Tag Archives: RICON West

RICON West Videos: Lightning Talks

January 22, 2014

Before heading over to 25 Lusk for the RICON West 2013 after party, Engine Yard sponsored the Lightning Talks at the end of Day One. Lightning Talks are 5-10 minute presentations by the attendees of RICON. Lightning Talks can cover a wide range of topics, including new projects being worked on, new services being built, or how a company is using Riak.

This past RICON West featured 11 speakers, including:

  • Ines Sombra (EngineYard) discussing EngineYard’s Cloud and hosted Riak
  • Armon Dadgar (HashiCorp) discussing Serf
  • Michael Shavell (Symantec) discussing how the Norton Notification Service uses Riak
  • Chris Meiklejohn (Basho) discussing Verified Vector Clocks
  • Heinz Gies (Project FiFo) discussing Project FiFo
  • Chris Doherty (Ooyala) discussing Communicating Effectively
  • Jason Johnson (SoftLayer) discussing filesystems
  • Kyle Kingsbury (Factual) discussing Skuld
  • Nicolas Favre-Felix (Acunu) discussing CRDTs for real-time analytics
  • Joe DeVivo (Basho) discussing Cuttlefish
  • Christopher Merz (SolidFire) discussing Riak on SolidFire

You can watch all of the Lightning Talks below.

Lightning Talks from RICON East 2013 and RICON West 2012 are also available.

To watch all of the sessions from RICON West 2013, visit the Basho Technologies Youtube Channel.


RICON West Videos: Keynotes

January 13, 2014

RICON West 2013, Basho’s developers conference, featured two tracks over two days. However, we did bring everyone together for the keynote speakers. Pat Helland (Salesforce.com), Justin Sheehy (Basho), and Jeff Dean (Google) keynoted this past RICON.

To kickoff the beginning of Day Two, Basho’s CTO, Justin Sheehy, spoke on “Maximum Viable Product.” His talk examines how software is created and his passion to create the types of things that people will care about long after the fact. Drawing analogies from art, architecture, the military, and more, he explains why building it faster is not always better and how it is vital to develop the basics so that it can be better in the long run. You can watch his keynote below.

At the end of RICON West, we closed with Google Fellow, Jeff Dean. His talk, “The Tail at Scale: Achieving Rapid Response Times in Large Online Services,” describes a collection of techniques and practices to lower response times in large distributed systems whose components run on shared clusters of machines, where pieces of these systems are subject to interference by other tasks, and where unpredictable latency hiccups are the norm, not the exception. Some of the techniques adapt to trends observed over periods of a few minutes, making them effective at dealing with longer-lived interference or resource contention. Others react to latency anomalies within a few milliseconds, making them suitable for mitigating variability within the context of a single interactive request. He also shares examples of how these techniques are used in various pieces of Google’s systems infrastructure and in various higher-level online services. You can watch his closing keynote below.

To watch all of the sessions from RICON West 2013, visit the Basho Technologies Youtube Channel.


RICON West Videos: Strong Consistency in Riak

January 6, 2014

With the launch of the Technical Preview of Riak 2.0, we also announced the addition of strong consistency to Riak. This addition fundamentally changes how Riak can be used, since all previous versions classified Riak as an eventually consistent system.

With Riak 2.0, developers now have the flexibility to choose whether buckets should be highly available or strongly consistent, based on data requirements. Consistency preferences are defined on a per bucket type basis, in the same cluster.

At RICON West 2013, Basho senior engineer, Joseph Blomstedt, gave an updated version of his “Bringing Consistency to Riak” talk. The original talk (presented at RICON West 2012) discussed the challenges, motivations, and high-level plans of bringing consistency to Riak. This updated version presents the actual implementation that has since been built and how it will function in Riak 2.0. Both talks are available below.

To start testing the strong consistency feature, you can download the Technical Preview of Riak 2.0 here.

To watch all of the sessions from RICON West 2013, visit the Basho Technologies Youtube Channel.


RICON West Videos: Riak Search 2.0

December 17, 2013

In addition to Riak Data Types, there were a number of other presentations about Riak 2.0 features at RICON West. With the Technical Preview of Riak 2.0, we also announced a completely redesigned Riak Search.

Riak is a straight key/value data store and all objects are stored on disk as binaries. It is content agnostic – meaning you can store any type of data as the value in Riak. To improve the usability and functionality of Riak, we offer multiple querying options including Riak Search, Secondary Indexing, and MapReduce. Riak Search is a full-text search that allows Riak developers to index the contents of stored values. While Riak Search offers much needed functionality, it had its flaws.

