NoSQL vendor Basho restaffs executive team

Adam Wray, formerly of Tier 3, will now lead the open-source Riak database vendor

Dave McCrory, Basho CTO

Dave McCrory, Basho CTO

NoSQL database vendor Basho has restaffed its executive ranks, following a recent exodus of its CEO, chief technology officer and chief architect.

The company has appointed a new CEO, Adam Wray, as well as a new CTO, Dave McCrory, who worked with Wray on the open-source Cloud Foundry project.

Wray replaces Greg Collins, who left the CEO post in January. Former CTO Justin Sheehy announced he had moved to VMware earlier this week. Basho chief architect Andy Gross also stepped down from his post, leaving for Twitter.

"The previous leadership was intelligent and brought a lot of skills to the table, but have not run companies of this size and with this meteoric growth," Wray said.

Basho leads the development of Riak, an open source NoSQL data store. The company also manages open-source, cloud-storage software, called Riak CS. The company offers commercial editions of each technology, Riak Enterprise and Riak CS Enterprise, respectively.

Wray denied the former executives left for any one particular reason.

"Quite frankly, some people were just getting tired, and needed a change in venue," Wray said.

Working with open source, Wray explained involves a delicate balance between monetization of the technology and working with a sometime vocal open-source community.

"It's a yin yang, of how much you should be contributing versus how much you should keep as proprietary for your own commercial needs" said Wray, referring to the Chinese philosophy of complementary opposites.

Wray also pointed to how his experience in managing disruptive technologies, such as cloud computing, could help manage the rapidly growing Basho. Best Buy and Comcast, along with a number of additional companies in the Fortune 50, have used the database for their own operations.

Most recently, Wray served as CEO and president of Tier 3, a cloud provider that was purchased telecommunications provider last November for US$200 million. He also held operational leadership roles at Amazon, Akamai Technologies and Limelight Networks.

McCrory most recently was a senior vice president of engineering at Warner Music Group, where he led development of the company's new Digital Services Platform, which was based on the VMware Cloud Foundry platform. He also was a senior architect at VMware who oversaw Cloud Foundry. He also worked as a cloud architect at Dell.

McCrory is also known for coining the term "data gravity," which describes how additional services and applications will congregate over time wherever data is located.

Certainly, Basho is hoping that a lot of data accumulates on Riak installations. Analyst firm IDC has estimated that the volume of data created around the world will grow from 1.8 trillion gigabytes in 2011 to 7.9 trillion gigabytes by 2015. Many organizations are now trying to capture their unstructured data, or data not captured in structured databases. This is the market Basho serves, Wray said.

"Relational databases aren't going to cut it," Wray said. In particular, Riak has been used to run large key-value data stores as well as object stores that connect directly to front-end applications.

Basho is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and has offices in London, San Francisco, Tokyo and Washington, D.C.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is

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Joab Jackson

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