Friday Jun 06, 2008

Family of MySQL Cluster bloggers

While this blog is co-authored by the whole MySQL Telecom team, many members in or around the team also write their personal blogs, which you will find very useful. So please follow me on a tour on the absolute top MySQL Cluster blogs in the world:

Johan Andersson is the MySQL Cluster Principal Consultant, and has been with MySQL Cluster since the Ericsson days. He travels around the world to our most demanding customers and shares his guru advice. Rumor has it that recently on a training gig the students made him sign their MySQL t-shirts, can you get closer to living like a rock star than this? Occasionally he also shares some great tips and status info on his blog. Like right now you can find a set of handy scripts to manage all of your MySQL Cluster from one command line, definitively recommended to try!

Jonas Oreland is the Architect of MySQL Cluster. Now, us mere mortals may not always understand everything he is writing about in his blog, but if you want to know what is happening in the MySQL Cluster codebase right now, this is the place to go. And this is really cutting edge, the stuff he writes about in his last post may not appear in a GA release until next year.

Speaking of architects, it is natural to next introduce Mikael Ronström, Father of MySQL Cluster. Yes, Mikael is the one who came up with the whole architecture of MySQL Cluster, we have him to thank for 100,000 writes/sec and linear scalability. (Thank you!) Mikael actually isn't on the Cluster team anymore, he has for some time already been working on the general MySQL Server with things like replication and performance improvements. For newest benchmark of MySQL Server and MySQL Cluster, go to Mikael's blog.

Having dealt with the old and honourable Ericsson alumni, the next blog I want you to follow is Jon Stephen's. Jon is a technical writer, meaning he writes the MySQL Cluster manual. He is very diligent, constantly pestering the developers to divulge some information on how the Cluster work, to the benefit of all of us Cluster lovers. In short, if you want to know how Cluster works, ask Jon, he will know.

Like a cousin to Jon (in Cluster trivia, at least :-) is Ramon Graham, Product Manager for MySQL Cluster. A relatively new blog, but it appeared right in time to answer the worrying question, where did MySQL Cluster disappear? In general, if you are ever wondering where MySQL Cluster is going... talk to Ramon.

MySQL Cluster may have been born in Sweden, but there is a strong Australian angle to it... So let me finish by introducing our 2 Australian Cluster heroes. (I have a theory why these 2 hyperactive guys can get so much done every day, it is because Australia is in such an early timezone, they simply have more hours in a day as we others do!)

First up Stewart Smith, developer in the Cluster team and beloved lecturer about MySQL Cluster. Apart from Jonas' blog, this is another blog to follow if you want to follow how the development of MySQL Cluster. But Stewart writes actively about many things, in fact he is the president of organising the next - one of the most popular Linux developer conferences in the world.

And we started with a consultant, we will end with a consultant: The MySQL-HA blog is where Monty Taylor is writing together with Alexander Rubin about Cluster, High Availability and performance. Monty is also one of those consultants traveling around the world from the Amazon basin in Brasil to various European capitals. He recently expressed that he has not yet ever been to China, so if you are in China and considering to hire a MySQL Cluster consultant, be sure to contact our Sales department! Monty is also the man behind the NDB connectors... hmmm, NDB bindings project which provides python/php/perl/ruby etc... bindings to the native NDB api of MySQL Cluster. If you want to qualify as a MySQL Cluster geek, get familiar with one of the NDB bindings! (Of course, the native C++ NDB API is also an option.)

I believe those are the blogs of the Cluster team & friends I know about. But if there are more, let me know and we'll add more blogs to the end of this post. By the way, the Cluster team is getting an infusion of old-Sun database cluster experts, maybe there are some blogs there we should know about? Let me know!

Update: Another Swede from the Cluster team, Magnus Svensson had unnoticedly joined the Cluster team just while I was writing this article. Today (June 24th) he has a great tip for those of you who want to have your first touch at the MySQL Cluster code: How to insert a simple printf statement for debugging purposes.

PS: I personally also have a blog, where I will never ever write about anything MySQL Cluster related (because that I do here) which focuses on Open Source: phenomenons, culture, business models and trends. Feel free to pop by for a leisurly non-technical read at The Open Life blog.

Monday May 19, 2008

Introducing MySQL's telco endeavours

We (in the Telecom team at MySQL) have been debating whether we should call this blog 'MySQL in Telco' or 'MySQL in Communications'. Naming discussions tend to take long time, and this one was no exception.

From a US perspective, it appears that Telecom is an outdated term. Wireless carriers and cable television companies do not consider themselves as Telecom companies. Maybe for this reason, large US-headquartered vendors including Sun, HP, IBM and Oracle all have a 'Communications & Media' practice.

From a European perspective, Telecom is used for equipment vendors and service providers. Companies like Logica, Cap Gemini, Atos Origin and TietoEnator refer to the vertical as 'Telecom & Media'.

Of the global SI's in India, Wipro and TCS refer to Telecom while Infosys talk about Communications.

As a working title we at one time used 'MySQL blablabla' blog, and funnily enough, there was a compromise suggestion to really use that for the name, since 'blablabla' is a term that incorporates something fundamental about 'Communication'.

So, after an interesting debate, we finally concluded that maybe it does not matter, and settled on 'MySQL in Communications'. However, telco and communications can be used interchangeably.

Coming back to the real business, MySQL has been making some solid progress in the telco space over the past few years. It started with the acquisition of the NDB Cluster database from Ericsson in September 2003. What a culture clash! Open source vs. proprietary software development. Having 2 masters to please, customers AND community. Rather than taking several hours, installation should take 15 minutes in order to satisfy impatient community users. Early releases would be made available to everybody, rather than a few selected friendly customers.

The integration took longer than what everybody had expected. It took over a year to have a first release of MySQL Cluster. Not the best release, but the technology was complex. Shared nothing database clustering! How do you make 10 machines act as one database cluster, accessed as one single database? How do you handle failures? How do you reintroduce a database node into a cluster running non-stop 20,000 tps and maintain data integrity? How do you provide mainframe reliability on commodity hardware? Quite a few challenges to address, but it did make a lot of sense to address these. The world is now building infrastructure using scale-out architectures to address massive online communities of millions of users, while the majority of database products on the market were designed in the 70's or 80's for more modest use cases.

Today, MySQL has a pretty healthy business in the area of subscriber data management for telecom networks, and global telecom vendors as well as small telecom startups build carrier grade, database driven infrastructure on top of the carrier product line.

In this blog we (the MySQL Telecom team) intend to write about some of the database trends that we see in the converging telecom and internet markets, and what we are doing in that area.



The people of the MySQL Telecom team writes about developments around MySQL and MySQL Cluster and how these products are used by our Communitcations industry customers. (Image jasmic@Flickr)


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