Comparison against DynamoDB

Sebastian Cohnen sebastian.cohnen at
Mon Apr 8 03:09:36 EDT 2013

Hey David,

a customer of mine is running Riak on EC2 (and also using DynamoDB, but for a totally different use case). I'm not sure if the 2B keys will be a problem, we are a bit below that amount. It also highly depends on your desired backend, throughput and latency requirements if you want to run Riak on EC2.

We've struggled quite some time with bad 99th read percentile. When we updated to 1.3 and applied an additional patch ([0]), the situation improved. The main issue is that the IO performance of EC2's ephemeral instance storage is quite unpredictable. We started and stopped a lot of instances in order to get ones, that have a better IO performance (IO performance appears to be quite steady over instance lifetime). If you can afford to run your cluster on SSD-backed instances, you won't have a problem though :)

I have no exact details for a cost comparison, but this also depends on your requirements and workload. Riak is pretty easy to run and has features, DynamoDB does not offer (e.g. we needed key expiration). On the other hand, DynamoDB is pretty fast and very steady performance wise. But since you pay for throughput it can get quite expensive very quickly.




On 04.04.2013, at 15:06, David Koblas <david at> wrote:

> Spent some time with the AWS folks the other day and was getting sold on using DynamoDB for some of our large Key Value store needs. However given the read/write economics of DynamoDB vs. Instance+Storage costs on Riak I was wondering if anybody has done a good thinking around where the cost inflections points are?
> Also before I go and benchmark things how does Riak perform with 2B entries which are < 1K in size, when I last did the benchmarks - just before 1.0 - there were a few issues.
> Thanks,
> David
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