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As you and others have pointed out, hosting + SSDs + synchronous replication across availability zones counts for a lot. If DynamoDB lives up to the hype, it could be a huge step forward in the world of "don't have to think about it" data storage.

DynamoDB does have at least one significant feature not provided by Riak -- range scans. This makes many common access patterns much easier to implement efficiently. Still, as you suggest, there don't appear to be any fundamental technical advances here. The advances are in the service model and operation.

And there are, of course, many limitations. (Just to name a few: items -- i.e. rows -- can't exceed 64K; queries don't use consistent reads; seemingly no atomic update of multiple items.) It's miles ahead of SimpleDB, but still not nearly as flexible as many of the existing NoSQL databases. If Amazon lives up to past performance, they'll make steady improvements, but slowly.




you can choose whether queries are consistent or eventually consistent.


>DynamoDB does have at least one significant feature not provided by Riak -- range scans.

Riak has the ability to select keys for processing via various queries, including range of the key.

Riak also has secondary indexes and full text search.

If there's something significant about the DynamoDB method of doing range scans I'm interested in hearing it. My purpose here isn't so much to bash DynamoDB (in fact, I don't want to do that at all) but to try and spread a little more awareness of Riak.

Riak really came into its own in 1.0.


> Riak has the ability to select keys for processing via various queries, including range of the key.

Based on the resources I can find online, any select-by-range operation in Riak requires broadcasting to all nodes (or at least enough nodes to hit at least one replica of each record), and then performing a scatter-gather operation to fetch the matching records. There also doesn't seem to be any way to specify a sorting order. This is not quite what I would call a range scan: while useful, it presumably doesn't have the same cost or scaling characteristics. It's the difference between scanning a block of data that is stored contiguously, and filtering through an entire table to identify records meeting a criterion which happens to take the form "a <= value <= b".

This is not to diss Riak, which is a nice piece of work and does many things that DynamoDB doesn't.




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