[caption id="attachment_1943" align="aligncenter" width="550" caption="You can't see it, but these servers contain enough unstructured data to give an analyst a nervous breakdown."] [/caption] Red Hat is throwing its hat (so to speak) into the NoSQL ring with the release of Red Hat JBoss Data Grid 6, an in-memory grid solution aimed at enterprises with a lot of data to manage. With the release, Red Hat aims to reduce businesses’ need for relational databases—something that could put Red Hat in conflict with the multitudinous IT vendors offering some variation of relational-database tools. While many organizations continue to rely on the relational database approach utilized by SQL database systems, a number have also turned to NoSQL databases, which embrace a non-relational approach. NoSQL databases are commonly organized either by documents (wherein one stores entire structures of data, usually modeled as JavaScript Object Notation, or JSON), or key-value based (wherein each record consists of a key and a value). NoSQL proves helpful for organizations wrestling with massive amounts of data that don’t necessarily follow a fixed schema, and therefore would prove problematic for relational database management systems. Many NoSQL systems also rely on a distributed architecture, making them notably fault-tolerant. JBoss Data Grid 6 integrates components from the JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (version 6 of which was released June 20) and JBoss Operations Network, and offers support for both Java and non-Java applications (the better to provide an open approach to data grids, apparently). It also supports open APIs such as Apache Hot Rod, memcached and REST, which allows companies to implement NoSQL within the context of many development languages and thus many existing applications. Red Hat argues that its approach to adding NoSQL to enterprise development kits—centered on what it terms a “fast, intuitive in-memory key-value store,” is “non-intrusive.” “Traditional approaches to scaling the data tier can be very time and cost intensive and sometimes may not even work,” Craig Muzilla, vice president and general manager of Middleware for Red Hat, wrote in a June 20 statement tied to the release. “Red Hat JBoss Data Grid 6 brings a new approach to solving this issue, enabling enterprises to move with agility and with more flexibility than other proprietary approaches.” A NoSQL platform, of course, could make Red Hat a bigger player in the data center and Big Data markets, especially when combined with JBoss Enterprise Application Platform, which is designed to help developers build and deploy applications in the cloud. However, the move will also place Red Hat in competition with a variety of companies specializing in either NoSQL or relational-database systems.   Image: Oleksiy Mark/Shutterstock.com