In Riak 2.0, Riak Search received a complete overhaul. Riak Search 2.0 leverages the Apache Solr full-text document indexing engine directly. Riak users now get the power of Solr, with the availability and scalability of Riak. This upgrade also supports the Solr client-queries API, which enables integration with existing software solutions.

Eric Redmond is one of the Basho engineers who works on Riak Search. At RICON, he presented “Riak Search 2.0,” which walks through what’s new with Riak Search and why you’d want to use it. He also provides some impressive demos that show off the power of Solr and Riak. His full talk is below.

For more information on Riak Search 2.0, check out these resources on Github.

To watch all of the sessions from RICON West 2013, visit the Basho Technologies Youtube Channel.


RICON West Videos: Riak Data Types

December 12, 2013

At RICON West this year, we announced the Technical Preview of Riak 2.0. Before the full release (which will be available early next year), we are encouraging users to download the preview and start testing some of the exciting new features.

At RICON, we had many of the engineers who worked on these new features present their work. One feature that we’re particularly excited about is the addition of Riak Data Types. Riak 2.0 builds on eventually consistent counters (added with Riak 1.4) with the addition of maps and sets. These Riak Data Types simplify application development without sacrificing Riak’s availability and partition tolerance characteristics.

In “CRDTs: An Update (or Maybe Just a PUT),” Basho engineer, Sam Elliott, presents on the work being done with Riak Data Types. Sam and a few other engineers at Basho have been integrating cutting-edge research on data types (known as CRDTs), pioneered by INRIA, to create Riak Data Types. Sam talks about the latest developments on CRDTs and walks developers through how to use them in their own applications.

In addition to Sam’s talk, we also had a talk from Jeremy Ong on “CRDTs in Production.” His talk provides real world solutions to leveraging CRDT concepts for an industrial application via case study. He also offers some suggestions on how to tackle data operations that can’t always commute. You can watch his full talk below.

For more information about Riak Data Types, check out this overview on Github.

To watch all of the sessions from RICON West 2013, visit the Basho Technologies Youtube Channel.


RICON West Videos: Distributed Systems in Academia

December 11, 2013

In the world of distributed systems, there are still a lot of unsolved problems and improvements to be made. This means that there is a lot of interesting research being done at top institutions around the world – with some of the brightest minds looking to improve distributed systems. At RICON West, Basho’s developer conference, we brought three PhD students and candidates to speak, whose work on distributed systems has been vital to both Basho and the future of the industry.

Peter Bailis is a PhD student at UC Berkeley. His talk, “Bad As I Wanna Be: Coordination and Consistency in Distributed Databases,” goes into how to reason about the trade-offs between coordination, consistency, latency, and availability, with a focus on practical takeaways from recent research both at UC Berkeley and beyond. He also talks about reconciling “consistency” in NoSQL and ACID databases and explains why, even though you probably didn’t “beat the CAP Theorem,” you (and tomorrow’s database designs) may be on to something. His full talk is below.

Lindsey Kuper is a PhD candidate at Indiana University, who studies the foundations of deterministic parallel programming. At RICON, she spoke on “LVars: Lattice-Based Data Structures for Deterministic Parallelism,” which introduces LVars (data structures that enable deterministic parallel programming). LVars generalize the single-assignment variables often found in deterministic parallel languages to allow multiple assignments that are monotonically increasing with respect to a user-specified lattice of states. LVars maintain determinism by allowing only monotonic writes and “threshold” reads to and from shared data. Her talk looks at examples of programming in an LVar-based parallel language that is provably deterministic, and explores the connection between LVars and CRDTs. The complete talk is below.

Finally, we had Diego Ongaro, a PhD student at Stanford University, talk about “The Raft Consensus Algorithm.” His talk discusses Raft, a consensus algorithm designed for understandability and developed by Diego and Professor John Ousterhout. Raft is equivalent to Paxos in fault-tolerance and performance, but it’s designed to be as easy to understand as possible, while cleanly addressing all major pieces needed for practical systems. The hope is that Raft will make consensus available to a wider audience, and that this wider audience will be able to develop a wider variety of higher quality consensus-based systems than are available today. You can learn more about Raft below.

To watch all of the sessions from RICON West 2013, visit the Basho Technologies Youtube Channel.


RICON West Videos: Netflix and Twitter

December 10, 2013

RICON is Basho’s conference series that’s focused on distributed systems. However, just because it is hosted by Basho does not mean it’s all about Riak. While the conference does feature some sessions about what’s new with Riak and Riak in production, we also try and bring speakers that are using other distributed systems to solve industry problems.

