Often the premium database providers used by web developers (among many others) are called “big iron” for their sheer capacity and scale. These would be IBM DB2, Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server (and possibly Sybase).
MySQL is now joining their ranks, announcing today at their users conference in Florida the first fully open source clustering solution, aptly called MySQL Cluster. The firm states this new solution will provide 99.9999% availability for those needing redundancy for critical applications such as e-commerce solutions and more.
Unique to this cluster solution is the dual licensing. Web developers of all sizes will be able to leverage MySQL Cluster under the GPL open source license without cost, while those needing commercial support can opt for the purchased license. This opens up development environments that can now test clustering without the cost of acquiring big iron database licensing (even development licenses from some providers can run between $400 and $1000).
Key to keeping the costs low are hardware requirements. MySQL leveraged the ability to run Linux on standard hardware. This should further seal the appeal to web developers of all sizes. Hence, use of typical Linux servers with decent RPM hard drives and healthy RAM will work, in contrast to requirements for large-scale servers and fiber channel disk arrays or storage area networks for some clustering solutions.
A preview version is available at the MySQL site.
I’ve also attached MySQL’s white paper on the clustering solution.