Cloudant, which provides cloud-based data services for Web and mobile applications, is taking its "data layer as a service" technology global this week, with the expansion of its network to include European coverage, courtesy of hosting partner SoftLayer, the company said. Previously, Cloudant has had facilities on the east and west coasts of the United States, as well as covering Asia with data center access in Singapore.

Cloudant's Data Layer is intended to give developers of big data and other data-driven Web and mobile applications a solution for storing, distributing, and analyzing application data on a global scale, the company said. Data scalability and availability are provided so developers can focus on code, the company said.

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With Cloudant's service, a user's data layer is distributed across multiple servers in data centers around the world, enabling data to reside near where customers live, thus offering performance benefits. For data layer access, the company provides a lightweight API to RESTful Web services. A NoSQL document storage, built on top of the open source Apache CouchDB database, is leveraged. "Really, the use case for Cloudant is apps with lots of users and lots of transactions," said Andy Ellicott, vice president of marketing at Cloudant.

Many Cloudant customers do not have traditional IT organizations or traditional IT applications, according to the company. Cloudant has about 7,000 users globally, including 25 large enterprises, Cloudant said.

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