Riak database technology from Basho, a Seagate Cloud Builder Alliance partner, has recently been adopted by several high-profile organizations seeking support for big data projects. In addition to The Weather Company, which operates high-profile properties such as The Weather Channel, Ireland’s Temetra has taken up Riak to spur innovation in cloud-based meter readings. These organizations join other Riak adopters such as Rovio Entertainment and Yahoo Japan.

Temetra, The Weather Company turn to Riak for cloud storage systems
Writing for Datacenter Dynamics, Dan Bone explained that Temetra was at work on a wireless metering system that would be the first of its kind. By leveraging Riak, Temetra’s cloud infrastructure can provide more accurate utility readings to customers, ultimately driving down costs for water, gas and heating bills.

Temetra managing director Paul Barry stated that the organization collects up to 400 readings per year for each household. Riak gives it the stability and scalability to support a larger number of meters on the network. Moreover, the collected data is always available to Temetra employees as they determine the right billing for customers.

“Riak is very easily managed and when a Riak node went down for a day we didn’t even notice because the other nodes compensated,” stated Barry. “It didn’t affect our service in any way and that is a huge advantage for us.”

The Weather Company’s deployment is similar in that it relies on Riak to collect large amounts of data that can be applied to improving business projects. In this case, Riak is the backbone for more accurate forecasts that draw upon a wide variety of satellite, radar and user-supplied data.

Riak’s impact on operations at Rovio and Yahoo Japan
By taking up Riak, Temetra and The Weather Company are joining other companies that have turned to Riak for data-intensive projects. Database Dynamics’ Penny Jones reported that companies in sectors like mobile gaming and Web services have increasingly taken up cloud storage that combines enterprise-level availability with webscale speed.

Compared to relational databases, Riak provides better scalability and easier setup. Rovio Entertainment, the creators of the popular Angry Birds gaming franchise, has built much of its infrastructure on Amazon Web Services, and the company has relied on Riak to support critical data such as payment information. Ultimately, Riak has given Rovio the ability to scale its storage operations as its user base rapidly grows.

“A Riak database is on a set of machines – maybe five or maybe 50,” explained Basho CTO Justin Sheehey. “That is both the availability story – because no one or two of those going down makes the database disappear from the user’s point of view – but it is also from a growth point. If you have a ten-house Riak cluster and you need 50 percent more capacity for volume or throughput, you can add five more machines and that is it. There is no step function in the cost.”

Riak has also facilitated better IT flexibility for Rovio. The database technology supports multi-datacenter deployments, and Rovio can use it to leverage public and private cloud architectures as needed and replicate data across them.

Yahoo Japan has similarly been exploring Riak for several of its big data projects, including forecasting government elections and economic conditions. The organization has cited the low operating costs of Riak’s enterprise cloud storage and its AWS compatibility as strong reasons for its shift to Basho’s offerings. Yahoo Japan has been testing Riak databases since 2012.

“We thought Riak’s architectural design was superior and its Amazon S3 API compatibility gives us a big advantage,” stated Yahoo Japan cloud product manager Shingo Saito.

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