September 26, 2019 By Adam Kocoloski 3 min read

IBM announces support for Apache CouchDB, achieves Red Hat OpenShift Operator Certification to sync data across hybrid multicloud environments.

Today, we are publishing a Kubernetes Operator for Apache CouchDB and releasing Support for Apache CouchDB. With this, we are helping the adoption of hybrid cloud strategies and reinforcing our stance on the importance of open source tech by scaling our expertise in Apache CouchDB.

With the alignment of Cloudant and Apache CouchDB, IBM is the only major public cloud provider that provides a flagship managed database service that can serve as a drop-in replacement for its open source upstream sibling. The Operator for Apache CouchDB and support for Apache CouchDB are backed by our years of experience running, operating, and making clients successful with the CouchDB API.

We believe this strategy provides a new way for the industry to view hybrid data management.

Cloudant, a DBaaS company, joined IBM intending to be the standard database backing new cloud native applications built in the IBM Cloud. Now, hundreds of thousands of service instances have been deployed, and the service manages multiple petabytes of active application data.

Cloudant is the data backbone of IBM Cloud and customers like CabifyRunkeeper, and We.Trade depend on it to keep their digital businesses moving forward.

Why CouchDB for cloud native workloads? 

Our clients are turning to containerization and microservices-oriented architectures to improve speed, agility, and operational capabilities. In cloud native application development, applications need to have a data layer that allows for scalability, portability, and resiliency.

  • Scalability: The advent of cloud infrastructure allows companies to start small and grow large without fixed investment in hardware. CouchDB’s architecture allows it scale out and up on commodity hardware to go from gigabytes to terabytes with ease. With the Apache project voting to adopt FoundationDB for CouchDB 4.0, this can only improve over time. 
  • Portability: Kubernetes is widely praised for application portability but moving the data alongside the application can be painful. Using CouchDB or Cloudant with your Red Hat OpenShift Kubernetes deployments can let you use database-native replication capabilities to maintain low latency access to data as you deploy applications and move data across multiple cloud environments. IBM sees portability as a critical requirement for hybrid cloud architectures, where customers may want to move solutions across cloud vendors or to edge locations. 
  • Resiliency: CouchDB’s development revolves around data durability and data safety. It features a crash-resistant storage engine, clustering with data redundancy, and is built on the Erlang programming language, known for its fault-tolerance and error containment in real-time systems. The database’s replication protocol allows Cloudant and CouchDB to sync data, enabling clients to build sophisticated hybrid cloud data layers that provide global data distribution to move data closer to users and provide disaster recovery.

World class support for your open source strategy

We have always been a big proponent of open source software. IBM Cloudant has been involved with the Apache CouchDB community since our inception, and we employ multiple members of the Apache CouchDB PMC. Over the last few years, we have aligned the IBM Cloudant and Apache CouchDB codebase and contributed several major features into Apache CouchDB, including the Mango Query Language, Fauxton Dashboard, Pluggable Storage Engine, Full-Text Search, Partition Queries, and Shard Splitting.  

Learn more about CouchDB by watching our video, “CouchDB Explained”:

Cloudant will continue to serve customers as a hyper-scale service based on Apache CouchDB—built and run to support the elasticity, scalability, and scale of the IBM Public Cloud. However, we will increase our investment in the operational ecosystem of running CouchDB for cloud-native application development. 

Last week, Tidelift and The New Stack reported that one of the foremost inhibitors of open source adoption is concerns about the availability of reliable support. IBM’s support for Apache CouchDB will help address these concerns by enabling customers to standardize on open technologies for their multicloud strategy. Apache CouchDB and IBM Cloudant are well suited for hybrid cloud application development given their native replication capabilities, API-compatibility, and IBM’s strong relationship with the Apache foundation.

The Apache CouchDB Operator from IBM provides consistency and reliability in Kubernetes environments. It has achieved Red Hat OpenShift Operator Certification and is backed up by collaborative support between Red Hat and IBM. The Operator automates deploying, managing, and maintaining Apache CouchDB deployments.  

Fully 80% of business are using multiple clouds but only 40% have a multicloud strategy. We believe that data portability and CouchDB significantly improve the capabilities of multicloud architectures, allowing customers to build solutions that are truly portable across private clouds, public clouds, and edge locations. 

Our investment in Apache CouchDB mirrors IBM’s broader commitment to open source, one that provides greater innovation and flexibility for our customers. Coupling open source software—under the Apache foundation—with a technology that excels for application portability is a powerful capability that provides business agility and disrupts vendor lock-in. Join us on the journey to make data simple. 

Additional information

The Apache CouchDB Operator


Contact your IBM representative for more details.

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