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IBM Cloudant Will Power Local Data Centers, Apple Apps
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D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
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10/27/2014 | 10:05:07 AM
CouchDB "Won't be a puppet of IBM"
I had a chat with Jan Lehnardt, VP of Apache CouchDB and chair of its Apache Project Management Committee, Noah Slater, another independent PMC memeber, and Bob Newson, a senior engineer at Cloudant and a member of the PMC, and they both insisted CouchDB "won't be a puppet of IBM," even if Cloudant is, for now, the most influential committer. The PMC has 11 people and only 4 of them work for Cloudant while the wider body of committers includes more than 40 people, with less than 50% employed by Cloudant, according to Slater.

One question is how big of a hard-core community CouchDB can build, given that it's developed in Erlang, a language that isn't widely. To be clear, those developing on the database have REST interface options and can interact with the database using JavaScript and other languages, but under-the-hood work on the database itself requires familiarity with the Ericsson-developed programming language.

"Erlang lets people build complex systems with way-smaller teams," Lehnardt said. "I don't need 100 Java developers to build a database, I need 5 people, though we have a lot more than that."

"I couldn't imagine bringing the kind of service and reliability that Cloudant provides using Java," added Newson. "Java doesn't have the separation between processes and the time slicing that the Erlang VM provides. A lot of the really good decisions in Erlang are predicated on delivering services that are highly reliable."
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
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10/27/2014 | 10:49:22 AM
Re: CouchDB "Won't be a puppet of IBM"
Apple marketing deal "halo": Interesting point, but can IBM really play that to its advantage with the NoSQL crowd? With regular users yes, but here, harder task.
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
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10/27/2014 | 11:04:22 AM
Re: CouchDB "Won't be a puppet of IBM"
Lots of NoSQL fans embrace open source specifically because they're not commercial products that are beholden to one vendor. Even in cases where there's only one commercial developer -- as with MongoDB/MondoDB, Cassandra/DataStax, Couchbase/Couchbase, and Riak/Basho -- there's comfort that there's a strong community. That's why CouchDB needs to become something more than it is today.

As for the Apple Halo, I'd say IBM is hoping for a bit of Apple's coolness rubbing off. IBM's Information Management business -- the one that manages all the database and data-management products -- was off 5% last quarter. It sorely needs a hot NoSQL database.
shane_dev
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shane_dev,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/27/2014 | 5:03:48 PM
Re: CouchDB "Won't be a puppet of IBM"
Couchbase Server supports master / master replication with cross data center replication (XDCR), and it provides the same features: synchronization, resilience, durability, disaster recovery, and geo-load balancing. While Cassandra may handle writes well, Couchbase Server handles both read and writes well with an integrated, managed object cache to provide the lowest possible read latency.

Cloudant relies on TouchDB, a Couchbase project that was deprecated with Couchbase Lite.

Couchbase Lite is available for iOS, Android, Java / Linux, and .NET and Couchbase Sync Gateway supports much more than basic synchronization. For example, it can syndicate content via channels with role based access. That is to say it can synchronize a document with multiple users depending on thier permissions.
RSCHUMACHER400
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RSCHUMACHER400,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/27/2014 | 1:06:02 PM
Minor correction
Doug - good article, and thanks for reminding readers that Cassandra is masterless as well and has very strong replication abilities that includes being able to have a single cluster span multiple on-premise data centers and clouds at once. One small correction: you say Cassandra is strongest at writing but not so much with reads, when actually the write-read gap with Cassandra was mostly closed back with version 1.0 and continues to narrow today where reads and writes are equally as fast (of course, that's dependent on the use case). 
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
10/27/2014 | 1:11:24 PM
Re: Minor correction
There's a difference between "Cassandra is better than it used to be on writes" and "Cassandra is better than NoSQL alternatives on writes." You claimed the first, but unless you can the second, I wouldn't say a correction is in order. The comment on Cassandra write performance is clearly tied to that which Cloudant/CouchDB claims.
RSCHUMACHER400
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RSCHUMACHER400,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/27/2014 | 2:07:51 PM
Re: Minor correction
My apologies if I misread/misunderstood what was being said. It appeared that it was the now very out-of-date opinion that Cassandra is very good at writes but not so much at reads. For proof that such is not the case now, do a google search on "Cassandra 2.1: now over 50% faster" (since I can't post URL's in this forum), which highlights the performance improvements in both reads and writes in the latest Cassandra version (note how they are nearly the same) and then search for "How not to benchmark Cassandra: a case study" for another set of general tests showing read and write performance. 
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
10/27/2014 | 2:55:40 PM
Cloudant can move quickly into mobile
CouchDB was an early mover as a mobile, document database and makes a good foundation on which to build a Cloudant mobile system. The fact that they share common roots doesn't hurt either. 


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