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September 26, 2019

IBM Adds Kubernetes Operator for CouchDB

George Leopold

The Kubernetes operator for the CouchDB NoSQL database announced this week by IBM targets enterprise hybrid cloud deployments with a managed database service positioned as a replacement for the open source version of CouchDB.

Along with the cloud database initiative, IBM (NYSE: IBM) also said its blockchain platform has been tuned to run on Red Hat OpenShift, the IBM unit’s enterprise Kubernetes platform.

Among other features, the Kubernetes operator includes automated deployment and configuration capabilities for Apache CouchDB clusters. That capability would add a data layer for emerging microservices.

IBM said the automation tool also would be integrated with Red Hat OpenShift as a means of managing data across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. The operator would give CouchDB and IBM Cloudant users assistance with deployment operations such as data synching and replication.

IBM’s Cloudant database service is a hosted version of the open source CouchDB project. Cloudant also serves as the “data backbone of IBM Cloud,” the company said.

The Kubernetes operator would help deploy managed data services on the IBM Cloud. Demand for managed cloud services is growing as companies seek to preserve legacy applications while embracing cloud-native versions, especially databases.

IBM said its alignment of Cloudant with CouchDB makes it among the first public cloud providers to provide a managed database service that can serve as a “drop-in” replacement for open-source CouchDB.

While Kubernetes is being widely used to deploy application containers along with persistent storage and other dependencies, IBM’s operator seeks to address requirements for other managed cloud services aimed specifically at deploying databases.

“Our clients are turning to containerization and microservice-oriented architectures to improve speed, agility, and operational capabilities,” the company said Thursday (Sept. 26). “In cloud-native application development, applications need to have a data layer that allows for scalability, portability and resiliency.”

The Kubernetes operator is intended to provide a consistent resource model for managing application components. In the case of cloud deployment of CouchDB, the tool would deploy and manage a cluster for a specific application, include so-called “day-2” operations such as data backup and restoring.

The operator for CouchDB has also been certified to run on Red Hat OpenShift to automate deployment and management of cloud databases. IBM asserts the resulting data portability will help boost multi-cloud capabilities across private and public cloud as well as edge devices.

The cloud database initiative also represents ongoing efforts by public cloud vendors like IBM to differentiate their cloud services from market leaders like Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ: AMZN). IBM’s push into database services gained momentum with its 2014 acquisition of Cloudant. Its blockbuster deal for Red Hat last year allowed it to scale the operator effort to the Red Hat established OpenShift platform.

IBM said its support of Apache CouchDB and iattributes such as API compatibility and native replication capabilities with Cloudant would allow users “to standardize on open technologies for their multi-cloud strategy.

Meanwhile, the combination of IBM’s blockchain platform with OpenShift seeks to streamline the deployment of blockchain networks. Linking the blockchain announcement to the release of its Kubernetes operator, IBM noted that Apache CouchDB is a widely used data store for the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric. The distributed ledger framework serves as the foundation of IBM’s blockchain platform.

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