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Cloudant DBaaS the Backbone to Central Index’s International Business Directories

we felt very reassured that Cloudant had experience in scaling up to massive amounts of data

Database-as-a-service assists with the company’s rapid international scaling of its data sets

Bristol, UK — 30 April 2013 — Cloudant, provider of a globally distributed database-as-a-service (DBaaS), today announced that Central Index, the API service provider and company behind the leading business directory services for The Independent, Trinity Mirror, Scoot and Touch Local, has turned to Cloudant DBaaS to become the backbone for the company’s next generation of global business directories.

Central Index is an open data exchange of rich, verified business data. Built around trust and transparency, it gives businesses unparalleled control over their own data. Six months ago, Central Index launched a sub project, based around a similar model to its existing industry-leading business directories, but with a more complex database full of rich international data.

The richness and variability of the company’s international directory data did not fit well within a relational database model, and they did not want to spend developers’ time administering and scaling their database, so they chose to evaluate managed NoSQL database services. The selection of a managed NoSQL database supplier followed an extensive tender process where the Central Index team identified and trialled a variety of options including Amazon’s DynamoDB and MongoDB. “We needed a solution that would scale quickly and easily internationally,” said Glynn Bird, head of development at Central Index. “We evaluated a lot of different potential outsourced database solutions. We didn’t like DynamoDB as we felt it couldn’t store the complexity of data that we needed. Whilst we felt that MongoDB was very hard to scale.”

Central Index next looked at Apache CouchDB and the DBaaS functionality that Cloudant could provide. “We settled on CouchDB because the scalability is good and we felt very reassured that Cloudant had experience in scaling up to massive amounts of data,” added Bird. “Coupled with that, we liked the fact that Cloudant had built-in Lucene-powered full-text indexing and search.”

The Cloudant DBaaS is a collection of database clusters that are hosted and scaled across multiple data centres worldwide. With an Apache CouchDB-compatible RESTful JSON API, an incremental MapReduce engine, and built-in full-text search based on Apache Lucene, Cloudant delivers low-latency, highly-available data layer performance and pushes dynamic data distribution closer to the network edge.

“Central Index wanted to move from MySQL to NoSQL and be up and running in a matter of months,” said Cloudant CEO Derek Schoettle. “Helping the company meet its project timeframe and database performance requirements was great, but even more satisfying has been how Cloudant continues to deliver the engineering service and big data expertise Central Index needs to grow its business internationally.”

The first data to be added to the database was a directory of Irish businesses, which totalled 150,000 records and is hosted on three dedicated Cloudant servers to provide fault tolerance and optimum security and adhere to stringent data protection laws. In the next two months, Central Index will be adding UK business data, followed by data from South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. In total, the database is expected to hold close to five million records by the summer, with the ultimate aim of holding over a hundred million records in a global service.

“Due to the rapid expansion of our index, it is important that we have back-end infrastructure that can cope with an unlimited amount of data, Cloudant has real experience in this,” said Bird. “Having dedicated servers provided us with the security reassurance we needed. Whilst these servers are currently located in Ireland, Cloudant can easily expand our database cluster around the globe for us depending on future workload and requirements.”

About Central Index

Central Index is the World’s local data exchange - providing local business data over an Open API protocol, enabling publishers and developers to build location based apps and directories. Currently operating in the UK and Ireland, Central Index aims to deliver its service globally within the next 2 years. Working with leading local publishers and data providers, Central Index aims to become the first choice for quality, accurate local data for both marketing and content services by helping local businesses to control their own online profile via their Central Index Card. Central Index is part of the Touch Local Group, a local search services company based in London and backed by Balderton Capital. For more information, visit

About Cloudant

Cloudant provides the world’s first globally distributed database-as-a-service (DBaaS) for loading, storing, analyzing, and distributing operational application data for developers of large and/or fast-growing Web and mobile applications. Cloudant’s DBaaS is a managed service that helps developers eliminate the delays, costs, and distractions inherent in working with databases and their administrators, while providing unmatched scalability, availability, and performance. This capability accelerates time-to-market and time-to-innovation because it frees developers from the mechanics of data management so they can focus exclusively on creating great applications. Cloudant is privately held and backed by top-tier investors including Avalon Ventures, In-Q-Tel, Samsung Venture Investment Corporation, and Y Combinator. For more information, visit


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