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Riak is an open-source licensed distributed key-value- and document-store developed by Basho Inc. Riak has all the features of state-of-the-art distributed KV-stores ranging from an HTTP/REST-based API to an integrated MapReduce framework and pluggable storage-engines.
Riak's unique contribution is its flexible query facilities. It's datastore can be queried by a simple description of a graph traversal process which is transformed into a chain of MapReduce steps at query-time. The result is a system with flexible data-extraction, -filtering and -processing possibilities that go beyond "traditional" MapReduce-enabled stores.
Riak's code base is small and clean such that is is easy to understand and extend its implementation. By this, it is both a great foundation for building own systems on top of Riak and a great learning resource for all things NoSQL.
Martin Scholl is studying distributed systems and database management systems. During his studies, he founded two companies that help with development and consulting of distributed databases. Currently, he's working on a distributed block storage and an archiving system.