Online gambling site Bet365 has announced its plans to purchase Riak, Basho’s distributed NoSQL database technology.
The company plans to continue developing the NoSQL database technology, which it uses internally, and has invested heavily in Riak skills.
Andrew Deane, Bet365’s systems development manager for middleware, said: “I used to work an Canonical, and this is the first time I’ve experienced a large enterprise take on and support an open source product and its community.”
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The company is a big user of Basho, which provides an enterprise version of the open source Riak product. Riak has been used at Bet365 for between four and five years. The company started out using the open source product as a key value store and then moved to the enterprise version.
“We have a large development team dedicated to Riak,” said Deane, adding that it is used in different parts of the Bet365 platform. He said Bet365 uses one of the components in its bet placement system, which it scales out horizontally, and all data issues are resolved by Riak.
“It became quite valuable in our enterprise, but then Basho went into receivership,” he said. Bet365 was aware of Basho’s troubles and decided to secure the rights to the enterprise product, which supports multi-datacentre replication.
Despite owning the IP, Bet365 sees the ongoing improvement of Riak as a community project and will make the enterprise version available as open source.
The online betting company plans to work with the Riak community to improve the product. “We have not taken on support for existing customers, and we have no plans to sell the product. We hope there is no disruption for developers,” said Deane.
“Riak is an important technology for us, as it is for other companies that use it. It is in all of our best interests that the platform remains stable and is allowed to evolve,” he said. “The most effective way to do this is to make the entire source code available to the community.”
Developed to help users store huge quantities of information, Riak is an essential technology for operating large-scale, data-driven businesses. In addition to Bet365, Riak is deployed in many other institutions, including the NHS, which uses it to store medical records.
The original support contracts are now void, however, Erlang Solutions in partnership with TI Tokyo have launched a new support service – this is completely independent from the legacy Basho suppor, so a new contract would need to be taken up for Riak support.
Deanne said Bet365 plans to run a two-day workshop to work with the Riak community on selecting a suitable open source licensing model to adopt for the product and to start the process of determining an ongoing product roadmap.
“We will be asking the community to collaborate on key decisions from the functionality that will be of most benefit, as well as the type of open source licence they feel will yield the greatest results,” said Deane.
He said Bet365 has some ideas how to take the product forward. “While replication in the enterprise product is good, it uses a lot of bandwidth,” he added.
This is one of the areas Bet365 hopes to work with the community to resolve. Deane said Riak needs some level of indexing to support big sets, which is the Riak equivalent of big data.