Cloudant is a data store that offers a distributed Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) solution to organisations that do require NoSQL databases but that do not want to manage those systems. Cloudant is like a CDN for your database and it is a data management platform that leverages the availability, elasticity and reach of the cloud to enable applications to scale easily and remain available regardless of where the users are.
It was built up from the ground-up in 2008 based on research work done at MIT, where data loads of up to 100 Petabytes per second had to be accommodated. The three MIT physicists needed to move analyse those petabytes of data whenever and wherever they wanted and as such Cloudant was born.
What Cloudant does is in fact create a data layer that can run on many of the well-known Infrastructure-as-a-Service providers such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace or Joyent. This allows customers to select their own hosting-provider and then Cloudant will take care of all the operational challenges such as distributing the data behind the scenes, managing the little differences between different cloud providers and ensuring that everything is always on and available.
Cloudant gives developers of mobile and web applications that experience fast growth the possibility to focus on improving their product instead of having to worry about scaling and managing the databases. The data store can handle a wide variety of data types, including geospatial, full-text or JSON. Today Cloudant has customers like Samsung, Microsoft, Adobe and many others.
More and more for many companies geographical boundaries are irrelevant and they expect that also for their data. The fact that over 12.000 customers have found Cloudant already, and that CIO named them 7th in their ‘2013 Big Data Startups to watch list’ shows that they have a lot of potential. Especially in the rising global, connected and boundaryless economy, a global Data Delivery Network (DDN) will become very relevant. Therefore we give them an 8 bits rating.