Jason Campbell xiaclo at
Thu Jan 30 18:17:04 EST 2014

Oh, I completely misunderstood, I'm sorry for that.  I was thinking of your application as a typical web application which could regenerate the data at any time (making that the authoritative source, not Riak).

In that case, Riak does sound perfect, but I would definitely not use the memory backend if that is the only copy of the data.

Eric, I'm sorry if I made is sound like Riak is a poor cache in all situations, I just didn't think it fit here (although I clearly misunderstood).  There is a tradeoff between speed and consistency/reliability, and the whole application has to take advantage of the extra consistency and reliability for it to make sense.

Sorry again,
Jason Campbell

----- Original Message -----
From: "Edgar Veiga" <edgarmveiga at>
To: "Eric Redmond" <eredmond at>
Cc: "Jason Campbell" <xiaclo at>, "riak-users" <riak-users at>, "Russell Brown" <russell.brown at>
Sent: Friday, 31 January, 2014 9:54:33 AM
Subject: Re: last_write_wins


I think that you are making some kind of confusion here... I'm not using riak for cache purposes, thats exactly the opposite! Riak is my end persistence system, I need to store the documents in a strong, secure, available and consistent place. That's riak. 

It's like I've said before, just make an analogy with the linux file cache system. Node.js workers simulate that in-memory cache, php applications write and read from them and when something is dirty, it's persisted to riak... 

Best regards 

On 30 January 2014 22:26, Eric Redmond < eredmond at > wrote: 

Actually people use Riak as a distributed cache all the time. In fact, many customers use it exclusively as a cache system. Not all backends write to disk. Riak supports a main memory backend[1], complete with size limits and TTL. 



On Jan 30, 2014, at 1:48 PM, Jason Campbell < xiaclo at > wrote: 

I'm not sure Riak is the best fit for this. Riak is great for applications where it is the source of data, and has very strong consistency when used in this way. You are using it as a cache, where Riak will be significantly slower than other cache solutions. Especially since you say that each worker will have a set of documents it is responsible for. Something like a local memcache or redis would likely suit this use case just as well, but do it much faster with less overhead. 

Riak will guarantee 3 writes to disk (by default), where something like memcache or redis will stay in memory, and if local, won't have network latency either. In the worst case where a node goes offline, the real data can be pulled from the backend again, so it isn't a big deal. It will also simplify your application, because node.js can always request from cache and not worry about the speed, instead of maintaining it's own cache layer. 

I'm as happy as the next person on this list to see Riak being used for all sorts of uses, but I believe in the right tool for the right job. Unless there is something I don't understand, Riak is probably the wrong tool. It will work, but there is other software that will work much better. 

I hope this helps, 
Jason Campbell 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Edgar Veiga" < edgarmveiga at > 
To: "Russell Brown" < russell.brown at > 
Cc: "riak-users" < riak-users at > 
Sent: Friday, 31 January, 2014 3:20:42 AM 
Subject: Re: last_write_wins 

I'll try to explain this the best I can, although it's a simples architecture I'm not describing it in my native language :) 

I have a set of node.js workers (64 for now) that serve as a cache/middleware layer for a dozen of php applications. Each worker deals with a set of documents (it's not a distributed cache system). Each worker updates the documents in memory, and tags them as dirty (just like OS file cache), and from time to time (for now, it's a 5 seconds window interval), a persister module will deal with the persistence of those dirty documents to riak. 
If the document isn't in memory, it will be fetched from riak. 

If you want document X, you need to ask to the corresponding worker dealing with it. Two different workers, don't deal with the same document. 
That way we can guarantee that there will be no concurrent writes to riak. 

Best Regards, 

On 30 January 2014 10:46, Russell Brown < russell.brown at > wrote: 

On 30 Jan 2014, at 10:37, Edgar Veiga < edgarmveiga at > wrote: 


Using last_write_wins = true, do I need to always send the vclock while on a PUT request? In the official documention it says that riak will look only at the timestamp of the requests. 

Ok, from what you’ve said it sounds like you are always wanting to replace what is at a key with the new information you are putting. If that is the case, then you have the perfect use case for LWW=true. And indeed, you do not need to pass a vclock with your put request. And it sounds like there is no need for you to fetch-before-put since that is only to get context /resolve siblings. Curious about your use case if you can share more. 



Best regards, 

On 29 January 2014 10:29, Edgar Veiga < edgarmveiga at > wrote: 

Hi Russel, 

No, it doesn't depend. It's always a new value. 

Best regards 

On 29 January 2014 10:10, Russell Brown < russell.brown at > wrote: 

On 29 Jan 2014, at 09:57, Edgar Veiga < edgarmveiga at > wrote: 


If I guarantee that the same key is only written with a 5 second interval, is last_write_wins=true profitable? 

It depends. Does the value you write depend in anyway on the value you read, or is it always that you are just getting a totally new value that replaces what is in Riak (regardless what is in Riak)? 

On 27 January 2014 23:25, Edgar Veiga < edgarmveiga at > wrote: 

Hi there everyone! 

I would like to know, if my current application is a good use case to set last_write_wins to true. 

Basically I have a cluster of node.js workers reading and writing to riak. Each node.js worker is responsible for a set of keys, so I can guarantee some kind of non distributed cache... 
The real deal here is that the writing operation is not run evertime an object is changed but each 5 seconds in a "batch insertion/update" style. This brings the guarantee that the same object cannot be write to riak at the same time, not event at the same seconds, there's always a 5 second window between each insertion/update. 

That said, is it profitable to me if I set last_write_wins to true? I've been facing some massive writting delays under high loads and it would be nice if I have some kind of way to tune riak. 

Thanks a lot and keep up the good work! 

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