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Riak Hits 0.12; Gets an Office in Silicon Valley

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This week, one year after the startup Basho began, the company is now opening another office in San Francisco (in the same building as Twitter, just five floors below them!).  Basho is the development group that developed the open source NoSQL database, Riak.  Riak is a key-value store, and although it just reached version 0.12 this week, the project has already been used by several major players in software development.  The Mozilla Test Pilot project recently chose to use Riak over competitive NoSQLs like HBase and Cassandra.

Basho is possibly one of the most approachable groups of developers I've seen.  The new San Francisco-based team of four developers give a new meaning to hospitality.  In their recent blog post, Basho devs said, "If you are in the area and want to talk Riak, Basho, open source, coffee, etc., stop in and pay us a visit any time. Seriously. If you walk through the door of Suite 1028 with a Mac Book in hand and have a question about how to model your data in Riak, we'll get out the whiteboard and help you out."

The startup will also be hosting regular Riak meetups and plans to have a special gathering in August with a talk from Basho Board Member Dr. Eric Brewer, the father of the CAP Theorem.

Riak 0.12

A new release of Riak also complemented the news of their new San Fran HQ.  Riak 0.12 now has an improved mechanism for detecting if a node is fully online and ready for Riak operations.  This is a big new feature for failure recovery situations because the storage backend is able to complete a full integrity check and repair.

Applications now have the ability to use keywords "one", "quorum" (or "default"), and "all" instead of numerical values to set the R, W, and DW quorum settings.  This will help specify consistency levels more clearly.  

The multi backend has also been fixed so that bitcask can be used with the other backends.  Innostore has to be upgraded to 1.0.1 if you're using it with the multi backend.  Other new features include:

  • Improved error reporting for post-commit hooks
  • Better Python client packaging - Publish on PyPI
  • Updated bucket defaults to improve replica distribution across physical nodes
  • Improvements to storage backend interface layer

About Riak

In Riak, the data is divided into partitions that are distributed among your nodes.  When a node is added, the distribution of partition ownership is changed and both old and new data will immediately begin migrating over to the new data.  Riak has a built-in REST server that is battle-tested and production ready.  Minimal schema design is required and specific hooking in of the schema is not necessary.  For security, the Webmachine pre-commit hooks allow business logic to be included so that it can perform payload inspection. 

Riak is also highly extensible because new buckets and schema changes are completely dynamic.  To analyze data, Riak can write MapReduce jobs in JavaScript and submit them through a REST API.  A lightweight web interface can be created to facilitate job submissions.  For disaster recovery, Riak could potentially reassign the entire reporting cluster temporarily to handle incoming submissions.

Learn more about Riak here.

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