Riak

(21)
4.1 out of 5 stars

Riak uses a simple key/value model for object storage. Objects in Riak consist of a unique key and a value, stored in a flat namespace called a bucket. You can store anything you want in Riak: text, images, JSON/XML/HTML documents, user and session data, backups, log files, and more.

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Riak review by <span>Gokhan B.</span>
Gokhan B.
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4 years in production with Riak and RiakCS

What do you like best?

1. Easy management of Riak database cluster. Adding capacity on commodity hardware smoothly.

2. Fail safe structure of Riak helped us several times and we had no operational interruption at all.

3. Entity management is far more easy then RDBMS systems. We don't have to fit our feet to elephant RDBMS system's shoe. System architecture design is much more efficient with Riak data types.

5. I am free to select "strong consistency" or "eventual consistency". I am free to adjust persistency layer according to my project's needs. It seems quite complex at the very beginning but when you grasp the feeling of freedom, you'll never return back to blurry ACID b/s data types.

6. We have built-in full text search capability with Solr.

7. Riak have open source and enterprise edition licenses. You can test the product, before you decide to use it. After that, you can switch to EE license to benefit from excellent support and additional functionality.

What do you dislike?

1. Please revisit Yokuzuna and integrate with the latest Solr. Please upgrade Solr from 4.7. to 5.4.1. and let us benefit from "block join in nested objects" and"faceting" functions. At least upgrade to 4.8. therefore we can use "block join for JSON" operations. It will be big plus for Riak users. o/

2. Client libraries should be updated as soon as new Riak versions arrived.

3. Your product range is fine now with BDP and TS. It is time orchestrate all the elements, providing easy provisioning, management and monitoring facilities.

4. Please consider create a project to see and manage buckets visually. AFAIK there are some community projects exist but i believe this kind of application like Toad will be big plus and more and more people will jump to Basho bandwagon. No other contributor can follow your version updates as you could do Basho guys.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Check your data if its suitable to denormalize as JSON buckets.

Check access pattern of your data

Always measure and test.

Consider buying EE license if your setup will be multi data center based.

Contact with Basho engineers to discuss about your project's needs. You will get an expert response for sure.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We have used Riak in one gaming project, one healthcare management project and in educational erp project.

1. Denormalization of data is a huge plus for us. We don't have bound to limits of RDBMS any more. Of course you should be very careful at the beginning of the project to manage entity relations, query types and reports. That is why we have created an ORM tool with Python named Pyoko. Pyoko is quite similar to Hibernate to help object relations and control the life cycle of objects in project.

2. We can now design our data more liberally to fit the rest of the layers of our application structure.

3. Seasoned developers knows that you have to deal with RDBMS manually and M layer of MVC to create proper data flow management to C layer. We have shifted our architecture to micro services. I can clearly say that Riak is perfect fit with micro services approach.

4. We have no data loss! Think about brain splits of XYZ RDBMS cluster.

5. We have started with small cluster (3 nodes) and it grows as we grow (5 nodes). It means we can expand our capacity without a service interruption.

6. Prototyping and migration of data is very flexible. It closes the gap between learning curve with Riak and starting an actual clear code.

7. Solr is integrated and all scheme operations ready for you. Solr is very efficient and you can do hell a lot of things even with the missing functionality i have mentioned above.

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Riak review by <span>André L.</span>
André L.
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Riak - The best highly available distributed key-value store out there?

What do you like best?

Riak is one of these tools that does one thing well. In this case, it's the best distributed key-value store out there.

The Riak console is a great way to see the status of your Riak cluster.

Riak is open source, so anyone can review the code.

What do you dislike?

Riak is a distributed key-value store, it will not be the optimal choice for all use-cases.

There are not too many tools available, so you have to write your own.

Riak exposes some of the difficulties of distributed systems to the user. One example of this is the conflict resolution, when there are more than one version of an object at once. Riak will give you the option to solve this for you, by using "last write wins", but it in many cases this is not what you need. Don't use last write wins if you can't live with data loss, which will happen eventually.

Recommendations to others considering the product

This probably goes without saying, but make sure you understand the consistency model used in Riak before using it in a production environment.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Riak is a great choice for sharing state between nodes in a distributed system, if you can fit your data into the key-value store model. Writes will almost always succeed, but you might not always get consistent data when you read it back. It will eventually be consistent, but you have to be prepared to resolve conflicts.

If you prioritize consistency over availability, then you should look at different product. Likewise if you need a relational or other more complex data models.

What Key-Value Stores solution do you use?

Thanks for letting us know!
Riak review by <span>M. Serhat D.</span>
M. Serhat D.
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Complete Key-Value Storage Solution with Cloud Support

What do you like best?