This year at RICON West, Jeff Hodges (Distributed Systems Engineer at Twitter) and Jason Brown (Senior Software Engineer at Netflix) both spoke about their experiences with distributed systems, including non-Riak systems.

Jeff Hodges’ talk, “Practicalities of Productionizing Distributed Systems,” discusses some of his tactics and strategies for getting a distributed system into production. He draws upon his experiences at Twitter and shares what he has learned from launching distributed systems at one of the largest social media companies. You can watch the full talk below.

Jason Brown’s talk, “Dynamic Dynamos: Comparing Riak and Cassandra,” provides a comparison of two popular distributed systems, Basho Riak and Apache Cassandra. Jason is a committer on the Apache Cassandra project and, due to working at Netflix, has a lot of experience using Cassandra in his day-to-day. This talk compares and contrasts these two Dynamo implementations and looks at how Riak could be used at Netflix from both a data modeling standpoint, as well as operating in a cloud-based environment. His full talk is below.

You can watch all of the talks from RICON West 2013 on Basho’s Youtube Channel.


RICON West Videos: Seagate and The Weather Company

December 3, 2013

The videos from RICON West 2013 are now available. RICON West brought together hundreds of developers to discuss distributed systems. It also featured 26 speakers over two days who spoke about new features in Riak, Riak in production, distributed systems in production, and research related to distributed systems.

In particular, there were some interesting talks related to how major companies are using Riak. James Hughes, Principal Technologist at Seagate Technology spoke on “The Seagate Kinetic Open Storage Platform: Innovation to Enable Scale Out Storage.” The week prior to RICON West, Seagate announced their Kinetic Open Storage Platform that utilized Riak as the backend. On Day One of RICON West, James Hughes did the first public demo of this platform during his session. The platform leverages Seagate’s expertise in hardware and software storage systems, integrating an open source API and Ethernet connectivity with Seagate hard drive technology. Check out his full talk below for more information on the Kinetic Open Storage Platform, how it utilizes Riak, and the live demo.

RICON West also featured two speakers from The Weather Company, Raja Selvaraj (Manager of Data Systems Engineering) and Arvinda Gillella (SUN Architect). Their talk, “Building Next Generation Weather Data Distribution and On-demand Forecast Systems Using Riak,” describes The Weather Company’s need to effectively store and distributed terabytes of data, while still maintaining manageability, scalability and usability. Their talk focuses on the challenges they face trying to solve this problem and why they ultimately chose Riak as its solution. It also discusses their new IT platform, which uses Riak to build the next generation on-demand forecasting system. The full talk is available below:

To watch all of the sessions from RICON West 2013, visit the Basho Technologies Youtube Channel.


RICON West Videos are Now Live!

November 25, 2013

RICON is Basho’s distributed systems conference series for developers. Last month, RICON West took place at the St. Regis in San Francisco and brought together hundreds of engineers, developers, scientists, and architects to discuss the theory, practice, and importance of running distributed systems in production. It was a packed two-days with 26 talks from Basho, Google, Netflix, Seagate, The Weather Company, Twitter, and many others.

All of the talks were recorded and sessions from Day One are now available on the Basho Technologies Youtube Channel! Check out the RICON West 2013 playlist to see talks from:

All talks from Day Two will be added to the playlist over the next few weeks. Be sure to subscribe to Youtube.com/BashoTechnologies for notifications about new RICON West videos and other Basho content.


Wrapping Up RICON West

October 31, 2013

If you attended RICON West, we’d love to hear your feedback! Please fill out the survey here.

Thanks to everyone who helped make the sold-out RICON West a huge success! RICON has come a long way in just one year and we are excited to see how it grows and evolves in the future.

RICON West featured over 25 speakers from academia and industry, including speakers from Basho, Google, Microsoft Research, Netflix, Salesforce, Seagate, The Weather Company, and Twitter. Over two days, they discussed the theory, practice, and importance of running distributed systems in production as well as some predictions on what’s in store for the future. Over the next few weeks, we will be posting slides and videos from all of the talks on both ricon.io and the blog.

RICON West would not be possible without our amazing sponsors. Thanks to Seagate, Engine Yard, Yammer, Google, SoftLayer, Tower3, Github, and Cloud Foundry for making RICON West a reality.

In case you missed it, we also received some great press. Here’s a quick recap:

What’s next for RICON? With three conferences already under our belt, we are excited to get to work on RICON Europe (our first international conference!) and continue RICON East. Keep an eye on Ricon.io and our blog for more details.

RICON West was also paired with a one-day Riak training. We plan on making these a more regular occurrence all over the country.

Have any feedback about RICON West or the training? We’d love to hear from you! Always feel free to reach out via the Riak Users mailing list, IRC, or contact us.