Feeds

Riak cloud storage's secret sauce splashed all over the web

NoSQL biz Basho attempts to woo developers with code

Security for virtualized datacentres

Riak database stewards at Basho have released their multi-tenant high-availability cloud storage technology as open source under the Apache 2 licence - but to what end?

Perhaps it's because new technologies need to experience widespread adoption before they can have much of an effect on the IT used by many companies, and exposing the guts of a piece of software can draw a crowd of developers to pick over the internals. This generates interest, which leads to use, which eventually yields cash, or so Basho bosses are hoping.

The company announced today it will publish its Riak Cloud Storage code as open source in an attempt to assure the system's relevance in a market swamped with rival NoSQL storage choices. It's the same strategy adopted by other companies, such as Netflix via its open source initiatives, or Rackspace's de facto takeover of traditional open source cloud storage models via its vigorous involvement in OpenStack.

But will it work - do people need another cloud storage system? Some might - the RiakCS technology has some characteristics that set it apart from other systems out there.

Because Riak Cloud Storage is based on open-source Riak, it has inherited many of that database's popular characteristics, such as: fault-tolerance, multi-tenancy, per-user reporting, robust stats, high availability and, most importantly of all, a software interface and authentication system compatible with the most popular commercial cloud storage product – Amazon Web Services's S3.

Some of these features let the system work as an intermediary between the open source world's two main cloud platforms – Citrix-backed CloudStack, and the world-plus-dog-backed OpenStack.

"CloudStack and OpenStack have really taken off [and] created very large ecosystems of enterprises that are interested in this type of functionality," Shanley Kane, a product manager at Basho, told The Register.

"From a technical perspective RiakCS is unique in terms of its distributed systems principals. Riak is battle-tested, built on Amazon principles from the Dynamo paper. There's no other storage product in the market that can claim to have that foundation."

Because RiakCS has native S3 compatibility, it can be used by admins of either platform as a stable, multi-tenant platform through which to interface with Amazon.

"We are the Switzerland. We want everyone to use RiakCS – not just people from one camp or the other," Kane said, before noting Riak has a "more mature" partnership with CloudStack.

This summer Basho plans to introduce support for the Cloudstack API and authentication scheme, but is working on doing the equivalent for OpenStack and does not have a date as yet.

Alongside the release of the software, Basho announced a new feature that makes it easier to load in large files to the platform by letting administrators split them up into parts between 5MB and 5GB in size.

Other additional features include support for GET range queries, per-bucket policies to help admins control who sees what, and the launch of a web administration tool for user management named RiakCS Control.

Basho is keeping back a couple of important features for the paid-for version of the product, including its multi-datacenter replication feature, and the company has no plans to publish that as open source any time soon, Kane confirmed.

"In the coming weeks and months, we look forward to helping new users get started with Riak CS and be successful running it in production," the company wrote in a statement.

"We'll be expanding integration and partnerships with open source cloud computing platforms in order to provide integrated storage and compute to the marketplace. As always, we'll be listening to feedback, engaging with the community and accepting pull requests."

Riak has always been one of the more eccentric NoSQL systems. While technologies like MongoDB have claimed widespread developer adoption, Riak has laboured away in the background notching up a few big corporate wins. It is able to count Best Buy, Comcast, and Github among its customers. Yet not many developers seem to use it.

By publishing RiakCS as open source, the company is hoping to give more developers a reason to stay up to speed on the platform and, hopefully, develop applications that link it to other, larger parts of the open-source ecosystem where it can flower. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
Keep that consumer browser tat away from our software says Oracle
Big Red decides it will only support Firefox's Extended Support Releases
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.