Basho Embraces OpenStack With Riak Cloud Storage

Riak CS 1.4 introduces compatibility with OpenStack, takes on Swift and CEPH object stores with increased scalability.
If you're running private or public cloud services, you're likely to need an object storage option to handle everything from simple spreadsheets and documents to streaming video files. Enter Riak CS 1.4, a newly OpenStack-compatible cloud storage option from Basho.

Basho is to Riak as 10Gen is to MongoDB. That is to say that Basho is the developer of the open source Riak NoSQL database and Riak CS cloud store based on the same architecture. Basho also provides commercially supported enterprise versions of both of these products.

The Riak database competes with Cassandra, offering the same sort of highly distributed, multi-data-center scalability. Riak CS helps companies build Amazon S3-like storage capabilities and DropBox clones.

With Riak CS 1.4, introduced on Tuesday, the big news is compatibility with OpenStack, which is "the de facto leader in open source code for enterprise clouds," according to InformationWeek cloud expert Charles Babcock . OpenStack compatibility was a box that had to be checked, according to Basho chief marketing officer and executive VP Bobby Patrick.

[ Want more on OpenStack? Read OpenStack Grows Up And China Notices. ]

"OpenStack is clearly the leader in terms of number of contributing sponsors and endorsements," Patrick told InformationWeek in a phone interview. "There's more hype and experimentation at this point than there are people in production as this stage, but that's going to change."

Swift is the de facto open source object store within OpenStack, and CEPH, which is commercially supported by Inktank, is another popular alternative. Riak CS's competitive edge is distributed scalability that makes it easy to replicate within data centers and between data centers, according to Patrick. "That's something that's on the roadmap for CEPH and is rudimentary on Swift, but it's inherent in Riak CS, with high availability as a core principle," Patrick said.

The Riak CS 1.4 Enterprise improves multi-site replication performance over the previous release by introducing concurrent channels of communication between clusters, taking advantage of all available network resources for faster and higher-scale replication.

Basho has more than 100 enterprise customers, including a third of the Fortune 50, according to Patrick. The Riak database is older and more popular while the object store represents about 20% of Basho's business. Customers of the object store include large telecommunications companies and cloud service providers, such as Tier 3, Data Pipe and Yahoo Japan.

Basho's head-to-head competitor in the database arena is Cassandra support provider DataStax. Large customers in this arena include Comcast, State Farm, Angry Birds and Riak's advantage over Cassandra is easier management and administration, according to Patrick. "Cassandra has a reputation for being challenging at high scale, but with Riak you can add nodes and servers to a cluster and everything is automatically balanced within minutes," he said.

The Riak 1.4 NoSQL database upgrade released last month introduced distributed counters, which help resolve conflicts and speed recovery when servers go down. Riak products are available for Debian, Ubuntu, FreeBSD, Mac, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora, SmartOS and Solaris.