Tuesday Feb 17, 2009

Los Angeles MySQL meetup with Facebook DBA, Chris Schneider

South Californians, mark your calendars! On February 24th at 7,30pm the Los Angeles Meetup Group will host Chris Schneider, Facebook DBA, who will talk about "Scaling MySQL".

Now, if I talk about scaling MySQL, I will refer to personal experience in my consulting career, when 10 million people connected all at once to my customer's web site. You may be interested in the story or simply yawn. But when a Facebook DBA talks to you about scaling, 10 million connection is low traffic, and scaling takes a completely different meaning.

In this meetup, Chris will talk about different methodologies used at Facebook to deal with their scaling issues. If you are near Los Angeles on February 24th, you don't want to miss this meetup.

Monday Feb 16, 2009

MySQL Partitions at PHPCon Italia

I will speak at PHPCon Italia 2009, in Rome, on March 19th.

The subject is a very trendy. I will cover efficiency with partitions, a topic that every DBA and MySQL developers should enjoy.

Sunday Feb 08, 2009

FOSDEM 2009 - Boosting performance with MySQL 5.1 partitions

The MySQL Developers Room at FOSDEM was a success. There was a full room (about 80 seats, and many sitting on the floor) throughout the day. We started at 9am with a talk on PBXT, and ended at 17:00. My talk had a large audience and was very well received.

FOSDEM, the Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting

The enthusiasm was quite high also because of a stunt I did during the presentation. It was a creative way of explaining the difference between physical and logical partitioning. I will repeat this stunt at the MySQL Users Conference, during my Tutorial on Partitioning.
Those who were attending today know about it. For the attendees at the Users Conference it will be a surprise.

The high point of the conference was at 1:15pm, with Kaj Q&A session, where we collected quite a lot of feedback.

For the many enthusiasts who followed my presentation, here are the slides.

Thanks to all participants for their stamina. Thanks to Lenz Grimmer for making this possible, and for the FOSDEM organizers for their kind hospitality.

Wednesday Jan 28, 2009

Speaking at FOSDEM

I am getting ready to FOSDEM, the biggest European gathering of free and open source software enthusiasts. The event is held in Brussels, Belgium, on February 7-8, 2009.

FOSDEM, the Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting

MySQL has a developers room on Sunday, with a schedule rich of well known names and juicy topics.

I will present a talk about partitions in MySQL 5.1.

Lenz will have a talk in the main conference, on MySQL high availability.

There is a wiki page on MySQL Forge where we will provide last minute information.

See you all in Brussels!

Friday Jan 23, 2009

MySQL Users Conference with embedded MySQLCamp

Well, I announced it a few months ago, and now Sheeri made it happen. The MySQL Users Conference and Expo 2009 will have a MySQL Camp embedded.

What is it? Asked most of the people I know, including many colleagues, some of them worried that I was giving away the company jewels.

For starters, it is not a competitor of the Users Conference. It won't duplicate its contents, nor is a way of sneaking into the main conference without a pass. It is a camp, and if you have attended either one of the previous MySQL Camps or the OpenSQLCamp, you know what I mean.

MySQL Camp is a gathering of MySQL geeks, developers, enthusiasts, code twisters, gurus, who want to exchange views on deeply technical matters. It is not run by Sun. While we have given Sheeri the task of organizing the event inside the event, we have purposely avoided being involved in the task itself. We want the camp to be a community event, and by community we mean you not us.

Let me just remind the rules of the game, as stated in my original post. Sun provides the room for the event and the rest is up to Sheeri, with two main guidelines.

  • Only MySQL related contents. This is the MySQL conference, and thus, if you want to hack a videogame or the latest music player, this is not the place to bring it.
  • No advertising. The Camp is a place for hacking code and exchanging technology. If you want to advertise your company, the main conference provides sponsoring and partner agreements that will allow anyone to promote their products.

Other than that, have fun!

Thanks, Sheeri, for organizing this event with your usual dedication and efficiency!

Monday Jan 19, 2009

Celebrating a year of MySQL and Sun

About one year ago, 400 MySQL employees were in Orlando, FL, for their company meeting. Their main worry was how to improve the business in view of the inevitable IPO that was coming soon. Nobody knew when, but there was expectation for Mårten Mickos keynote, on January 16, 2008, at 8:00. Possibly, everybody thought, he will announce a date for going public.

And public we went, but not the way we thought.

The evening before, I was among a group of about 25 people who were summoned to Mårten's suite, without a specific reason. At about 10pm, Mårten announced the $1B news, and for many of us there are only fuzzy memories after that. We weren't allowed to leave the suite before signing a NDA, to keep the news quiet until the following day at 8am.

