Angry Birds creator Rovio deploys Basho Riak NoSQL solution

By Danny Palmer
10 Sep 2013 View Comments
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Rovio, the Finnish studio behind the popular Angry Birds computer game, has deployed Riak, the open source NoSQL database from Basho Technologies, to aid scalability and management of data volumes from its games and animated Angry Birds Toons series.

The success of mobile game Angry Birds, which has been downloaded almost two billion times, put pressure on Rovio's infrastructure, requiring the company to look for a system that enabled it to scale databases appropriately.

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"We had to find a way of dealing with the spikes in demand caused by our new releases, as well as supporting the continued growth of Angry Birds," said Juhani Honkala, vice-president of technology at Rovio.

"Basho's distributed data store, Riak, allows us to deliver availability to our customers while maintaining a standard of service that we can pride ourselves on. These standards are crucial for us because gaming users will simply not continue to play if the interface is latent or unreliable," he added.

Rovio selected Riak because it offered robust, low-latency features, helping to ensure Angry Birds players and viewers would be able to efficiently access the games and videos at all times, even in the event of a hardware failure at Rovio.

Riak replicates data across a number of nodes, meaning that if one part of the databases goes down, high performance will still be ensured, regardless of the device Angry Birds is being played on.

"Providing the infrastructure for hundreds of millions of users is no small feat. The world is becoming much more connected, and people are using more devices than ever before. Keeping track of those data types and scaling to meet demand cost-effectively can be a huge challenge," said Honkala.

"With Riak, Basho has provided us with the fast, scalable and flexible foundation needed to address the challenges associated with cross-platform entertainment. This has been done while keeping operational costs affordable and while providing the best possible experience to our global fan base," he added.

The system has also allowed Rovio to create an in-house user interface - called Bigbird Library - on top of Riak, enabling the studio's IT department to use a consistent, simple-to-use system, and allowing the development team more time to improve services instead of fixing IT issues.

Founded in 2008, Basho Technologies is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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