IBM to Acquire Cloudant DBaaS Provider

Extending its big data and analytics, cloud computing, and mobile offerings, IBM has agreed to acquire Cloudant, Inc., a database-as-a-service (DBaaS) provider that enables developers to  create mobile and web apps.  Cloudant technology is used in a variety of industries, including gaming, financial services, mobile device manufacturers, online learning, retail and healthcare. Financial terms were not disclosed for the acquisition of the privately held, Boston-based company.

IBM is helping its clients take advantage of big data, cloud and mobile,  and Cloudant is strategic because it is positioned at the intersection of these three key transformational market segments and enables clients to rapidly deliver data-rich applications to the marketplace, according to Sean Poulley, vice president, Databases & Data Warehousing, IBM.

Cloudant, a participant and contributor to the open source database community Apache CouchDB, provides high availability, elastic scalability and mobile device synchronization. Cloudant's JSON cloud-based data service allows mobile and web developers to quickly and easily store and access large amounts of mobile data using an application programming interface (API) that is easier to use than alternatives. Increasingly, IBM says, developers are embracing NoSQL databases because of their flexibility, and JSON has become the predominant NoSQL database technology for mobile and web app developers.

IBM says that Cloudant complements its big data and analytics portfolio beyond traditional data management by providing a database-as-a-service that enables clients to simplify and accelerate the development of scalable mobile and web apps. IBM says Cloudant also is integral to its MobileFirst solutions, since it enables developers who use Worklight, IBM's mobile app development software, to quickly create flexible, reliable and scalable apps that include a variety of structured and unstructured data.

The acquisition of Cloudant will also strengthen IBM's cloud solutions by providing developers with the tools and resources to build, test, deploy and scale cloud apps on a variety of hosting layers. Cloudant runs on the IBM SoftLayer platform today and extends IBM’s recent investment in the SoftLayer cloud infrastructure.  A global service offered in 140 countries, SoftLayer provides a cloud “on-ramp” to help clients quickly deploy mobile capabilities with the security, privacy and reliability of private clouds and the economy, flexibility and speed of a public cloud.

The acquisition of Cloudant is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014. Following the close, Cloudant will join IBM's newly formed Information and Analytics Group led by senior vice president Bob Picciano, a business unit within the IBM Software & Systems Group.