In a move that promises to advance the development of open source Big Data and distributed storage technology, database-as-a-service (DaaS) provider Cloudant has announced the merging of its distributed database platform into the Apache Foundation's CouchDB project. The decision is a good example of convergence within the open source world, and could have an especially important impact on open source clustering technology.

Cloudant has based its distributed database platform, called BigCouch, on Apache CouchDB since the company began developing the product in 2008. Inspired by their experience working on data storage at CERN's Large Hadron Collider, the Cloudant co-founders focused on engineering a service that delivers efficient fault tolerance and horizontal clustering.

Cloudant has made BigCouch available for production use as an independent platform for the past four years, but July 22 announced that the merging of key components of the software back into the core Apache CouchDB codebase. The integration means "users can now experience significant improvements in compaction and replication speed, as well as boosts in high-concurrency access performance," according to Cloudant.

From here on, the company says, "Cloudant will cease development of BigCouch, in order to participate in the CouchDB community and keep CouchDB and Cloudant clustering functionality in sync." Cloudant engineers will focus going forward on developing further cluster-scaling and fault-tolerance enhancements for CouchDB, and will redeploy the code from there for the Cloudant database service.

This is a solid step forward for the world of open source Big Data. It will increase the availability of important technology for storing large amounts of information on a massive scale, and will continue to drive innovation in CouchDB and related projects such as Hadoop.