Thus, having slept very little, with conflicting thoughts, I met my co-workers, and I couldn't tell anyone what was about to happen. We lined up for the keynote hall to open, and we were all seated and expecting the news of our launch into the Wall Street arena, which didn't come.

When Mårten announced that Sun Microsystems had bought MySQL for a billion dollars, many in the audience thought it was one of his jokes. Then, Jonathan Schwartz appeared on the giant screen, apologizing for wearing a tie because he was getting ready for a press conference and, he said, when you spend a billion dollars, you must dress like someone who knows what he's doing.

In very important moments, it's funny what you remember. I don't remember anything more of Jonathan's speech. The whole Orlando meeting is a series of flashbacks with little coherence.

I started waking up from the dizziness in the following days. Freshly appointed Community Team leader and on my way to a scheduled world trip, I had time to clear my mind while traveling.

I didn't come to terms with Sun until early April, when I started meeting new colleagues and understanding the organization. For MySQL, it is a change in scope that we understand, but we have barely started exploiting. We haven't generated $1B in revenues for Sun (yet). But the business decision sounds right. Inserting MySQL into Sun's portfolio is a good strategic move that will eventually pay off.

Now, enough with the old stories. Let's look at the future. Lenz and Dups have brought to you a gallery of 5 examples of good cooperation between MySQL and the rest of Sun. Starting with MySQL and Dtrace. Stay tuned for more!

Friday Dec 19, 2008

Registration for the MySQL Conference and Expo 2009 now open

Registration for the MySQL Conference and expo 2009 is now open.

Kudos to Colin Charles, who has the not easy task of being the program chair of the conference, for pulling the schedule together.

The schedule is not complete yet. If you haven't got either an approval or a rejection, your proposal is still under review. In the previous years, some of my talks were approved as late as February, but we are trying to finish off the schedule much earlier this time.

This is my last blog post for this year. I am going on vacation this evening. No computers, no internet. Therefore, no comments are enabled for this post (there would be nobody to moderate and approve them).

Happy new year, Community!

Sunday Dec 14, 2008

Talks wanted for FOSDEM 2009

Organization for FOSDEM 2009 is in full swing. MySQL has a devroom, for which we want talk proposals. The call for papers ends on January 15, 2009. There is no registration for the event, but if you want to have a 1 hour speaker slot, please send us a proposal using this form. As usual, we are looking for quality presentations, regardless of the level. We like original talks and we will privilege innovative, creative, and well documented abstracts. You will find some guidelines on how to submit a successful proposal and more info on the event in MySQL Forge wiki.

FOSDEM, the Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting

FOSDEM 2009 is not only a geeky reunion, but also a family opportunity. There will be guided tours for spouses/partners!. If your significant one is not interested in technology or doesn't get a kick out of the intricacies of open source development practice, there are other pleasures to discover in Brussels.

Then, don't wait! Submit a talk and book your travel now!

Thursday Nov 27, 2008

MySQL 5.1-GA is available

MySQL 5.1 finally RELEASED!

MySQL 5.1 GA is now available for download.

The time has come. MySQL 5.1 is ready for production use.

In case you weren't paying attention while it it was still under development, here's what you get:

Happy coding!

Wednesday Nov 26, 2008

On the road with the community

Notes of one week with MySQL community in US and France


I wanted to attend the first edition of the Open SQL Camp in Charlottesville, from November 14 to 16. For some mysterious reason, a four days plane ticket to any place in the US costs EUR 2,500, but if I stay 8 days, it costs EUR 800. Considering that I was in Frankfurt until November 8, the most sensible thing to do was flying to the US as early as possible and meet as many communities as I could. Among the ones I asked, Boston and New York answered enthusiastically, and then, serendipitously, I found an unexpected group in Baltimore, just before the last leg to Charlottesville.
I sent all groups a list of ten topics to choose from:
\* MySQL 5.1 features
\* Using MySQL partitions in practice
\* testing with MySQL Sandbox
\* MySQL Community How To
\* Recent community additions to MySQL code
\* Creative cross-language programming with MySQL
\* MySQL Proxy wizardry
\* advanced replications techniques
\* advanced Lua programming for MySQL Proxy
\* How to fake a list of ten with only nine topics

Boston MySQL meetup

The Boston user group has a clockwork organization. They were able to accommodate my request for a meeting quickly and efficiently. The meeting takes place in one of the MIT buildings, and a large load of pizza and soft drinks was delivered on the spot, so the meeting started with everybody happily fed.
The topic chosen by this group was MySQL Sandbox. The presentation lasted 50 minutes, followed by 30 minutes of discussion.

