Is Riak dead?

DeadZen deadzen at
Sat Jul 15 11:38:51 EDT 2017

Riak was and still is a good platform, with the potential to be a
great platform.
I am fairly sure I am not the only one whose staked their reputation
on it.. The name is unimportant.

The question now is where is the focus going to be put next?

To ferret away whatever existing possibly panicking customers that
were abandoned during this transition or
to improve the platform so that it can reach it's potential;
benefiting from people experienced with what it is, what it was trying
to be, and where it was trying to go.
I still think this platform can be a business advantage while
simultaneously being the ladder that engineers can use to climb up and
participate in a difficult field.

As an open source product, everyone can see where it is, it is likely
better than the closed sourced portion of the product even.
As distributed systems programmers many of us knew and were excited
about areas where it could be improved. I often pointed directly
towards Riak Core.
As a business I am fairly certain not even Basho had an idea of where
it was actually trying to go...
I kinda think a lack of organization and priority in the latter two
pegs caused the Basho stool to finally fall down.

Basho created an internal group called Taishi which was in my hopes a
sounding board for the community in a deputized fashion within Basho,
where improvements could be discussed and implemented with assistance
from developers from around the world, but besides being given a
very nice hat and couple glasses, I did not see this materialize at all.

The direction and leadership won't materialize overnight, but at least
the conversation has really started,
I am sure there is some damage control that needs to be done as well
as I believe some customers included governments and hospitals.

I see a future in an Erlang based defacto standard for an open source
implementation of the Amazon Dynamo Paper.
I see this effort being multidisciplinary as Riak ran up against
several issues, many in Erlang itself,
recall being a fork of the entire language distribution.

ESL could possibly be a good steward here, but there are many things
that need serious consideration.

I am motivated to talk more about this.

