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IBM Cloudant
IBM Cloudant logo.png
Developer(s) Original development by Cloudant, now developed by IBM, based on Apache CouchDB
Development status Active
Operating system Cross-platform, multiple PaaS providers
Type NoSQL, DBaaS
License Monthly subscription or perpetual software license agreement, Proprietary
Website Official Cloudant website

Cloudant is an IBM software product, which is primarily delivered as a cloud-based service. Cloudant is an open source non-relational, distributed database service of the same name that requires zero-configuration. Cloudant is based on the Apache-backed CouchDB project and the open source BigCouch project.

Cloudant's service provides integrated data management, search, and analytics engine designed for web applications. Cloudant scales databases on the CouchDB framework and provides hosting, administrative tools, analytics and commercial support for CouchDB and BigCouch.[1] Cloudant's distributed CouchDB service is used the same way as standalone CouchDB, with the added advantage of data being redundantly distributed over multiple machines.

Cloudant was acquired by IBM from the start-up company of the same name. The acquisition was announced on February 24th 2014, [2] The acquisition was completed on March 4th.[3]


Cloudant was founded by Alan Hoffman, Adam Kocoloski, and Michael Miller. The three met in the physics department at MIT where they worked with multi-petabyte data sets from experiments such as the Large Hadron Collider and the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. In early 2008 their ideas for fixing the "big data problem" caught the attention of Silicon Valley-based Y Combinator, which resulted in $20k seed funding. The company also received an early seed round of $1 million from Avalon Ventures in August 2010.

Cloudant was born out of the founders’ collective frustration with the tools available to serve ‘big data,’ and was designed explicitly to take advantage of the cloud, automatically distributing data across multiple servers in addition to scaling the database to accommodate the ever-changing needs of web applications.

In August 2010, Cloudant released free BigCouch under an Apache License(2.0). Cloudant supports many open source projects including HAProxy, Opscode Chef, Rebar and many more. Cloudant offers services including support, consulting services and training (both public and private).

Cloudant has been gaining good traction ever since they delivered their first version of Cloudant in Q3 of 2010.[4] Cloudant has over 2500 customers for its hosted service as of January 2011.

In November 2010, Cloudant was recognized as one of ‘10 Cool Open-Source Startups’ by CRN.[5] Cloudant was regularly recognized in the local Boston startup community, named as one of the ‘Top 5 Database Startups’[6] and ‘Top Ten Cloud Computing Startups’[7] in Boston’s popular technology column by Joe Kinsella, ‘High Tech in the Hub.’.[8] On February 24th 2014, IBM announced an agreement to acquire Cloudant. The acquisition closed in 1Q14, after which Cloudant joined IBM's Information and Analytics Group, a business unit within the IBM Software & Systems Group.

Differences with CouchDB[edit]

Cloudant's hosted database extends CouchDB in several ways:

  • Chained MapReduce Views[9]
  • Java Language View Server[10] allows usage of Java for CouchDB map reduce analytics.
  • API keys for programmatic access to CouchDB database.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]