Just when you thought you knew who the players are in the NoSQL space you realize you left out a major one. I felt that way after speaking with Bobby Patrick, CMO of Basho, the makers of the open source Riak database.
Basho was started by some former Akamai engineers after Amazon published its "Dynamo" paper in 2007. Dynamo laid out the vision for a database or key store that was both ultra fast and ultra scalable. Finally, in 2011, Basho released version 1.0 of Riak, its open source database designed to solve that problem. Later that year, the company started work on Riak CS, its cloud storage solution. By late 2011 two major telcom providers had selected Riak CS to build their own solutions around.
Of course, like many open source companies, Basho offers both a free, open source version of Riak, as well as a commercially licensed and supported version called Riak Enterprise. On top of this Basho released a version they call Riak CS in March of this year. Riak CS offers Amazon S3 API support along with large scaled object support. Basho has also released Riak Control which is an easy way for admins to manage and control all of their Riak clusters.
So what is unique about Riak? That was the question I asked Patrick in my interview. Patrick's answer was that under Riak "every node is created equal." What he meant is that there is no head of the snake. Riak's scalability and speed is due to the fact that it is easy to add more nodes at any time. Losing a node doesn't bring down the application. There is no "master node" that is a single point of failure. To Patrick, that was the key to Riak's success.
Success is certainly something the guys at Basho appear to be enjoying. Their customer list is chock full of household names like Best Buy, AT&T, Boeing and Citi. In a relitively new market like the NoSQL market, they are making a name for themselves very quickly. It looks like Basho will be a name to watch in this space!
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