You say goodbye and I say hello

Newly repopulated Basho partners with Talend

Lucy Carey

Riak vendors may have shed a CEO, CTO and Chief Architect this year, but the NoSQL company is still making friends in the space.

Erlang-coded key/value data store Riak has always stood out in the NoSQL space, drawing in clients looking for a scalable, highly-interactive option for their critical data. This year however, the company has hit the headlines for other reasons following the resignation of its CEO, CTO and Chief Architect within the space of three months.

In spite of this domino-like secession of senior staff, Basho has been unwavering in its campaign to conquer the distributed systems market. To this end, the company announced today that they are forming a partnership with global integration software big guns Talend, who will be working with the company to address “business pain points around migrating data from relational to NoSQL databases.”

We spoke to Basho  EMEA Marketing Director Jeremy Hill for the full story on this new venture, as well an update on staff comings and goings, and the latest from the NoSQL beat.

JAX: What are the biggest issues customers face when shifting from relational to non-relational databases in your opinion?

Hill: One of the biggest challenges we see customers facing when shifting from a relational to non-relational databases is the realization that they have to think about their data in a slightly different way. With relational databases, customers are used to doing things like sharding (breaking up the database into separate areas) in order to achieve scalability and reliability.

Now, scalability and reliability are at the core of their database and IT teams have to shift away from traditional thinking to understand how to put this to the best use. As in all areas, change can be daunting, so we work closely with customers to help them with this, as well as understand the new capabilities and the benefits it offers.  

Why did Basho choose to partner with Talend specifically?

Talend is extremely skilled in understanding the issues associated with migrating data from relational to non-relational databases and that’s an important part of what we do.  Non-relational databases can be very beneficial for many of our customers and we want them to be able to make the change without extra strain on their resources. The combination of Riak with Talend’s technology eases the process for our customers and that’s a huge benefit for all parties involved.

Is forming more strategic partnerships part of Basho’s strategy going forward? What areas will these be in?

Strategic partnerships have always been a part of our general strategy and you can expect to see more being announced this year. Now that we’ve have a solid technical foundation with Riak, Basho is going to become more and more business focused as time goes on. We want to form lasting relationships with our customers throughout all of our key verticals such as the telecommunications, gaming, healthcare, and financial sectors.

How have the design goals of Riak evolved over time, and do you see them shifting in the future?

Riak was designed from the ground up as a distributed system and while the core of the product hasn’t changed, it has evolved with our customer needs. For example, with Riak 2.0, we’ll be introducing full text search integration with Apache Solr to allow customers to more easily search and integrate data. We don’t expect the design goals to change significantly, but as we become more focused on our customers’ needs, Riak will grow accordingly.

What do you see happening with the NoSQL market in the next three years – do you think Riak will become more widely adopted?

We are already seeing wider adoption of Riak as a result of the scalability, flexibility and reliability it offers.  We’ve had some great use cases this past year where organizations have seen the benefits Riak has offered other customers in their sectors and signed on.  

For example, the NHS saw the effective way the Danish Health Authority is using Riak to support its national health card system and decided to deploy it across the whole of the organisation. As more and more CIOs realize the pressing need to scale to manage ever-increasing data loads, we expect that our adoption rate will continue to increase.

Basho has replaced three key staff members in the past three months. What impact has this had on the company roadmap?

First and foremost, Basho has and will continue to focus on developing enterprise products that meet the evolving needs of our customers. We have positive momentum in the industry and will leverage this with our new, exciting leadership team.

Adam Wray (CEO) and Dave McCrory (CTO) bring extensive experience in developing enterprise-ready technology and building successful businesses, furthering our goal of delivering disruptive solutions that drive massive development, and operational efficiencies for the largest and most critical data management challenges.

Our new leadership team will help grow Basho’s presence across enterprises worldwide, by bringing a new strategic focus and credibility to the company.

How do you think your new exec team’s backgrounds will influence the future trajectory of Basho?

Adam Wray, our new CEO, and Dave McCrory, CTO, both come to Basho with extensive technology backgrounds. Adam is bringing more than 20 years of relevant experience and a deep business and technical background to Basho, including time as the president and CEO of Tier 3.

He has a proven track record of driving business growth for companies at different life cycles and has consistently delivered as a successful leader. He is a great fit for Basho, given where we are in our period of growth, and will help us get to the next stage in becoming the database and object storage product of choice for enterprises worldwide.

Dave joins Basho from his role as SVP of engineering at Warner Music Group and he is a seasoned executive with extensive experience in the cloud and virtualization industries as well as a deep understanding of building open source technology for enterprises.

His expertise will enable us to evolve our current products to meet the ever changing needs of our customers – especially as industry trends like real-time systems, the Internet of Things, mobility, and big data continue to impact our customers’ bottom lines.

You may also know him from his invention of the term “Data Gravity,” which states that as data accumulates, there is a greater likelihood that additional services and applications will be attracted to this data and add to it.

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