June 5, 2013
To help make Riak even more accessible, we have partnered with a number of different hosting providers, consulting services, system integrators, and OEMs to help you better use Riak. You can check out all of our partners at the Partnerships Page, which highlights how we are collaborating. Below is a look at some of our wonderful partners.
For those of you in need of a hosting provider for Riak, Basho is partnered with a number of great companies to help get you deployed quickly. Partners include: Amazon Web Services, Windows Azure, Joyent, SoftLayer (which was recently acquired by IBM and also offers hosting for Riak Enterprise), and Engine Yard – which is offering 500 free hours when you sign up.
Some companies that are using Riak and Riak CS to power applications or other product offerings include Datapipe and Yahoo! Japan subsidiary, IDC Frontier. ePlus and Trifork act as resellers of Riak to help expand our global reach.
Finally, Gazzang helps to ensure that your Riak environment is secure and meets all regulations related to sensitive information.
June 4, 2013
If you’re interested in learning more about Riak, tune in this Friday, June 7th at 11am PT/2pm ET for an Intro to Riak webcast. You can sign up for this 30-minute webcast here.
This webcast will cover:
- Riak’s architecture, properties, and principles
- How to build apps with Riak’s key/value data model
- APIs and client libraries
- Deploying Riak in the cloud with AWS, Engine Yard, Azure, and more
- Common use cases for a variety of industries including advertising, retail, and mobile
- Case studies from users such as Copious, Yammer, Voxer, and OpenX
We will also be available after the webcast to answer any questions that you might have. You can register for the Intro to Riak webcast here.
May 29, 2013
On our site, you may have noticed a new addition, the Resources Page. On this page, you can download or watch the latest content related to Riak, Riak CS, partnerships, key users, and the most popular verticals (such as Gaming, Retail, Advertising, and Mobile).
If you’re looking for whitepapers, case studies, videos, docs, slides, or webcasts, this is the place to find them. It will be continuously updated with up-to-date resources about Basho. Below is a glimpse at what you can find on the Resources Page.
- Sign up for our upcoming webcast on May 31st
- Get Riak CS up and running quickly by following our Fast Track documentation
- Learn how to launch Riak quickly via our hosting partners: AWS, Azure, Engine Yard, SoftLayer, and Joyent
- Watch Angry Birds developer, Rovio, speak on how they use Riak
- Read about how Copious uses Riak for their eCommerce marketplace
- Learn how to model advertising data using a key/value structure
- Download the technical introduction to Riak specifically for mobile applications and platforms
May 28, 2013
Shopzilla allows customers to easily find, compare, and buy anything on the web. They reach over 40 million customers each month, connecting them to 100 million products from tens of thousands of retailers. Riak powers both their Keyword and Scrapbook Data Services.
Previously, Shopzilla was using large installations of RDBMS as their primary data platform. This worked well for some use cases – however, it had unnecessary features and was expensive for some services, especially read-heavy use cases with large datasets. For these use cases, they wanted an open source solution that offered deployment on commodity hardware and support for high read and write throughput. With downtime having a direct impact on revenue, availability was a critical factor. Riak was evaluated alongside MongoDB, Redis, and HBase. Ultimately Riak not only fit all of their criteria, but also offered ease of management and operations, allowing their development team to focus on other areas of the business.
Shopzilla uses Riak to store data for its Keyword and Scrapbook Services. The Keyword Service serves metadata about primary keywords and requires real-time access. It stores over 1 billion keywords and can process tens of millions of new keywords at a time. They migrated this service over to a six-node Riak cluster that uses Varnish for caching. Riak is accessed via protocol buffers for high performance and uses the LevelDB backend, best suited to implementations with a very large number of keys. Under moderate load, they see 95% of traffic requests come in under 10 milliseconds.
The Scrapbook Service allows Shopzilla to aggregate product information from different web sources to add supplemental details on their product pages. This means they potentially need to store data equivalent to the scale of their product inventory. Since this product information is accessed via Product ID, it was a perfect fit for Riak’s key/value data model. To provide familiar ad-hoc SQL querying capabilities, they worked with their content team to aggregate and stage this data in an Oracle schema before bringing it into Riak. This allowed them to design a schema based on their needs that would not affect the speed in which Riak serves this data. Most of their online requests are served in well under 5 milliseconds.
Riak has been in production at Shopzilla for over a year now. According to Will Gage, Principal Software Architect at Shopzilla, “I haven’t had to worry about Riak since implementation because we haven’t had any significant problems with it. We’re confident we made the right choice with Riak. It works as it’s supposed to and its stability is great. We’ve watched it work through real-life network partitions under load and recover quickly with no intervention. In short, Riak lets us focus on things other than the database.”
May 22, 2013
Basho recently held its second distributed systems conference, RICON East in New York City. Months of preparation led to two days of concentrated learning, with community members from academia and industry sharing where we’ve been and where we’re going.
By design, many of the presentations had little direct relationship to Riak: RICON is a marketplace for ideas, not for product. However, two of the speakers tackled topics I discussed recently in my blog series on the subtleties of Riak configuration.
