So maybe you have considered running Riak in a virtualized environment, Rusty lays out why this is suboptimal. This is true not just for Riak, but realistically for any database. Since most database are disk bound you have an extra layer before actually writing and committing to disk, circumventing most of the reliability functions of the database. Virtualizing on the same machine does not actually help in terms of replication and dependability. Takeaway: Riak is already virtualized, so let it handle that instead of running it on yet another virtualization.