Red Hat Does Database for Cloud Computing Platforms

Red Hat (s rht) is again expanding its set of cloud capabilities, this time by announcing the JBoss Enterprise Data Grid (EDG). Data grids extend the type of scalability often associated with cloud computing resources to the data layer, and also speed access to data by storing it in a server’s memory instead of in a away from the application in a traditional disk-based database.

The product is based on a JBoss Community project called Infinispan, and gives customers an in-memory data grid that scales along with the server infrastructure and provides a high-performance cache to offload the demand on the primary database. Red Hat is pushing EDG as a complement to its JBoss application platform and Makara platform-as-a-service offerings, which puts it in good company along with VMware (s vmw), Oracle (s orcl) and GigaSpaces.

According to the press release:

JBoss Enterprise Data Grid is designed from the core to support cloud-scale computing with concepts such as multi-tenancy, elasticity and distributed code execution. Enterprises will have the opportunity to harness those capabilities to deploy highly available, massively scalable and highly performant shared data grids to accelerate applications and curtail data-tier costs.

Put simply, EDG will cache data within servers’ aggregate volumes of memory, giving any applications connected to the grid low-latency access to the distributed pool of data. EDG, like all data grids, scales automatically when new servers are added, and redistributes data across the rest of the pool when servers go down. In the future, says the Infinispan web site, the product could evolve from targeting primarily transactional applications to supporting applications that require some degree of MapReduce-style processing of data.

Data grids are key components of many cloud-platform and PaaS software products — including VMware’s SpringSource (via the 2010 acquisition of GemStone Systems), Oracle Coherence and GigaSpaces eXtreme Application Platform — because they scale along with applications, and easy scalability is a key tenet of cloud computing.