This is a follow-up to that series to examine those talks. I won’t repeat earlier content in any significant detail.
Rich Hickey, Using Datomic with Riak
Datomic is a very different take on databases, more akin to a version control system than a traditional RDBMS. In Datomic, records (“facts”) are never changed, but rather can be replaced as needed.
The notion of immutable facts leads to a conceptually simple distributed model that allows for transactions: a view into the database is simply a checkpoint of the facts. It’s always possible that a client may be reading an old checkpoint, but the facts at that checkpoint will be consistent regardless of what further updates have been applied.
Riak is one of several backends that can be used with Datomic.
How Datomic queries Riak
Because Datomic keeps a record of all keys in the system, and because the values for those keys never change, reads can be expedited by setting
However, as you’ll recall,
R=1 has an important complication: if the first vnode to respond does not have a copy of that key (perhaps there’s a sloppy quorum in play due to a node failure) the request will “successfully” complete with a
This default behavior can be changed by setting
notfound_ok=false so that the coordinating node will await an actual value before reporting it back to the client, and in fact this is how Datomic operates.
Kyle Kingsbury, Call Me Maybe: Carly Rae Jepsen and the Perils of Network Partitions
Kyle conducted extensive testing of various distributed databases in the face of network partition. Specifically, he wanted to see whether writes were successful (and properly retained) during and after the partition.
His testing of Riak with
allow_mult=false (the default) revealed 91% of writes were lost after the partition healed.
Riak is, however, the only database that retained 100% of writes during a partition, but only when
allow_mult was set to
true in order to allow sibling resolution on the client side after the partition.
allow_mult=true, there is no way (currently) for Riak to resolve conflicting writes other than to accept the last value written.
Important: Riak would also do a perfectly good job of preserving all writes under the Datomic model of creating immutable key/value pairs. It may seem like all databases should handle that scenario properly, but in fact some will throw away all writes on one side of the partition.
Kyle emphasizes what I mentioned in part 1 of this series: if you can’t create immutable objects, and don’t want to handle conflict resolution via the client, CRDTs will allow for automatic resolution in the future, so long as you can make your data fit that model.
Kyle has expanded his talk into a blog series.
Basho will be hosting two more RICON conferences this year, in San Francisco and London. As was true in New York City in May and San Francisco last fall, the talks will be streamed live over the Internet and would be well worth your time.
However, speaking from personal experience, the talks are just a portion of the overall value offered by RICON. It is difficult to convey the atmosphere during and between sessions, but even the afterparty was replete with technical discussions.
If you’ve not experienced it, you can browse the #riconeast tag at Twitter for a feel for the reactions of those present (and those not) to the RICON experience, and please consider joining us next time.
RICON East videos should be available soon; the album of RICON 2012 videos is recommended.
May 21, 2013
Last week at Google I/O, Google’s popular developer conference, Tyler Hannan of Basho was invited to speak on a panel entitled, “Distributed Databases Panel: An Exploration of Approaches and Best Practices.”
During this talk, Tyler and other panelists discussed how modern distributed databases provide high availability, scalability, and fault-tolerance to protect critical data across all industries. In addition to Tyler, this talk featured Julia Ferraioli (Google Compute Engine), Brian Dorsey (Google Developer Relations), Chris Ramsdale (Google Cloud Platform), Mike Miller (Cloudant), and Will Shulman (MongoLab).
You can watch the entire talk below:
May 16, 2013
EklaBlog is a popular, easy-to-use blogging platform based out of Nantes, France. They host hundreds of thousands of blogs and see over eight million unique visitors each month. They use Riak to store and serve all of their static files, including images, music and documents.
EklaBlog is a relatively young tech company that started their business alongside other innovative startups at Company Campus, a popular coworking space in France. It wasn’t long before they began to see significant growth in the amount of data hosted on their platform. Like many startups, they began with a single server, instead of a single server with a backup. As they grew, access exceeded the bandwidth available and performance problems began to surface. With more and more users depending on the platform, it became clear their existing infrastructure would be a bottleneck for growth and present availability and performance problems.
EklaBlog needed a solution that would never lose data, scale quickly at low operational cost, and provide an easy-to-use HTTP interface. They also needed to serve files both quickly and predictably, with a consistent low latency profile. All of these attributes were critical to the consumer experience of their platform. After evaluating other solutions, including GlusterFS, MogileFS, and classic file storage, they selected Riak as their primary data store.
“We thoroughly evaluated a number of different solutions before selecting Riak,” said Godefroy de Compreignac, CEO at EklaBlog. “Now we are absolutely convinced that Riak is the most reliable and cost-efficient solution for us. It’s the perfect fit for our needs.”
They launched with Riak in the beginning of 2013 and quickly scaled their cluster up from four to five nodes, each with 1.8TB of usable storage. They use Bitcask, Riak’s default low-level storage backend. Bitcask’s write-once, append-only nature enables very high throughput and low latency. Eklablog currently stores 5.8TB of data in Riak. They add about 15GB of new data each day, serving hundreds of queries per second.