On Sat, Jul 15, 2017 at 4:22 AM, Steve Roberts
<steve.roberts at> wrote:
> Hi All
> Great to see there is so much enthusiasm for Riak.
> I'm from Erlang Solutions. Just to clarify where things are at the moment.
> The company Basho Technologies still exists - it hasn't filed for bankruptcy
> yet - although we expect it to. There is no grave just yet.  We are
> creditors and shareholders so we will be notified when/if they do file for
> bankruptcy.  Assuming it goes into liquidation, the receiver will sell
> whatever assets can be liquidated in order to pay the creditors.
> Registered names like Riak are things which can be sold... so we will see.
> it will probably take a long time before Basho is truly dead and buried.
> I've asked our CEO  Stuart Whitfield (who happens to be a lawyer) to look at
> the legal questions and give a more detailed view.
> As Russell correctly points out existing customers are the priority.  In
> terms of our thoughts of this situation, our priority is to ensure
> enterprise customers have continuity of support since they are the ones most
> likely to abandon Riak as it will be a forced migration situation if there
> is no support. I expect to  launch a paid support service very shortly  -
> if you're interested, let me know.
> In terms of Riak software, the open source software is safe since it is open
> sourced under a friendly licence.  The situation with the code for the
> enterprise version is not clear yet (highly dependent who/if it is bought in
> the fire sale since it is closed source) - although we aim, one way or
> another, to have an open source data centre replication layer. Not sure who
> is using the other functionality like super clusters in the the enterprise
> version - ping me if you are.
> In terms of the products, KV is the priority for support followed by CS/S2.
> There aren't many people using TS so it will probably be community support
> for the code. I already have some interest from a former developer  to move
> TS forward - if others want to work on TS I can help co-ordinate in the
> interim.
> In terms of evolving the code we're happy to co-ordinate a community and
> help steer the future direction for the product.  We are looking whether
> this should be done through a similar model to the Linux foundation.
> For major feature development, our thoughts are some kind of crowd funding
> model for functionality which requires significant development effort -
> Basho funded this activity through support and being closed source which
> doesnt really work in a completely open source model.  Our goal would be to
> have just the open source version and no closed source code. Where possible
> we wouldnt want customers to have closed source forks.
> We definitely see Riak has a future and want to focus on getting back to
> basics of a product which is high performance and does it well - before
> adding lots of new functionality. For example ensure there is a clean
> demarcation between the data layer and the control layer - this should make
> it easier to create new storage types and change the replication layer.
> Right now for those of Enterprise, migration back  to Open Source is not
> straight forward because of this.
> If you are planning to set up groups etc, please let me know and our
> marketing group can help you establish the community.
> Steve
> On 15/07/17 08:08, Russell Brown wrote:
>> On 15 Jul 2017, at 01:29, Alexander Sicular <siculars at> wrote:
>>> I'm not dancing on anyone's grave. Im a big fan of Riak, you know? I'm
>>> just pointing out that there is in fact a grave and if there is any hope for
>>> a Riak future the project will have to rebrand.
>> This is the thing we disagree on. But like I said before, neither of us is
>> a lawyer, and even if you’re right, it hardly matters. It’s inconsequential.
>>> I'm sorry, but no company in their right mind would seriously consider
>>> using Riak today if they weren't already using Riak. That's today, the story
>>> may change tomorrow.
>> Again, I disagree, but I’m personally not that interested in looking for
>> new Riak users at the moment. I think now is the time to shore up the
>> existing customers who want to stay with Riak. Chasing non-existent new
>> business whilst ignoring the core users is a large part of what did for
>> Basho.
>>>> On Fri, Jul 14, 2017 at 5:41 PM, Russell Brown <russell.brown at>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> On 14 Jul 2017, at 23:36, Dave King <djking at> wrote:
>>>>> You asked what difference the tm made.  The tm invokes clause 6.  So
>>>>> yes it means moving forward means a new name.  That's one of the things to
>>>>> be considered.
>>>> Agree, so if we’re sticking to the subject, “Is Riak dead?” the worst
>>>> case is: “No, but potentially the name could be some time in the future”,
>>>> right?
>>>> I asked rhetorically what difference the TM made. I’ve also read the
>>>> license, and taken legal advice. This was not in any way a surprise.
>>>>> - Peace
>>>>> Dave
>>>>> On Fri, Jul 14, 2017 at 4:30 PM, Russell Brown <russell.brown at>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>> On 14 Jul 2017, at 23:28, Dave King <djking at> wrote:
>>>>>> No, but I can read.
>>>>> I read it too. I’m not sure what your point is. A day may come when the
>>>>> name has to change?
>>>>>> - Peace
>>>>>> Dave
>>>>>> On Fri, Jul 14, 2017 at 4:27 PM, Russell Brown <russell.brown at>
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>> On 14 Jul 2017, at 23:26, Dave King <djking at> wrote:
>>>>>>> 6. Trademarks. This License does not grant permission to use the
>>>>>>> trade names, trademarks, service marks, or product names of the Licensor,
>>>>>>> except as required for reasonable and customary use in describing the origin
>>>>>>> of the Work and reproducing the content of the NOTICE file.
>>>>>>> So At minimum I read that as there would need to be a new product
>>>>>>> name, and the docs for that product could say formerly known as Riak.
>>>>>> You are lawyer?
>>>>>>> - Peace
>>>>>>> Dave
>>>>>>> On Fri, Jul 14, 2017 at 4:22 PM, Russell Brown
>>>>>>> <russell.brown at> wrote:
>>>>>>> On 14 Jul 2017, at 23:17, Dave King <djking at> wrote:
>>>>>>>> Looks like Basho has the trademark on Riak.
>>>>>>> They sure do. And if you look at the Apache2 license you’ll see that
>>>>>>> it grants use of the name to identify the source.
>>>>>>> Look, I’m not a lawyer, and I’m guessing you’re not a lawyer. What
>>>>>>> difference does the name or trademark make? There are a bunch of active
>>>>>>> users of Riak, some of whom have made it clear they plan to continue using
>>>>>>> it. Dance on Basho’s grave all you want, but Riak isn’t dead yet.
>>>>>>>> - Peace
>>>>>>>> Dave
>>>>>>>> On Fri, Jul 14, 2017 at 4:08 PM, Alexander Sicular
>>>>>>>> <siculars at> wrote:
>>>>>>>>> On Jul 14, 2017, at 11:32, Russell Brown <russell.brown at>
>>>>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>>>> What do you mean “encumbered”? Riak is the name of an Apache2
>>>>>>>>> licensed open source database, so it can continue to be used to describe
>>>>>>>>> that apache 2 licensed database, please don’t spread FUD.
>>>>>>>> You willing to invest time in a project that could be legally
>>>>>>>> encumbered at some point in the future because lawyers? You willing to put
>>>>>>>> that beyond the clown fiesta that is Basho? I don't think so.
>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>>>>>>> riak-users at
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> --
> Regards
> Steve Roberts
> +44-7887-852-920
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