Basho, a Seagate Cloud Builder Alliance partner, has broadened its product portfolio with new support options for the growing number of enterprises that use its Riak solutions. Many businesses run mission-critical applications and platforms on top of Riak databases, and in some cases administrators have required additional support to ensure that they are implementing everything correctly.

The announcement included the introduction of Riak Basic and Riak Starter, both of which give users access o Basho support engineers. These offerings cover Basho’s open source products that are licensed under Apache 2.

For Riak Enterprise and Riak CS Enterprise, the service-level agreement for urgent tickets has been reduced from an hour to only 30 minutes for 2014, and Basho will continue to provide discounts for scale-out deployments of its commercial software. The company’s Enterprise products are also getting a “Plus” upgrade designed to ensure long-term stability of any platform by integrating a baseline and annual system health check.

A pair of new solutions, Riak Test Drive and Riak CS Test Drive, provide prepackaged software bundled with Basho Professional Services. Users get access to developer features that will help them get projects off the ground.

This new suite of support products addresses the common challenges that administrators face when starting with Riak, such as modeling data and developing applications for new environments. Some IT departments needed more guidance.

There’s definitely a skill shortage,” explained Basho vice president Bobby Patrick, according to The Register. “With a distributed system we recommend five [Riak] nodes. We had a Fortune 200 last quarter that reached out to us and they told us they were on one node. While this stuff is on our documentation, we find people don’t always read the documentation.”

The Register’s Jack Clark explained that Basho’s new support services extend beyond system configuration help. Administrators are also guided in setting up the hardware supporting the Riak installation.

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