

For a more in-depth look at common architectures and use cases for Riak Enterprise, download our technical overview. You can also sign up for our webcast on Thursday, March 7th.


Multi-Datacenter Replication: Backups and Data Locality

February 27, 2013

Multi-datacenter replication is a critical part of modern infrastructure, providing essential business benefits for enterprise applications, platforms and services. Riak Enterprise offers multi-datacenter replication so that data stored in Riak can be replicated to multiple sites. Over the next two posts, we will look at some common implementations, starting with configurations for backups and data locality. For more information on Riak Enterprise architecture and configuration, download the complete whitepaper.

Primary Cluster with Failover

One of the most common architectural patterns in multi-datacenter replication is maintaining a primary cluster that serves traffic and a backup cluster for emergency failover. This configuration can be an important component of compliance with regulatory requirements, ensuring business continuity and access to data even in serious failure modes.

In this configuration, a primary cluster serves as the production cluster from which all read and write operations are served. The backup cluster(s) is maintained in another datacenter. In the event of a datacenter outage or critical failure at the primary site, requests can be directed to the backup cluster either by changing DNS configuration or rules for routing via a load balancer.

For this use case, we recommend that your failover strategy be tested periodically so any potential issues can be resolved in advance of a crisis. It’s also beneficial to have your failover strategy fully defined upfront – know the conditions in which a failover mode will be invoked, decide how traffic will be directed to the backup, and document and test the failover strategy to ensure success.

Active-Active Cluster Configuration

To achieve data locality, when clients are served at low-latency by whatever datacenter is nearest to them, you can maintain two (or more) active, synced clusters that are both responsible for serving data to clients. An added benefit of this approach is that in the event of a datacenter failure where one of the clusters is hosted, all traffic can be served from the other, still-functional site for business continuity.

For data locality, requests can be load balanced across geographies, with geo-based client requests directed to the appropriate datacenter. For example, US-based requests can be served out of a US-based datacenter while EU-based requests can be served out of a regional site. For situations where not all data needs to be shared across all datacenters (or if certain data, such as user data, must only be stored in a specific geographic region to meet privacy regulations), Riak Enterprise’s multi-datacenter replication can be configured on a per-bucket basis so only shared assets, popular assets, etc. are replicated.

For a more in-depth look at common architectures and use cases for Riak Enterprise, download our technical overview. You can also sign up for our webcast on Thursday, March 7th.