June 3, 2012

Introduction to Cloudant

Cloudant is one of the few NoSQL companies with >100 paying subscription customers. For starters:

Company demographics include:

The Cloudant guys gave me some customer counts in May that weren’t much higher than those they gave me in February, and seem to have forgotten to correct the discrepancy. Oh well. The latter (probably understated) figures included ~160 paying customers, of which:

The largest Cloudant deployments seem to be in the 10s of terabytes, across a very low double digit number of servers.

The difference between single- and multi-tenant Cloudant is:

Monthly costs (in dollars) for multi-tenant customers are typically 1-3 digits; for single-tenant they’re typically 4-5.

Despite only being available as a service, Cloudant has a free option too. It has >7000 total sign-ups. 2/3 of sign-ups wind up at least creating a database. But Cloudant doesn’t have figures available for production (as opposed to development-only) use on the free side.

Cloudant has some big-name customers, both among traditional enterprises and internet companies. Two of the flashier ones are:

Cloudant says that CouchDB users used to constitute 100% of its pipeline, and still make up a (shrinking) majority.

There’s been some recent drama in the CouchDB world. Couchbase (the company) ran into delays merging CouchDB into Couchbase — often because of performance challenges — and no longer positions Couchbase as a straightforward scale-out enhancement to CouchDB. Realistically, if you like CouchDB but just wish it would scale out, you should still talk to both Couchbase and Cloudant, but it’s no longer the case that Couchbase is the obvious leader of the CouchDB community.

So how do you get at data in Cloudant? The basics seem to be:

The essence of Cloudant’s incremental MapReduce seems to be that data is selected only if it’s been updated since the last run. Obviously, this only works for MapReduce algorithms whose eventual output can be run on different subsets of the target data set, then aggregated in a simple way.

Finally, some other technical notes on Cloudant include:


2 Responses to “Introduction to Cloudant”

  1. Incremental MapReduce | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on November 19th, 2012 1:09 am

    […] ones.) So I feel like making a quick post about it. For starters, I’ll quote myself about Cloudant: The essence of Cloudant’s incremental MapReduce seems to be that data is selected only if it’s […]

  2. SaaS appliances, SaaS data centers, and customer-premises SaaS | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on November 29th, 2013 6:03 am

    […] motivation behind the single case of on-premises enterprise SaaS I have confirmed, namely one that Cloudant told me about.* (I don’t have similar levels of detail about Glassbeam’s one […]

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