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A toolkit for working with DynamoDB at scale


Multitable support

Moe provides a table manager to create and rotate tables. Tables may be mirrored (each write goes to two or more tables) and/or split (reads happen across multiple tables).

Currently mirroring uses a table with the same capacity as the primary table. In the future we may add Kinesis support for the mirror table so the mirrored writes can go to Kinesis first and then trickle into the mirror table so we can minimize the capacity required. This mill also allow us do Big Data type realtime procesing as it goes through Kinesis should that be desired.

There are different approaches to splitting based on the use case. The most straightforward mechanism is to shut everything down, push out a table change, start everything back up. This ensures that a set of data will not be written across multiple tables thus providing the most safety when expiring old tables. At the other end of the spectrum we can simply write the metadata item as the first in the sequence so knowledge of the sequence will disappear when the table its metadata is written on does. At this time the splitting strategy is determined by the persistence strategy though it would be good to be able to mix and match.

Persistence strategies

DynamoDB presents a unique and interesting set of contraints. By designing persistence strategies around these contraints we can take advantage of useful patterns that fall out of them. Thus unlike a generalized ORM moe provides a number of different persistence strategies depending on your use cases and patterns. Cannot find a pattern that is a good match for your workload? Add one!

The first persistence strategy available is the one described at -- it provides a model where an "owner" has many things that each have many things using a single DynamoDB table with no indexes. By comparison a more ruby-typical-but-dynamo-naive implementation might use two tables plus a GSI at ~3x the cost. Not to mention the additional complexity as capacity and other operational concerns have to be managed on each table and the GSI.


DynamoDB capacity is evenly divided among a number of partitions that increase/decrease along with capacity. We do not know the number of partitions; we only know (if we pay attention) when our primary hash key strategy is insufficently random to spread evenly across all partitions. Moe will provide a number of partitioning strategies and instrumentation so you can compare your actual overall throughput to what AWS reports in order to determine the effectiveness of and tune your key randomization strategy.


To run the tests you will need to start fake_dynamo manually and

bundle exec rake rspec  # use rspec instead of spec to bypass auto fake_dynamo


A gem for working with DynamoDB at scale




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