Basho arms would-be Amazon killers with AWS-compatible storage

For cloud providers that want to compete with Amazon’s (s amzn) storage product but don’t want to set up an S3 sandbox for customers, Basho’s latest product can help.
The Cambridge, Mass. startup is now offering RiakCS cloud-based storage services as an option for infrastructure-as-a-service companies and other cloud providers that want to be compatible with Amazon storage services without getting  locked into the entire Amazon stack.
Taking on Amazon in cloud storage is a tough row to hoe given Amazon’s dominance. Still, there are many companies that want to move some storage to the cloud but can’t trust their digital stuff to a public cloud, like Amazon’s. To meet this need,  an emerging group of cloud players Tier3,  Opsource and others are building private cloud services to compete with Amazon Web Services in general and, in some cases, S3 storage in particular.

Building on Amazon to fight Amazon

Basho built its business with a close eye on Amazon. Its NoSQL database, launched in 2009, was based on an AWS white paper outlining the ideal distributed cloud database, according to Basho CMO Bobby Patrick.
RiakCS storage overlays multitenancy atop its Riak database and promises easy storage and access of simple objects. But most importantly, it pledges compatibility with Amazon’s storage API.  By virtue of Amazon’s dominance, the AWS APIs are becoming the de facto standard for cloud computing.
Per Basho’s press release:

RiakCS is compatible with the S3 API, providing an easy-to-use interface and allowing enterprises to use existing S3 tools and frameworks or import and extract Amazon data.

Prices for RiakCS start at $10,000 per storage server, including multi-data center replication and support. A 24TB server would thus cost about 40 cents/GB.
While RiakCS storage is based on the open-source version of the company’s Riak NoSQL database, it includes other proprietary software to handle multi-tenancy and support large object storage.
RiakCS, Basho targets the aforementioned  big cloud operators as well as big multi-national companies that typically require dedicated support.
Patrick said RiakCS’s ability to run on the cheapest commodity hardware and failover gracefully as needed, means that third party cloud providers really will be able to compete with Amazon on price.

Everyone into the cloud storage pool

The pool of available cloud-based storage options seems to get larger — and more confusing — by the day. Players include NirvanixZettanet as well as Microsoft(s msft) (with Azure storage), and Google(s goog) (with Google Cloud Storage.)
Cloud storage is definitely gaining more credence among corporate IT departments wanting to cut costs. The question is how much money there really is in this opportunity as the various vendors appear to be in a race to the bottom, slicing prices on their cloud storage to win share. But it is also clear that there are many companies out there looking for a private, and more secure, cloud storage option. Basho could provide an important piece of that solution.
 Feature photo courtesy of Flickr user breahn