Cloudant provides what it calls "data layer as a service" from a distributed network of servers, hosted by Amazon, Joyent, Microsoft Windows Azure, and Softlayer. Its service is available from shared, multitenant servers or from dedicated systems with enterprise-level support.
The company was founded in 2008 by three Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicists who were working with petabytes of data generated by the Large Hadron Collider. Needing a better way to manage and analyze the data, they created a data layer on Apache CouchDB.
CEO Derek Schoettle says the Cloudant Data Layer can be used to build apps that scale easily using distributed data. New partner In-Q-Tel invests in technologies for use by the CIA and other intelligence agencies. Those agencies have "particular problems they need to solve," Schoettle said.
[ Government holds a lot of data that industry wants. See Unlocking Big Government Data: Whose Job Is It? ]
It's the latest in a growing portfolio of cloud investments by In-Q-Tel. In August, the company disclosed a partnership with Adaptive Computing to develop a cloud operating system. And in September, it announced an agreement with Huddle, developer of a cloud-based content management system.
The deal with Cloudant is In-Q-Tel's second investment in database technology in as many months. In September, it struck a deal with 10gen, developer of the MongoDB open source database.
In-Q-Tel has announced more than a dozen tech investments this year. Last week, the company unveiled a partnership with cybersecurity vendor Tenable Network Security, whose Unified Security Monitoring platform combines vulnerability sensors with a database of vulnerabilities, threats, and compliance data for real-time threat assessments. Tenable's customers include the Defense Department and a dozen federal departments, as well as Apple, Google, and Microsoft.