In recent weeks, IBM has rolled out, through a series of announcements of Cloud solutions that will run on SoftLayer, a radically different approach to enterprise software and data that may take a while to gel – and for the significant potential for possible synergies to manifest themselves.

Today, IBM announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Cloudant, a privately-held company based in Boston, Massachusetts with offices in Seattle, Washington and Bristol, United Kingdom. Cloudant will remain a wholly-owned subsidiary.

Cloudant extends IBM’s Big Data and Analytics, Cloud computing, and Mobile offerings by further helping clients take advantage of these key growth initiatives, particularly for systems of engagement. Client enterprises across a variety of industries, including gaming, financial services, mobile device manufacturers, online learning, retail and healthcare are already using Cloudant technology.

The significance of the Cloudant acquisition is to provide a distributed NoSQL database stack in the Cloud, aimed at bringing scalable and elastic data management to complement the IBM SoftLayer infrastructure.

How IBM sees Cloudant’s value proposition:

  • Provides a NoSQL data layer delivered as a managed service
  • Stores data of any structure as self-describing JSON documents
  • Unique clustering framework that achieves elastic scalability that can span multiple racks, data centers, cloud providers or devices
  • Provides multi-master replication that allows read and write to any replica and offline mobile app usage plus mobile replication & sync for occasionally connected apps
  • Global data distribution and geo-load balancing provide high availability and enhanced performance for applications that require data to be located close to the user
  • Provides full-text search, geo-location services, and flexible, real-time indexing
  • Integrates via a RESTful API
  • Monitored and managed 24×7 by the big data experts at Cloudant
  • Based on open standards including– Apache CouchDB, Apache Lucene, GeoJSON and others

This adds up to a significant bet on providing JSON data capability for systems of engagement and mobile interaction. Cloudant will also become a key part of the Watson Foundation for cognitive computing. Cloudant will be also part of BlueMix.
IBM’s all-in commitment to SoftLayer is unmatched in recent years, and signals the next generation platform for IBM and its customers. IBM is targeting the landmark business transformation underway to the Boundary-free Enterprise.

This blog was originally published at Saugatuck's Lens360 blog on February 24, 2014. Published with permission.

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