Monday Jul 18, 2011

Simpler and Safer Clustering: MySQL Cluster Manager Update

Clustered computing brings with it many benefits: high performance, high availability, scalable infrastructure, etc. But it also brings with it more complexity.

Why?

Well, by its very nature, there are more “moving parts” to monitor and manage (from physical, virtual and logical hosts) to clustering software to redundant networking components – the list goes on. And a cluster that isn’t effectively provisioned and managed will cause more downtime than the standalone systems it is designed to improve upon.

When it comes to the database industry, analysts already estimate that 50% of a typical database’s Total Cost of Ownership is attributable to staffing and downtime costs. These costs will only increase if a database cluster is not effectively monitored and managed.

Monitoring and management has been a major focus in the development of the MySQL Cluster database, and as part of this focus, the latest release of MySQL Cluster Manager (MCM) hit General Availability last week. You can read all about it in Andrew Morgan's blog.

MySQL Cluster Manager 1.1.1 makes it much simpler to get up and running, to manage the cluster and to allow multiple clusters to be managed from a single process.

MySQL Cluster Manager is part of the commercial Carrier-Grade Edition but anyone is free to download and use MySQL Cluster Manager without obligation for 30 days. This is a great way for those new to MySQL Cluster to rapidly configure and provision their first cluster.

All you need do is:

1. Go to Oracle eDelivery

2. Enter some basic details and click through the agreement

3. Select “MySQL Product Pack”, then your platform, then Go

Not only does MCM make the management of MySQL Cluster simpler, it also makes it safer. One of the largest causes of downtime is administrator error, and here MySQL Cluster Manager can significantly reduce risk.

Consider the task of upgrading rom one release of MySQL Cluster to another. This can be performed as an on-line operation, using rolling restarts to apply upgrades while still serving read and write requests. Its just one of the many operations users can perform on line (ie adding data nodes, upgrading schema, backups, etc) all of which enable MySQL Cluster to achieve 99.999% uptime.

Using a manual upgrade method on a cluster configured with 4 x data nodes, 2 x MySQL Server application nodes and 2 x management nodes, the administrator would be typing 46 x manual commands in an operation that would take around 2 ½ hours to complete. The steps are shown below:

1 x preliminary check of cluster state

8 x ssh commands per server

8 x per-process stop commands

4 x scp of configuration files (2 x mgmd & 2 x mysqld)

8 x per-process start commands

8 x checks for started and re-joined processes

8 x process completion verifications

1 x verify completion of the whole cluster.

Excludes manual editing of each configuration file.

Now compare this to using MySQL Cluster Manager:

upgrade cluster --package=7.1 mycluster;

Just 1 command and walk away and leave it.

Note – both of the processes above exclude the preparation steps of copying the new software package to each host and defining where it's located. The total operation times are based on a DBA restarting 4 x MySQL Cluster Data Nodes, each with 6GB of data, and performing 10,000 operations per second.

You can learn more about MySQL Cluster Manager from our new whitepaper and on-line demo.

We also have an on-demand webinar which covers MySQL Cluster Manager as well as other complimentary methods to managing a MySQL Cluster environment:

* NDBINFO: released with MySQL Cluster 7.1, NDBINFO presents real-time status and usage statistics, providing developers and DBAs with a simple means of pro-actively monitoring and optimizing database performance and availability.

* MySQL Cluster Advisors & Graphs: part of the MySQL Enterprise Monitor and available in the commercial MySQL Cluster Carrier Grade Edition, the Enterprise Advisor includes automated best practice rules that alert on key performance and availability metrics from MySQL Cluster data nodes.

While managing clusters will never be easy, it keeps getting a whole lot simpler !

Wednesday May 18, 2011

Unlocking New Value from Web Session Management

Join us for a live webinar and download a new whitepaper where we discuss how to realize new value from data collected during web session management.

Session management has long been a key component of any web infrastructure – enhancing the user browsing experience through improved reliability, reduced latency and tighter security.

Increasingly organizations are looking to unlock more value from session management to further improve user loyalty (i.e. making the web service more “sticky”) and improve monetization of web services.  There are two distinct developments that offer the promise of unlocking more value from session data:
1.    Provide highly personalized browsing experiences by recognizing repeat visitors and making real-time recommendations based on previous browsing behavior
2.    Enhance insight into user behavior through analysis of how they interact with the web service, enabling organizations to optimize web experiences  

There are many approaches to session management, and technology selection has become critical in ensuring the full value of data collected from user sessions can be realized.

For rapidly growing web properties, higher volumes of session data need to be managed and persisted in real-time while also demanding very high levels of availability, coupled with the flexibility of relational data management.

In such cases, it makes sense to evaluate the MySQL Cluster database.

To further discuss the challenges and solutions to session management, we are hosting a live webinar on Tuesday May 31st at 0900 Pacific Time / 1700 UK.  In this webinar, we discuss the challenges and solutions to session management, covering:

* The demands of session management
* How MySQL Cluster is well placed to meet the demands from session management
* Configuring session management with PHP and MySQL Cluster
* Configuring session management with with memcached and MySQL Cluster
* Real Time analysis of session data with MySQL Cluster
* Case studies

You can register for the webinar here

You can download the associated whitepaper here

Let us know your recommendations for unlocking more value from web session data in the comments below

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