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The Weather Company adopts Basho Riak for big data analytics

The Weather Company is one of many enterprises that now depends on Basho Riak.

Basho, a Seagate Cloud Builder Alliance partner, recently announced the preview release of Riak 2.0, the latest version of its NoSQL database. Riak’s ability to power cloud computing services as well as a wide range of applications on mobile and Web platforms make it an ideal solution for enterprises that require scalability and high availability. Organizations such as The Weather Company have already adopted Riak to support big data initiatives.

The Weather Company picks Basho Riak to boost big data analytics
The Weather Company owns many high-profile properties such as The Weather Channel, Weather Underground and Intellicast. Over the past few years, the organization has sought to improve its cloud infrastructure as part of its growth strategy. It wants to targets verticals such as hospitality, media and insurance that heavily rely on dependable data.

To this end, producing accurate weather information will require the storage and collation of readings gathered from many different stations, satellites and radar arrays. The stakes are high, given how closely weather services’ reputations are tied to the accuracy of their forecasts. A Forbes post from Brooks Bell highlighted the importance of having strong analytics tools that can make sense of vast quantities of information. While big data projects face hurdles like personnel shortages, some companies may also need help in finding the right cloud storage solutions to support their initiatives.

Weather is the original big data,” stated The Weather Company CIO and executive vice president Bryson Koehler. “A massive data explosion is at the center of our growth strategy. The Weather Company requires an architecture that is both flexible and reliable, allowing us to deliver higher accuracy through superior data. Basho has been a valuable partner in our transformation and Riak has proven to be a critical component as the NoSQL distributed database powering our new platform.”

In addition to Riak, The Weather Company has adopted Dasein and Apache Hadoop as part of its IT makeover. Riak will foster high availability across The Weather Company’s Amazon Web Services implementations. For this purpose, the organization is using  Riak Enterprise’s Multi-Datacenter Replication technology.

The impact of Basho Riak on the U.K. National Health Service
Basho’s distributed systems have given enterprises in a variety of sectors the availability that they need to run mission-critical applications. The U.K. National Health Service uses Riak as the basis of its Spine 2.0 project. The Spine infrastructure is part of the NHS National Care Record, which includes – but is not limited to – the Personal Demographic Service, Electronic Prescription Service and Summary Care Record.

Speaking to Computing, Basho EMEA marketing manager Jeremy Hill explained that the NHS opted for Basho over larger vendors like Oracle. Basho’s NoSQL offering will replace Oracle’s relational database and ensure that NHS systems have constant availability to applications. Basho’s solutions have proven resilient in the face of degrading capacity, and the NHS infrastructure will be able to go on supporting critical services even if a server fails.

Like The Weather Company, the NHS has also benefited from the flexibility and affordability of Riak, which is open source.

“I think part of what drove this was the government’s drive to use open source software, which from their perspective is more cost effective, but at the same time, they needed software and an organization they could depend on, and Riak is a dependable technology,” Hill told Computing. “[I]t has been proven with other organizations like Temetra, Rovio and CNN. They have been able to test it and see that it works for them as well.”