Hosting firm SoftLayer has introduced a pay-as-you-go database service based on the open-source Riak NoSQL engine, claiming to offer a turnkey environment for customers developing applications around big data.
The end result combines the high availability, fault tolerance and scalability of Riak with the flexibility and ease of access of SoftLayer's on-demand infrastructure, the two firms said.
"We are offering the ability for customers to very easily design their own Riak solution via a Solution Designer tool we have produced that makes it easy to order a multi-server configuration," Marc Jones, vice president of product innovation at SoftLayer told V3.
However, the Riak offering is not strictly a cloud service in the same way as Amazon's DynamoDB platform, as customers are getting their own dedicated hardware that they can configure how they like using the Solution Designer tool.
"In terms of rapid provisioning, consumption-based billing and the ability to scale, we regard this as being cloud, especially when compared with traditional IT provisioning," argued Jones.
And while the SoftLayer approach may take longer to provision (up to two hours) than something like DynamoDB, it offers users much greater flexibility in tailoring the infrastructure to an application's exact requirements.
Customers can choose between small or medium servers, which offer up to four or up to 12 drives respectively, and also specify memory configurations. Local storage options comprise Serial ATA (SATA), Serial attached SCSI (SAS) or solid-state drives, with Raid support for data resilience at each node, while each node is connected by twin Gigabit connections bonded together to provide 2Gbit/s of network bandwidth.
Meanwhile, the Riak Enterprise version of the service offers customers the ability to replicate their database cluster across multiple SoftLayer datacentres around the globe, to serve traffic in multiple regions or simply for disaster recovery and failover requirements.
SoftLayer operates its own private network between its 13 global datacentres, according to Jones, so there is no additional charge for replication traffic. Riak is being aimed at web businesses building applications that may generate a lot of data for analysis, according to SoftLayer, such as gaming sites or social media.
"These are verticals driven in a large part by the data that they capture from their customers, and they are able to derive analytics from this data that ultimately drives their business forward," said Jones.
SoftLayer is thus aiming to attract customers looking for a robust platform to store their critical data, and such customers could well end up using SoftLayer as their main hosting provider in order to cut network latency between their web tier and the Riak database back-end.
Pricing for Riak starts at $359 (£231) per server per month, while Riak Enterprise is $600 (£386) per node per month or an annual price of $6,000 (£3,869) per node.
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