MySQL Evolves into Big Iron

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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.

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  • Alex Zhukov alex@veresk.

    It would be nice to have an open source clustering solution for mysql, but I can’t find any technical details on mysql site – the whitepaper contains nothing but marketing bullshit. Is it production ready? Where can I get a copy (it’s open source, isn’t it?)?

    I’m now in the market for a mysql cluster and would rather pay to mysql ab for it – but tons of marketing bs and no technical info I could evaluate doesn’t look promising.

  • http://www.practicalapplications.net bwarrene

    As noted in the blog post – only a preview version is available now. This is much like how they released the MySQL Administrator – release and review comments and feedback before moving to beta and production.

    One of MySQL’s biggest selling points is their reliance on the open source community to insure they are on track with user’s needs. The preview version can be downloaded on their site (which should be considered alpha or even pre-alpha).

    However, take note that they have obviously deployed MySQL clusters to some of their largest clients privately as a proof of concept prior to releasing information on the Cluster product.

  • http://www.practicalapplications.net bwarrene

    [QUOTE=Anonymous]It would be nice to have an open source clustering solution for mysql, but I can’t find any technical details on mysql site – the whitepaper contains nothing but marketing bull****. Is it production ready? Where can I get a copy (it’s open source, isn’t it?)?

    I’m now in the market for a mysql cluster and would rather pay to mysql ab for it – but tons of marketing bs and no technical info I could evaluate doesn’t look promising.[/QUOTE]

    Wanted to point you to the architecture doc MySQL released:

    http://www.practicalapplications.net/kb/mysql_cluster_architecture.pdf

  • http://www.phpscripts.com/ donsimon

    The cluster does work, I saw it running at the MySQL conference, problem is, I hope you have a lot of memory! It’s fast, probably the fastest database server you would ever see. Unfortunately, if you have 50 gigs of databases, you need to have at least 150 gigs of memory across your cluster.

    Now your cluster could be 3 boxes, or 150 boxes if you really wanted. Right now the biggest problem is it’s 99.9% memory based. If you know a little bit about MySQL replication, it does log all updates/inserts/deletes/etc… in an update log. So that’s the only thing that is store on disk.

    A more disk intensive version will be coming out much later. From what I can tell MySQL cluster was designed for the telco world not the real world.

    Donny

  • http://www.practicalapplications.net bwarrene

    I think the option as an early deployment user (if going for realworld cluster would be to license commercial from MySQL and leverage their engineers.

    However- for developers – this is an opportunity to do something they have never had access to – throw some boxes together- add RAM (cheap!) and begin seeing how they could work to introduce more sophisticated database deployments into their web business.