Access and Feeds

Open Source Cloud Computing: Riak Cloud Storage Offers AWS-S3 Compatibility

By Dick Weisinger

Basho was founded in 2008 by a group of executives and software engineers from Akamai Technologies.  Over the last five years, the team has received $26 million ($39 million based on GigaOm’s estimates) in venture funding.  While the company name may have been selected for other reasons, it seems likely that there was inspiration from Matsuo Basho, a famous Japanese poet who lived during the 1600’s.  This connection to Japan may have proved useful to help the American company achieve funding from Japanese companies IDC Frontier and Tokyo Electron Device Limited, along with quite a few American ones chipping in too.  The Basho logo features a face with hair styled in a Japanese-style topknot, not too unlike the look that Basho’s CTO Justin Sheehy sports.

Basho has created the Riak data store, a NoSQL database that is modeled after Amazon’s Dynamo.  Riak customers include Symantec, Best Buy, Workday, Yahoo! JAPAN, Voxer, Braintree, Bump, Boeing, Comcast, AOL,, Yammer, Yandex, and AT&T.  Riak is designed to be highly scalable and highly available, enabling large-scale fault-tolerant replication and retrieval of data.

Basho also offers Riak Cloud Storage, storage software that is REST API-compatible with Amazon S3 storage and designed to be the foundation for either a private or public cloud.  Riak Cloud Storage can support multiple tenants with reporting on a per-user basis and it also supports the storage of very large binary objects, up to five gigabytes, with the ability to make granular retrievals  of partial data contained within a single stored object.

In March 2013, Basho announced that Riak Cloud Storage changed its licensing to the open source Apache 2 license.

Simon Robinson, vice president of storage research at 451 Research, said that “The cloud storage market continues to accelerate as companies seek to build public and private storage clouds that mirror Amazon Web Services’ capabilities and economics.”

Jack Clark of the Register noted that “by publishing Riak Cloud Storage 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.”

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