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Development status Active
Written in Erlang
Operating system Cross-platform
Available in English
Type Document-oriented database
License Apache License 2.0

BigCouch is an open source, highly available, fault-tolerant, clustered & API-compliant version of Apache CouchDB.

BigCouch allows users to create clusters of CouchDBs that are distributed over an arbitrary number of servers. While it appears to the end-user as one CouchDB instance, it is in fact one or more nodes in an elastic cluster, acting in concert to store and retrieve documents, index and serve views, and serve CouchApps.

Clusters behave according to concepts outlined in Amazon's Dynamo paper,[1] namely that each node can accept requests, data is placed on partitions based on a consistent hashing algorithm, and quorum protocols are for read/write operations. It relies on Erlang and the Open Telecom Platform, despite using its own RPC mechanism over OTP’s own "rex" server.[2]

BigCouch was developed to address a common complaint raised by CouchDB skeptics is that "it doesn't scale," by which they mean it does not scale horizontally across many servers. This feature is necessary for CouchDB is to be used to address Big Data problems.[3]

BigCouch was released and is primarily maintained by Cloudant, a Massachusetts-based company that provides a hosted data layer service based on CouchDB and other advanced clustering and scaling technologies. It is available under an Apache License.

On January 5, 2012, Cloudant announced they would contribute the BigCouch horizontal scaling framework into the Apache CouchDB project; essentially merging it with CouchDB.[4]


  1. ^ "Dynamo: Amazon’s Highly Available Key-value Store". Archived from the original on 21 February 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2011. 
  2. ^ "Cloudant's BigCouch is open-source". Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  3. ^ "ScalingOut CouchDB with BigCouch". Archived from the original on 19 December 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2011. 
  4. ^ "The Future of Apache CouchDB". Retrieved 5 January 2012. 

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