IBM buys cloud database startup, promises $1B in cloud software spend

|By:, SA News Editor

IBM (IBM +1%) is acquiring Cloudant, provider of a distributed cloud database platform for app developers. Terms are undisclosed.

Cloudant's customer base includes Samsung, Microsoft, Adobe, and Fidelity. The company already relies on IBM-acquired SoftLayer's cloud infrastructure platform to deliver its services, which compete against Amazon Web Services' DynamoDB and solutions based on the open-source MongoDB.

All three solutions rely on NoSQL, a database architecture that differs from the age-old SQL (used by IBM's DB2, as well as ORCL's bread-and-butter database) through its support for semi-structured and unstructured data.

This feature, along with NoSQL's superior performance and scalability for certain apps, is leading the technology to be widely adopted for handling Web/cloud services and big data projects.

Separately, IBM is promising to invest $1B to bolster SoftLayer's cloud software/app platform offerings. Last month, Big Blue, increasingly looking to cloud services to halt its ongoing revenue declines, said it would invest $1.2B to build 15 new data centers for SoftLayer.

IBM/SoftLayer rival Rackspace (RAX +2.4%) owns a piece of Cloudant.