Using Riak as cache layer

Sean Cribbs sean at
Mon Oct 1 09:14:55 EDT 2012

In contrast to Yuri's claim, a number of groups have used Riak
successfully as a cache. Yes, it won't be as fast as Membase, but it
might be fast enough for your purposes. (This presentation by
Posterous might interest you:

1) Bitcask is going to be very fast. If your data never really exceeds
RAM, Bitcask will give you near-RAM speeds with the assurance that
your cache will also persist to disk.  Normal Bitcask caveats apply
here, including the "keys-must-fit-in-RAM" one.
2) For most persistent use-cases it is recommended to have > 3 nodes,
preferably 5 or more. For a cache, the guarantees of per-key
availability are usually more lax, so perhaps < 3 nodes is ok. It's
better to set up your desired configuration, run some benchmarks and
smoke-tests while stopping or killing nodes.
3) If you are using the "memory" backend, you can configure this
behavior. If you do not configure it, the default is to use up to as
much memory as the operating system will allow it -- beyond that
limit, the Riak node will exit and leave a crash dump. If you
configure a size or TTL limit, then the memory backend will drop the
oldest item from its storage.  More information on how to configure it
is here:

I hope that helps!

On Mon, Oct 1, 2012 at 8:57 AM, Yuri Lukyanov <snaky at> wrote:
> I suggest that you use (ex-membase)  instead
> as a cache layer. It's faster but less reliable than riak, which is ok
> for cache layer.
> On Mon, Oct 1, 2012 at 12:47 AM, Pavel Kogan <pavel.kogan at> wrote:
>> Hi all experts,
>> I want to use Riak for caching and have few questions:
>> 1) How faster is using memory back-end over bitcask back-end (on SSD)?
>> 2) If throughput satisfying, is there any reason to use more than two nodes?
>> 3) When my memory reaches preset limit (lets say 4Gb) what is going to
>> happen
>>     on inserting the next element?
>>     a) Random element will be dropped.
>>     b) Oldest element will be dropped.
>>     c) Next element insert will fail.
>> Thanks,
>>    Pavel
>> _______________________________________________
>> riak-users mailing list
>> riak-users at
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> riak-users at

Sean Cribbs <sean at>
Software Engineer
Basho Technologies, Inc.

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