NoSQL vendor Couchbase recently announced that its business partner KuroBase released a suite of products designed to render Couchbase more accessible on the Heroku platform as a service infrastructure. Specifically, KuroBase released the “Heroku Add-on for Couchbase” that allows users to provision an instance of Couchbase Server with the click of a mouse. In addition, KuroBase rendered available “Heroku Buildpacks for Ruby and Node.js” on GitHub that allow developers to quickly deploy applications coded in Ruby and Node.js within a Couchbase infrastructure on the Heroku platform. Collectively, the releases stand to render Couchbase’s NoSQL document-oriented database more widely available to the thousands of developers that use the Heroku platform and continue to accelerate its adoption. More importantly, the Couchbase-Kurobase partnership underscores the potential for synergistic collaborations between Platform as a Service (PaaS) and the NoSQL space. This week’s announcement by Couchbase illustrates the possibilities for PaaS to continue the acceleration of the adoption of NoSQL platforms for highly responsive, interactive applications in the mobile and online gaming space, amongst other use cases.
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.
Garantia Data’s (Garantia) Redis Cloud and Memcached Cloud products are now generally available on the IBM SoftLayer cloud by means of its Dallas region. As a result, Garantia Data’s Redis Cloud is now available on Amazon Web Services, Windows Azure and IBM SoftLayer Dallas. Redis is an open source, in-memory, key value data store that differs from other NoSQL databases by way of its ability to “serve a very high volume of write and read requests…at sub millisecond latency” as noted by CEO Ofer Bengal in an interview with Cloud Computing Today. The partnership between Garantia Data and IBM means that IBM benefits from the feather in its cap marked by the addition of Redis to its IaaS platform, whereas Garantia Data cements yet another high profile partnership with a major public cloud platform that promises to attract even more developers into using Garantia’s distribution of Redis. The Redis Cloud offers developers a fully managed service for development within an infrastructure that includes “automated clustering, scaling, data persistence, performance optimization, and failure recovery from a single console” according to Garantia Data’s Itamar Haber. IBM is pricing Redis on SoftLayer Dallas aggressively at $79/month for 1 GB of storage in contrast to Azure, which charges $108/month for the same. In comparison, AWS prices the Redis Cloud competitively at either $79/month or $89/month for 1 GB, depending on the region.
NoSQL vendor Couchbase today announced the finalization of $25 million in Series D funding in a round led be Adams Street Partners with additional participation from existing investors Accel Partners, Mayfield Fund, North Bridge Venture Partners, and Ignition Partners. The funding will be used to support strategic product initiatives and the expansion of the company’s sales and marketing team. With regard to its international growth, Couchbase has specific plans to open new offices in Brazil, Argentina, India and China and grow its existing operations in North America, Europe, Japan, Korea and Israel. The funding raise comes soon after the release of Couchbase 2.0 and skyrocketing 2013 sales on the order of 400%, including the closure of deals with several prized enterprise customers, according to the company’s press release. Couchbase is the company behind the Couchbase Open Source Project marked by its trademark product Couchbase Server, a distributed NoSQL document-oriented database used by the likes of AOL, LinkedIn, Orbitz, Salesforce.com and Zynga. The capital raise and Couchbase’s impressive growth point underscore the industry’s increasing acceptance of NoSQL as the proliferation of semi-structured data renders non-relational databases increasingly critical to the Big Data revolution.
On Wednesday, the Apache Software Foundation announced the release of Cassandra version 1.2, the high performance, highly scalable, Big Data distributed NoSQL database. Cassandra is capable of managing thousands of data requests per second and is used by organizations such as Adobe, Cisco, Constant Contact, Digg, Disney, eBay, Netflix, Rackspace and Twitter.
