Cloudant

IBM’s Acquisition of Cloudant And The Walmart Effect In Tech

Last week, IBM announced an agreement to acquire NoSQL database as a service vendor Cloudant for an undisclosed sum. An active contributor to the Apache CouchDB project, Cloudant delivers a JSON document database-based platform that claims high availability, scalability and elasticity amongst its attributes. Cloudant customers can take advantage of its JSON-based database as a service to store and mine structured and unstructured data from a variety of sources. Because the JSON database format is so widely used by developers of mobile and web applications, IBM’s acquisition of Cloudant stands to strengthen its positioning with respect to the development of applications for mobile devices in conjunction with the build out of its OpenStack-based cloud solution for the enterprise. The acquisition of Cloudant will be central to IBM’s MobileFirst solutions as well as its Worklight application for developing mobile applications. From an industry perspective, the acquisition represents a huge coup for the NoSQL space in general. CouchDB has historically not had the traction of MongoDB, Cassandra and Couchbase, so we should expect brand name tech companies to make similar offerings for the likes of MongoDB in the ensuing few months. Moreover, IBM’s acquisition of Cloudant testifies to the increasing emergence of cloud and big data behemoths with solutions for both hosting infrastructure, as well as database solutions that accommodate enterprise needs for scalability and the ability to store unstructured data. Cloudant CEO Derek Schoettle surmised the significance of Cloudant’s contribution to IBM’s SoftLayer cloud platform as follows:

Cloudant’s decision to join IBM highlights that the next wave of enterprise technology innovation has moved beyond infrastructure and is now happening at the data layer. Our relationship with IBM and SoftLayer has evolved significantly in recent years, with more connected devices generating data at an unprecedented rate. Cloudant’s NoSQL expertise, combined with IBM’s enterprise reliability and resources, adds data layer services to the IBM portfolio that others can’t match.

Schoettle notes that IBM is extending its infrastructure innovations to the “data layer” and as such, follows in the footsteps of Amazon Web Services and EMC/VMware spin-off Pivotal, which similarly deliver a combination of cloud and big data solutions in their platform and product offerings. The notable consequence of this convergence of cloud and big data product offerings is that only large enterprises with the requisite capital and resources can afford to cobble together combined cloud-big data product offerings. As a result, cloud startups and smaller data vendors will need to continue to compete by way of their agility, responsiveness, consultative support and superior technology. In effect, the IBM acquisition of Cloudant signals a Walmart effect in technology, of sorts, whereby large, well capitalized vendors have the ability to create marts of diverse data and analytics products that threaten the viability of cloud, big data and analytics startups in the same way that massive retailers such as Walmart threaten the viability of independent stores or small chains. Oracle’s recent acquisition of Blue Kai, a big data management platform geared toward marketing, constitutes another example of the way in which tech giants are continuing to integrate diverse data products into increasingly heterogeneous product portfolios. The question that remains unanswered, however, is whether the emerging Walmart technology maze is sufficiently easy to navigate that enterprises opt to partner either with one vendor for all of their technology needs, or whether they feel more comfortable shopping from a diverse range of technology vendors in order to avoid vendor lock-in and locate products that richly respond to the specificities of their industry-vertical and customer needs.

Categories: Big Data, Cloud Computing, Cloudant, Couchbase, IBM, MongoDB, NoSQL | Tags: , , , , ,

BigCouch Integration With CouchDB Brings Clustering And Improved Database Compaction To CouchDB

On Monday, Database as a Service vendor Cloudant announced plans to integrate its database service, BigCouch, into the Apache CouchDB project. BigCouch is an open source fork of CouchDB designed to support large-scale, distributed applications. The integration of BigCouch with CouchDB will provide CouchDB with enhanced scalability and performance in a move that is likely to accelerate adoption of the NoSQL CouchDB platform. In conjunction with its decision to integrate BigCouch into CouchDB, Cloudant announced that it will cease development of the BigCouch platform that was inspired by Amazon’s famous Dynamo research paper.

CouchDB will benefit principally from the clustering functionality that became one of the trademarks of BigCouch. Unlike CouchDB, BigCouch nodes reside in elastic clusters marked by consistent hashing, quorum rules for read/write operations and parallel indexing on data partitions as illustrated by the three node BigCouch development cluster below, in contrast to the unified CouchDB configuraton at the top of the picture:

Graphic source: Cloudant’s BigCouch is open-source

Parallel indexing across clusters allows the BigCouch configuration to demonstrate significant improvements in indexing speed in comparison to serial indexing of one database. CouchDB will also benefit from BigCouch’s database compaction functionality, replication speed and high-concurrency access performance.

Adam Kocoloski, co-founder and CTO at Cloudant, remarked on the merging of BigCouch with CouchDB as follows:

There are a lot of reasons people love CouchDB, like its elegant programming model, data durability, flexible indexing, and, most of all, its unique way of replicating and synching data across data centers or devices. We’re merging the horizontal scaling and fault-tolerance framework we built for BigCouch into CouchDB so people can more easily scale all that CouchDB goodness across multiple servers and keep it running nonstop. It’s our way of saying thanks and helping to grow the community of CouchDB developers and users.

Interested users can access a preview of the merger of CouchDB and BigCouch now, although the generally available version of the integrated database as a service will be released in conjunction with the release cycles of the Apache Foundation’s code release process. The integration of these two open source platforms represents a significant boost to the NoSQL community as options in the NoSQL space continue to proliferate and deepen in functionality as exemplified by Garantia’s recent acquisition of MyRedis.

Categories: BigCouch, Cloudant, CouchDB | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Cloudant names Derek Schoettle As CEO

Cloudant named Derek Schoettle as its new CEO. Prior to Cloudant, Schoettle was VP of Sales at the HP acquisition Vertica. Cloudant provides a data management platform for the analysis of multi-petabyte, “Big Data” sets. Its BigCouch data management platform leverages the open source, NoSQL Apache CouchDB technology either via a “database as a service” through a public cloud such as Amazon EC2 or Rackspace, or a licensed offering for a private cloud. Cloudant made headlines in October when it reached a deal with agriculture company Monsanto to target genetic pathways that result in increased yield and tolerance of stress in corn, soy and other crops. Cloudant’s Big Data platform plans to house and run analytics on Monsanto’s growing body of data in order to accelerate genomic sequencing analysis of crops. CouchDB, Cloudant’s underlying technology, is a NoSQL data storage platform commercially distributed by Couchbase in addition to Cloudant. Late last week, Cloudant announced it raised $2.1 million in an equity funding filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Categories: Cloudant, CouchDB, NoSQL | Leave a comment

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