Riak adds cross-data center replication
November 30, 2012 —
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Basho, the company behind the Riak key value store, today announced that the enterprise edition of Riak will now offer cross-data-center replication capabilities.
These new capabilities build on the existing Riak Cloud Storage product. This enterprise product wraps additional capabilities around Riak, allowing it to be used through an API modeled after Amazon's S3 storage service. Riak Cloud Storage is also multi-tenant, and can store objects by splitting them into smaller chunks and replicating those pieces across the database cluster.
Riak is designed to function with multiple nodes right from the start. Typically, a starter Riak cluster consists of at least five nodes. All data on those nodes is replicated at least three times, though this can be configured. Because of Riak's architecture and use of multiple nodes, a Riak cluster is always available for reads and writes, with no locking or blocking taking place.
But because Riak is a cluster-based database, replication across locations can be tricky. That's why Basho today added cross-site replication for entire clusters.
Andy Gross, chief architect of Basho, said, “Large enterprise wants to consolidate storage. We have telcos that want to use Riak as the basis of a public cloud storage system. We can make it act as an S3 lookalike. For the enterprise customers, a big global company can have data close to different continents, and for large service providers, they can use the multi-service capabilities of Riak to build regional zones.”
Not just another NoSQL
While the NoSQL market is still on fire, there are distinct lines that have formed along the database providers. Some, such as Couchbase and MongoDB, are gaining steam from developers while encountering difficulties on the IT side of the fence. Others, like Cassandra and Riak, are being brought in from the IT side, and it's the developers who have to adjust.
Shanley Kane, director of product management at Basho, said that developers coming to Riak are generally struggling with the shift in concept that comes from moving from a relational database to a key-value store. “It depends on how your application is modeled and structured,” she said. “The biggest barrier to entry is to get people to think purely about keys and values. An application does well when you can model your data with a unique key attached to a value, which seems easy on the surface, but when you have people used to relational data models, it can be a challenge.”