November 22, 2012

With a growing community understanding of distributed systems architectures, where is the field evolving? How are Riak and other Dynamo-inspired databases handling complex data structures and meeting demands for stronger consistency and more queriability? This blog highlights three talks from last month’s RICON that tackle these questions.

Advancing Distributed Systems – Eric Brewer

In this keynote talk, Dr. Eric Brewer, author of a theorem that helped kick off the NoSQL movement, talks about the challenges facing distributed systems today. Beginning with some historical context–“SQL vs. NoSQL is not really a new religious war, it’s actually the latest round of a very old religious war”– Dr. Brewer walks us through the advantages and disadvantages of top-down (relational) and bottom-up (NoSQL) worldviews, his work at Google, and his thoughts on where next generation databases are headed.

Bringing Consistency to Riak – Joseph Blomstedt

With regard to the CAP Theorem, Riak is an eventually-consistent database with AP semantics. But, this may soon change. In this talk, Basho engineer Joseph Blomstedt presents, for the first time, on-going R&D at Basho to add true strongly-consistent/CP semantics to Riak.

Data Structures in Riak – Sean Cribbs and Russell Brown

Since the beginning, Riak has supported high write-availability using Dynamo-style multi-valued keys – also known as conflicts or siblings. The tradeoff for this type of availability is that the application must include logic to resolve conflicting updates. This ad hoc resolution strategy is error-prone and can result in surprising anomalies. In this talk, Basho engineers Sean Cribbs and Russel Brown present recent work done to address these issues by adding convergent data structures to Riak.

For more RICON videos on a range of distributed systems topics, visit our RICON aftermath site.

The Basho Team