Issues with capacity planning pages on wiki

Justin Sheehy justin at
Wed May 25 20:10:29 EDT 2011

Hi, Anthony.

There are really three different things below:

1- reducing the minimum overhead of the {Bucket, Key} encoding when
riak is storing into bitcask

2- reducing the size of the vector clock encoding

3- reducing the size of the overall riak_object structure and metadata

All three of these are worth doing.  The reason they are the way they
are now is that the initial assumptions for most Riak deployments was
of a high enough mean object size that these few bytes per object
would proportionally be small noise -- but that's just history and not
a reason to avoid improvements.

In fact, preliminary work has been done on all three of these.  It
just hasn't yet been such a high priority that it got pushed through
to the finish.  One tricky part with all three is backward
compatibility, as most production Riak clusters do not expect to need
a full stop every time we want to make an improvement like these.

Solving #1, by the way, isn't really in bitcask itself but rather in
riak_kv_bitcask_backend.  I can take a swing at that (with backward
compatibility) shortly.  I might also be able to help dig up some of
the old work on #2 that is nearly a year old, and I think Andy Gross
may have done some of what's needed for #3.

With less words: I agree, all this should be made smaller.

And don't let this stop you if you want to jump ahead and give some of it a try!


On Wed, May 25, 2011 at 1:50 PM, Anthony Molinaro
<anthonym at> wrote:

> Anyway, things make a lot more sense now, and I'm thinking I may need
> to fork bitcask and get rid of some of that extra overhead.  For instance
> 13 bytes of overhead to store a tuple of binaries seems unnecessary, it's
> probably better to just have a single binary with the bucket size as a
> prefix, so something like
> <<BucketSize:16,Bucket,Key>>
> That way you turn 13 bytes of overhead to 2.
> Of course I'd need some way to work with old data, but a one time migration
> shouldn't be too bad.
> It also seems like there should be some way to trim down some of that on
> disk usage.  I mean 300+ bytes to store 36 bytes is a lot.

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