Riak is an easy to use NoSQL database engine, for that reason it's highly preferred by both beginners and professionals. It's quite easy to install and configure Riak and also administrative operations are well documented and easy to understand. Riak KV NoSQL databases are highly scalable and easy to operate, also they are highly compatible with other Riak solutions such as Riak S2 and Riak TS. All Riak solutions are cross-platform and I really like their perfect Linux support. Riak S2 is my favorite from Riak because I can integrate it with popular cloud services like Amazon S3. Riak is also providing an official Ruby client which is well documented and open source.

What do you dislike?

Riak is being updated quite often and it's disturbing sometimes. I spent too much time to keep my nodes up to date. And every new update is also a new concern about the reliance of data.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Riak is a high performance and scalable NoSQL database engine. I suggest you to try Riak if you are looking for a key-value store for your big data which supports cloud services.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I have tried Riak for a month during an academic research project which was about text analysis and I was quite satisfied with the results. But in the past Riak wasn't providing an official Ruby client so we switched to another NoSQL solution in the end.

Riak review by <span>Edwin F.</span>
Edwin F.
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Useful tool for professional and academic purposes

What do you like best?

Riak is a NOSQL database engine that works fine on a MAC OS system, Linux system and some others according the information available on the Basho site. The greatest thing about RIAK is that it works as a cluster (Ring, if you want to see it like that) composed by different nodes, which can be physical systems or virtual machines. It stores the data as Key-Value objects, where the value is stored as a JSON file, of course, accessed by the key in order to be modified, overwritten or deleted. The Cluster can be set up to work on a local network or a VPN where different nodes in different locations need to be linked to the Cluster, all one needs is a valid IP Address. The cluster has some options that can be changed when configuring the first node, as the ring size (Taking 64 as the default value, this means, 64 nodes can be linked together), the node name (Which would be the IP Address, however the IP address needs to be a valid IP from the Network the VM or the System is connected to, usually set to static. Note that when the name of the node is changed, the information of the ring needs to be deleted if the node was previously started, instructions can be found on the Basho Documentation; however, other steps might apply if the node is already linked to a Cluster). Another great thing about RIAK is that it handles fragmentation and duplication of the data all by itself, for 3 copies of one object is stored in the Cluster, in different nodes (Also, each Node is fragmented into divisions, but I can't recall the name of those at the moment) which benefits the availability of the data. There is a max amount of nodes that can be down for the Cluster to work properly (Check up RIAK documentation, the exact way to calculate the number is provided there).

In general terms. the data is stored in Buckets, which are pretty much slots within the Cluster to keep data organised (For example: If you have Books to store, you would have a "Books" Bucket to store your PDFs, word files, txt files, etc.).

Basho provides a lot of APIs for free, that can be dowloaded in order to ease a connection between and application and a RIAK cluster, and from my JAVA experienced, they are really easy to use. In general, a great tool to work, however, a lot of reading must be done to get comfortable with its environment.

What do you dislike?

There are few options for Map-Reduce tasks, however the cluster does give a Map algorithm which pretty much takes all the objects stored in a Bucket, and later on you can work on them as, for example, a Collection (If using JAVA).

Not available for Windows systems.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

When using JAVA, is eases the way objects are stored. They can be stored with the corresponding Key, and the Value becomes a JSON with the info of the object, and when the Object needs to be redeemed, all it needs to be done is to request the value with the key, and convert the value to the corresponding object (Documentation on the matter available and provided by Basho). So this is a great trick when working with OO programming.

Riak review by <span>Gunjeet S.</span>
Gunjeet S.
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Riak (1.2) Review

What do you like best?

From an Operations perspective, Riak cluster is very easy to install, setup and maintain. Rolling upgrades can be done pretty seamlessly without any app downtime (might result in some latency spikes, so as per best practices, plan during off-peak business hours/low-impact maintenance windows). Also, for monitoring, riak publishes very good stats - both for individual cluster health with get/puts at 95th, 99th, 100th percentiles published and for multi-dc replication. These stats can be easily integrated with collectd/graphite or circonous for visualization to facilitate trend analysis and capacity planning.

Received excellent support from Basho on the tickets we had filed.

What do you dislike?

Would have liked multi-tenancy support built into the product - it wasn't there in version 1.2. It will be very helpful to add a more user friendly CLI as Erlang commands can get pretty cryptic.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We were using it as a Key/Value store to store metadata for a file-sharing app.

Riak review by <span>Philipp B.</span>
Philipp B.
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Reliable distributed NoSQL store

What do you like best?

Riak has strong focus on the data storage itself. It seems that by leaving out features like authentication, Riak does the storage really well. It's also cool, that Riak works distributed from day one.

What do you dislike?

The big thing missing is an admin tool for the data. It would be really helpful to have a Web UI to handle bucket properties and browse Secondary Indexes.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Try it!

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We slowly migrating our customers data model to Riak. So it's becoming the general purpose data store.

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