Bitcask vs innostore, again

Justin Sheehy justin at
Thu Apr 28 16:26:48 EDT 2011

Hi, Dmitry.

I will try to reply to some of the questions you raised about bitcask.

On Thu, Apr 7, 2011 at 12:30 AM, Dmitry Demeshchuk <demeshchuk at> wrote:

> Now being considered as the main Riak storage.

It's not just being considered, it is the main Riak storage.  We are
very confident in bitcask's quality and it has been the default
storage engine now for some time.  Some people may of course still
choose innostore for various reasons but at Basho we believe that
Bitcask will better suit the needs of the majority of users.

> I've been having myself some problems with
> bitcask previously (running out of file descriptors, bad merges) and
> heard that some people periodically try to migrate from innostore to
> bitcask, and stick to innostore, keeping disappointing in bitcask.

We honestly don't hear much of any real problems with bitcask.  It is
true that depending on your setup riak can quickly run out of file
descriptors if you haven't set your ulimit properly, but that is
easily fixed.  (and is also true under innostore, just in slightly
different scenarios)

I am not sure what you mean by bad merges or any failed migrations --
I'd need to hear more details to reply to that part.

> What I haven't heard about bitcask yet is any production success
> stories. Which storage does Wikia use, for example? Or Vibrant Media?

I will leave it to each individual user to describe any details of
their own production configuration as that is not our privilege to
disclose.  However, I can certainly say that the majority of
production deployments are running bitcask.  There are a few notable
exceptions, certainly -- but bitcask is the typical storage engine for
Riak in production these days.  This certainly includes a number of
businesses with the volume and duration you described.

Others might share their anecdotes; what I can provide is an aggregate
view.  And from that perspective we are very happy with the
performance and stability that bitcask's known users are experiencing.

Best regards,


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