How to Deploy a Riak Cluster in 5 Minutes on GoGrid

January 31st, 2014 by - 6,108 views

The first big challenge to overcome with any new NoSQL database deployment is figuring out how to deploy the cluster in an environment that lets you scale as needed within a single data center and even across multiple data centers. To save cash, many customers make the mistake of trialing the product on cheap hardware with limited RAM across clusters that are inadequate for the application.

We think there’s a better way to run your evaluation. At GoGrid, we’ve made it possible to deploy a 5-node Riak cluster on beefy, high-performance machines with the click of a button. Check out the specs we’re providing as an orchestrated deployment using our 1-Button Deploy™ technology:

  • 5 nodes
  • 16 GB RAM per node
  • 16 cores per node
  • 640 GB storage per node
  • 10-Gbps network
  • 40-Gbps private network connectivity to additional Block Storage volumes (as needed)

Once the first cluster is deployed, you can point-and-click to add more nodes as you need them. Geek out for a moment on what you can do with this technology: You can run a user/session store for your application, use it to target and serve advertising, perform MapReduce operations, or any number of other things with just a few clicks of the mouse. And you can do it all in 4 easy steps.

Step 1: Login to GoGrid

To get started, login to your GoGrid account at to access the management console. If you don’t yet have an account, go ahead and create one: visit and click the Get Started button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.

Step 2: Add New Infrastructure

Once you’re in the management console, select the add button to bring up a list of infrastructure you can add to your network. On the “Add New Infrastructure” window, you’ll see you have the option of adding “Big Data Clusters.”


Step 3: Select Cluster Type

Selecting “Riak” from the “Add New Infrastructure” menu brings up two options: you can deploy either a production or a development cluster. A production cluster is more robust and comes with a virtual firewall service.


For our purposes, I’ll deploy a development cluster by selecting the development tab and hitting the Deploy button, which kicks off a set of actions that will deploy my chosen cluster. It will provision the servers, install Riak, and set up the associated network. Here are the specifics on the version we’re using along with details on what is orchestrated and what isn’t:

Riak v1.4


  • Riak database (open source)
  • Backends: Bitcask
  • Riak RESTful API
  • MapReduce

Not orchestrated

  • Backends: LevelDB
  • Memory only
  • Solr
  • Cross-data-center support

Of course you can set up the other components as you need them. What we’ve done is solve for the most common use cases and made it easy for you to bring up a Riak cluster and run MapReduce.

OK, now back to the infrastructure. Once I hit the Deploy button, the orchestrated deployment kicks off. From the grid view in the management console, I can now see the Riak platform icon along with associated Riak server icons.


Step 4: Confirm Cluster Deployment

The green status indicators show that all the servers are up and running. All that’s left to do is login to one of the servers and validate that the servers are configured and communicating. I can login to any member of the cluster either with a third-party client tool (like Putty) or through our Console service.


Once I’ve logged in to a server, I’ll verify that all members are part of the cluster by typing the following command:

riak-admin member_status

Doing so brings up a list of all the nodes in the cluster. If any are missing, you should easily be able to identify them.


Most interactions with Riak are through its RESTful API or Protocol Buffers API, but there are also client libraries for Erlang, Java, Python, C/C++, and others. You can learn more from the Riak online manual.

And that’s it. In just 4 steps with a few clicks of the mouse, I have a Riak cluster up and running on high-performance SSD Cloud Servers. I didn’t have to wait weeks to get the servers, it didn’t take me days to configure and build them, and I wasn’t forced to run the cluster on my personal laptop just to try it!

If you want to take a cluster of SSDs out for a spin, just visit and request a free trial.

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Kole Hicks

Senior Director of Product Management at GoGrid
Kole Hicks is the Senior Director of Product Management for GoGrid, the leader in Open Data Services (ODS) and committed to delivering purpose-built, non-opinionated Big Data solutions and services for the management and integration of open source, commercial, and proprietary technologies across multiple platforms..

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