Key components of the latest release include the following:
•Virtual nodes and clustering across virtual nodes
•Node to node communication
•Version 3 of the Cassandra Query Language (CQL) to simplify the modeling of applications, enable more powerful mapping and facilitate superior database design
Jonathan Ellis, Vice President of Apache Cassandra, reflected on the significance of the Cassandra 1.2 release as follows:
We are pleased to announce Cassandra 1.2. By improving support for dense clusters —powering multiple terabytes per node— as well as simplifying application modeling, and improving data cell storage/design/representation, systems are able to effortlessly scale petabytes of data.
Here, Ellis notes that one of the key functionality upgrades specific to Cassandra consists of enhanced support for dense clusters featuring several terabytes per node. The conjunction of the platform’s improved support for dense clusters with its streamlined application modeling capability and superior design abilities allows for vastly improved scalability for petabytes of data.
Cassandra users expressed particular enthusiasm for the virtual node and atomic batch components of the new release. Software developer Kelly Sommers elaborated on the significance of Cassandra 1.2’s improved handling of virtual nodes as follows:
In Cassandra v1.2 the introduction of vnodes will simplify managing clusters while improving performance when adding and rebuilding nodes. v1.2 also includes many new features, performance improvements and further heap reduction to alleviate the burden on the JVM garbage collector.
Virtual nodes improves performance, notes Sommers. Meanwhile, reducing the burden on the JVM garbage collector similarly enables notable performance enhancements as detailed by a recent blog post by Twitter, which noted how JVM garbage collector optimization significantly reduced CPU time for Twitter.com, separate from any direct reference to Cassandra.
Improved performance, increased scalabilty and simplified application development represent the three recurring themes from user experiences of the Cassandra 1.2 release. In contrast to Hadoop, Cassandra is known for its ability to handle massive amounts of real-time operational data whereas Hadoop is famed for its ability to deal with batch-based volumes of data. The latest release means that Big Data just got even bigger by virtue of Cassandra 1.2’s performance enhancements and application modeling and database design simplifications.
10gen, creators of the NoSQL database product MongoDB, today announced the finalization of Series E funding totaling $42 million. The capital raise was led by New Enterprise Associates with participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital, Flybridge Capital Partners and Union Square Ventures. The capital will be used to enhance product development as well as to support “its rapidly growing community and user base worldwide.” Today’s announcement brings 10gen’s net funding to $73 million over the course of five rounds.
10gen’s funding raise means that the battle for NoSQL market share is likely to heat up as MongoDB attempts to consolidate its position as the leading distributor of a NoSQL database product. 10gen claims that “MongoDB is the dominant NoSQL database, with top enterprises in Telecommunications, Financial Services, Media, Government and Technology standardizing on MongoDB.” Moreover, the company boasts growth of 50% every quarter for the last five quarters. Meanwhile, the 10gen team has grown 400% since January 2011 with a majority of its 130 employees still housed within the technology and product development departments.
10gen’s CEO Dwight Merriman remarked that one of the company’s goals was to disrupt the database landscape with MongoDB:
“We want to change the database market, to make MongoDB the best way for companies to build new applications. Our goal is to give tech teams not only a database that scales to any big data level required but also helps developers be productive and more nimble. That has been the vision of the MongoDB open source community and we want to continue to help make that happen.”
As Merrimen points out, scalability represents one of the key selling points of 10gen although, ironically, scalability constitutes one of the attributes along which MongoDB intends to improve with its most recent capital raise, as reported by GigaOm. Enterprise customers of 10gen that use MongoDB include Craigslist, Disney, Foursquare and The New York Times. Craigslist uses MongoDB to archive records that number in the billions.
MongoDB is an open source NoSQL database product with commercial support and licensing options. The free version of the product is available through a GNU Affero General Public License. MongoDB competes with the likes of Amazon Web Services’s DynamoDB, CouchBase, Redis, Riak and Neo4j in addition to DataStax’s commercialized variant of Apache Cassandra NoSQL. 10gen’s recent capital raise may strongly position the company for acquisition by HP, IBM or Dell, all of which could well be interested in a robust NoSQL database, or otherwise an IPO.