IBM today said it will buy Cloudant, a hot startup that provides a database service from the cloud.
Hip mobile and web app developers use Cloudant’s non-relational database for storing lots of complex unstructured data. Which is why the deal could help Big Blue improve its reputation as a legacy technology provider.
Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
The deal comes after IBM has doubled down on its cloud efforts, with the acquisition last year of infrastructure-as-a-service provider SoftLayer. SoftLayer was a hit among game developers and companies that wanted “bare metal” servers for housing computationally intensive applications. And last night IBM announced it’s committing more money in the platform-as-a-service area to let developers quickly build and test applications.
Cloudant is another technology that could appeal to young developers seeking easy access to resources in the cloud.
Cloudant last announced funding in May, with a $12 million round. Rackspace, an IBM competitor in the public-cloud market, participated, as did the intelligence community’s venture arm, In-Q-Tel. Cloudant added geospatial and security features to its product in response to requests from intelligence agencies as part of the In-Q-Tel funding, Cloudant chief executive Derek Schoettle told VentureBeat in an interview last year.
Cloudant’s database is based on CouchDB, which is a flavor of NoSQL database that stores data in JSON documents. Other players in the NoSQL market include Couchbase, MongoDB, and Basho.
Boston-based Cloudant already runs its database on IBM’s SoftLayer cloud. It also lets customers set up versions of the database on other public clouds, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft’s Windows Azure, Joyent, and Rackspace. It’s unclear if that will change anytime soon. Meanwhile Amazon and Google each have their own NoSQL database-as-a-service options. The former has DynamoDB, and the latter has the Cloud Datastore. By buying Cloudant, IBM cements its place as a go-to place for a NoSQL database running in a cloud.
Plus, IBM will get many customers through the Cloudant deal, including Adobe, DHL, Heroku, Nokia, Expedia, Ticketmaster, and Virtru.