Cloudant Merges BigCouch Into Apache CouchDB

Cloudant announced the merger of its BigCouch database technology into the Apache CouchDB code base.

Cloudant, a provider of a distributed database-as-a-service (DBaaS), announced that it has delivered on its promise to integrate core capabilities of its distributed database service to the open-source Apache CouchDB project.

CouchDB serves as the foundation of Cloudant's technology stack in the form of BigCouch, an open-source variant of CouchDB that the company developed to support large-scale, globally distributed applications.

BigCouch is an open-source, highly available, fault-tolerant, clustered and API-compliant version of Apache CouchDB. BigCouch enables users to create clusters of CouchDBs that are distributed over an arbitrary number of servers. While it appears to the end user as one CouchDB instance, it is in fact one or more nodes in an elastic cluster, acting in concert to store and retrieve documents, index and serve views, and serve CouchApps.

After four years of operating BigCouch in production, Cloudant has merged the BigCouch code into the CouchDB code base, making it possible to manage and replicate data with CouchDB at a much larger scale.

"There are a lot of reasons people love CouchDB, like its elegant programming model, data durability, flexible indexing, and, most of all, its unique way of replicating and synching data across data centers or devices," Adam Kocoloski, co-founder and CTO at Cloudant, said in a statement. "We're merging the horizontal scaling and fault-tolerance framework we built for BigCouch into CouchDB so people can more easily scale all that CouchDB goodness across multiple servers and keep it running nonstop. It's our way of saying thanks and helping to grow the community of CouchDB developers and users."

"The code merger of BigCouch and Apache CouchDB is good for the open-source community and developers that require a scalable Web-aware database," Travell Perkins, CTO at Fidelity Investments, said in a statement. "As a classically trained computer scientist, I'm interested in the inner workings of my database solutions as much as the practical utility they provide dynamic data and use cases.

"I've tried a lot of NoSQL solutions over the years with varying degrees of success. After working with the distributed clustering capabilities being built into CouchDB, I think we are approaching the ideal JSON-centric database for enterprise workloads at scale," Perkins continued.

The open-source BigCouch database project was developed in 2008 by the Cloudant co-founders, who had previously been using CouchDB for managing and distributing the petabytes of data generated every second by CERN's Large Hadron Collider. They developed a horizontal clustering and fault-tolerance framework for BigCouch that was inspired by the Amazon Dynamo research paper.

For the code merger, Cloudant engineers imported sections of BigCouch code into the Apache CouchDB repositories, adapting the database to run in a clustered environment and to better replicate databases across clusters and between data centers.