A New Age for Database as a Service

The Cloudant NoSQL database as a service emerges in an era of tremendous cloud-based opportunity

We live in exciting times. The way organizations build and consume applications is changing at unprecedented speed, and every industry now seems to be receptive to innovative applications. Moreover, many organizations are having to reinvent themselves at an escalating pace. Perhaps never before has the IBM slogan, “Is your business ready to launch a new business?”1 been so prescient. Advanced technologies are in demand, and developers of these technologies are experiencing a significant shift in their role within IT departments.2 How will organizations and IBM react to a world in which cloud services and open source software have redefined what people buy, how they buy it, and who does the buying? Simply put, the application stack is continually being reinvented. Distributed database-as-a-service (DBaaS) providers such as Cloudant are well suited to work with IBM to capitalize on the vast opportunity cloud-based services can provide.

Simplifying application state

Like most innovative technologies, DBaaS can be used in myriad ways when launching and scaling a new application. At the core, however, well-suited DBaaS solutions are designed to help developers simplify the complex problem of managing application state at large scale. An application’s state is defined by the data within it. By solving problems of data access latency, synchronization, volume in petabytes, and extreme—millions of daily—active end-user concurrency, DBaaS technology enables developers to focus on building their applications without having to design, deploy, and scale the database. Application state and data are mobile now. Mobile users and Internet-enabled vehicles and goods need access to data whether there’s a network connection or not; they can’t be limited by connections to a central database server. Cloudant DBaaS is designed to be simple for developers3 to store application state locally on devices—tablets, smartphones, and wearable devices—and synchronize that state with the nearest Cloudant point of presence. Each point of presence is a shared-nothing, scale-out architecture of commodity servers available in more than 35 data centers globally.

Streamlining services delivery

In the coming decade, the vast majority of new consumer and business applications are very likely to be built by stitching together powerful cloud services instead of installing software on-premises. And Cloudant offers and delivers a leading-edge database service. Today, DBaaS is far more than just installing MySQL on a cloud virtual machine and handing it off to a developer. In contrast to many familiar manage-it-yourself cloud services, DBaaS is a fully managed experience with instant provisioning and a team of developer operators that stand behind rock-solid service-level agreements (SLAs) 4 instead of many familiar cloud services. Cloudant DBaaS works tightly and efficiently to help client organizations design, build, test, and launch advanced applications in production, which can be extremely complex undertakings.

Supporting an open community

Cloudant participated in defining and launching the NoSQL movement, and over the years has confidently supported JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) through HTTP as the data delivery model for the web. Cloudant is also passionate about the importance of data model flexibility and data governance. As a result, Cloudant implemented the Apache CouchDB application programming interface (API) and adapted its durable core storage engine. Combining these concepts helps ensure the principle that, first and foremost, data is always available. In addition, developer adoption is a critical component of long-term success. Cloudant invests heavily in developer advocacy and open source communities. Influential developers can be quite outspoken. Every font, fabric, tweet, or design matters greatly to them. Culture also matters, and adoption decisions go far beyond just technology. Cloudant and IBM share a commitment to help client organizations succeed through data innovation. Together, they help build a smarter planet. Please share any thoughts or questions in the comments.

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1Is your business ready to launch a new business?” IBM Smarter Enterprise website, cloud solutions. 2The Evolution of the Developer: How Cloud Infrastructure and Open Source Change the Landscape,” by Ben Uretsky, The Next Web design and development blog, March 2014. 3 For developer-focused information on Cloudant DBaaS, visit the For Developers page at 4Putting the S in DBaaS,” by Mike Miller, Cloudant blog, March 2013.