For Eklablog, Riak’s key/value data model provides a simple structure that’s well suited to serving large volumes of image, music, and document files. Eklablog provides three specific platforms, and uses a Riak bucket for each. Files are stored with a unique key generated via a hash function.
May 6, 2013
The free Riak AMI available on the AWS Marketplace has been updated to the latest version, Riak 1.3.1.
In Riak 1.3, we introduced:
- Active Anti-Entropy
- Updates to Riak Control
- Expanded IPv6 support
- Improved MapReduce
- Simplified Log Management
Riak 1.3.1 includes all these features with some additional changes enumerated in the release notes.
For those of you currently using Riak on AWS, or interested in testing Riak on AWS, the AMI makes installation and configuration much easier. We see open source and Riak Enterprise users leverage AWS both as their primary infrastructure and to support hybrid implementations.
Installation instructions for the AMI are available on in our docs.
May 1, 2013
On May 15 & 16, immediately following Basho’s Distributed Systems conference RICON East, Basho will be hosting Riak Training in New York. The cost to attend is $400. In addition, a 50% discount is extended to those holding a conference pass to RICON East.
If you’re interested in attending, tickets can be purchased at the Riak Training in New York page. Seats are limited. If you have any questions, you can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Riak training is a two day, hands-on, in-depth look at Riak. It is designed for engineers, developers, and operations staff to learn how to run, operate, and build apps with Riak. During this training, participants will learn how to:
- Set up a small Riak cluster
- Query the cluster using basic Key/Value, Links, 2i, and Map/Reduce
- Understand deployment and performance considerations
- Evaluate application Access Patterns
- Consider data modeling implications in a distributed system
This training will also go over a number of topics, including:
- Introduction to Riak
- Basic Querying
- Riak Under-the-Hood
- Deployment Considerations
- Performance Tuning
- Application Development
- Data Modeling
- Distributed Systems Engineering
In addition we are offering Riak training in San Francisco from May 20-21. Tickets for the San Francisco training can be purchased on the Riak Training in San Francisco page.
SoftLayer & Basho Partner for High-Performance, Scalable Riak In The Cloud
Turnkey Big Data Environments Available Across SoftLayer’s Global Infrastructure
Dallas, TX and Cambridge, MA — April 30, 2013 — Basho and SoftLayer Technologies today announced the availability of Riak and Riak Enterprise on SoftLayer’s global cloud platform. 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.
SoftLayer and Basho have collaborated to make Riak—an open source, distributed database—deployment more accessible and flexible through a pay-as-you-go service model. The solution enables organizations to swiftly deploy scalable production-grade systems, accelerating the speed of deployment of big data applications and providing greater business agility. Organizations can design and deploy a complete solution set through SoftLayer’s Web-based Solution Designer, with ongoing management and provisioning available via the company’s portal, mobile apps and API.
Common use cases for Riak include fault-tolerant, low-latency storage for content, user and session information, mobile data, log files, JSON/XML documents, and more. For customers that require replication of clusters between multiple data centers, Riak Enterprise is available and also adds extended monitoring and 24×7 support. Customers use multi-datacenter replication, in two or more sites, to serve global traffic, maintain active backups, run secondary analytics clusters, or meet disaster recovery and regulatory compliance requirements.
“Customer demand for easy-to-deploy and manage big data cloud-based solutions continues to rise,” says Duke Skarda, CTO of SoftLayer. “We are seeing substantial adoption through joint customers, such as Bump. Our platform was built specifically to support the kind of Web-scale distributed applications that big data exemplifies, and our partnership with Basho is further validation of our commitment to deliver a complete suite of scalable, high-performance big data solutions.”
“Basho and SoftLayer have long catered to innovative developers building the next generation of web, social and mobile applications. Today, enterprise customers are demanding the same, an architecture that provides for zero-data loss and delivers zero-downtime,” says Bobby Patrick, executive vice president and CMO of Basho. “We believe distributed systems software, such as Riak, and distributed infrastructure is required to help customers truly achieve these ambitions. Basho is excited to partner with SoftLayer to help companies easily deploy applications that are truly distributed, scalable, and always available.”
Bump is one of the most popular mobile apps on the market today. The app makes it easy for users to share their contact information, photos, and other objects by simply “bumping” their smartphones. Bump uses Riak to store user data including events, communications sent and received, handset information and authentication tokens.
“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.”
Features & Benefits
- Web-based SoftLayer Solution Designer makes it easy to configure and deploy Riak environments on demand and at the click of a button.
- High performance and superior availability and scalability leveraging the broadest cloud infrastructure platform in the industry including dedicated bare metal servers and a broad range of storage options.
- Global private network allows for high-speed, secure replication between clusters
Optimized infrastructure and best-practice deployments based on joint insights, expertise, and experience from SoftLayer and Basho.
- Pay-as-you-go model provides the flexibility of monthly or annual billing and no long-term contracts.