New York

MySQL meetup

The MySQL user group in New York is quite large. The venue for the meetings is a pub in South Manhattan that can accommodate 40 people comfortably seated, or 60 if there is standing audience.
The room was filled to capacity for the talk about MySQL Proxy. The participation was intense and widespread. We spent about 2.5 hours discussing the subject and related topics. There is much interest in the Proxy as a component for HA solutions.
Host of the evening was Philip Antoniades, who is widely known in the community.

PHP meetup

The second day in New York should have started with a presentation at Columbia University, which was postponed, and thus the ad hoc presentation made by Dups for this occasion will have to wait for another event.
Dups joined me in late morning. We had lunch with Ronald Bradford, and then spent the afternoon discussing the status of the community.
Dups presentation at the PHP group was a success. The room (the same as the previous day) was packed. The contents were very much appreciated and discussed afterwards for a few hours.
Philip did not attend, because (lame excuse!) his wife was delivering his second child, just while Dups was delivering his first presentation as Community Manager.

Baltimore MySQL meetup

Transfer to Baltimore using the Greyhound. We found out that the Amtrak train cost $400 for the ride, while the Greyhound was $70 for the two of us. The ride was very useful. It allowed us to discuss the community needs in more detail and to make plans for a MySQL Proxy extension that will deal with memcached transparently (or at least Dups says he will do it. We'll see how good his Lua skill will be in a while).
Some excitement came in the cab ride from the bus station to the hotel, when the cab driver got lost twice and had to ask for directions.
Fortunately, we paid a flat fee for the ride, and no damage was done. The host of the MySQL meetup is Greg Haase, who is known in the community as the author of a convincing use case for MySQL 5.1. He is also a supporter of MySQL Sandbox, for which he is creating some additional features.
The topic in Baltimore was MySQL Proxy, with a very passionate debate following, and I am happy to say that I was able to address all the concerns.
We ended the evening with a dinner at a popular restaurant, packed with very noisy football enthusiasts.
The locals were genuinely surprised - no, better, amazed! - that we came by bus, and we actually survived!

Charlottesville Open SQL Camp

Public transportation from Baltimore to Charlottesville was not an option, so we rented a car. While I drove, Dups interviewed me efficiently, and took notes about the wishes and needs of the community team. It resulted in a tentative plan for engaging the community in a better web environment. Stay tuned for news on this subject in the next weeks.


The initial day was about registration, introductions, and finalizing the schedule for the next day. The efficiency of the organization was impressive. Considering that Baron has done most of the work on his own, with little help from others is really commendable, and an example for who wants to organize something similar.
The schedule was hand made, quite useful, and fit for this kind of event.
There were about 60 attendees, out of 100 registered people. The level of the audience went from intermediate to advanced, with very few beginners.


The meat of the conference was on Saturday. The efficiency of Baron's organization (with some sponsors help) was evident with the huge breakfast provided to the attendees.
Th event was dominated by MySQL/Drizzle presence. Brian Aker's keynote on the ubiquity of open source databases caught everyone's attention.
Some of the sessions were very innovative (libdrizzle, with its evolutionary features and backward support for MySQL, is one of the breakthrough topics), others, like the PostgreSQL ones, were more traditional and down to earth.
The lightning talks were much appreciated.
After the normal sessions, there was planning for the hackfest on Sunday and an unplanned prize giving, when we awarded Baron with a T-shirt signed by all the participants.
The inner force behind the organization was Sheeri, who has organized the wiki, the donation page, a legal entity for donations, and a sergeant major attitude which, together with her personal example, involved many people in the organizational tasks.
Networking was the major activity of the day. The lunch (not enough food for the latecomers, I was told) and the dinner (too much food) catalyzed the attendees together in temporary bonds that often led to serendipitous findings.

Met a lot of people, and expanded my Facebook and LinkedIn portfolios.


The hackfest was a collection of coding efforts in different directions. Several bugs were found and fixed during the day, in both MySQL and Drizzle, while an ambitious group of web developers tried to create a startup in 6 hours (they failed, but just barely, and it was a splendid effort!)


The travel to Washington brought more brainstorming, facilitated by some traffic jams. Dups drove, while I collected the ideas, and we arrived to Washington with a fully detailed plan about enhancing the MySQL Users Conference with some surprising things that you will hear about, probably next year.

That was the end of the good news. The meeting with the local Sun rep was canceled, and we were on our own. Following ill advice from Jay, we left the car at the airport and went looking for a locker for our luggage. There was none, and we were sent to a museum downtown that had lockers. After a quick train ride, we were at the museum, where our luggage was minutely and messily inspected, only to find out that the lockers did not have locks.
So we had lunch at the museum cafeteria and went back to the airport, where we scanned the ether for free wifi, and spent some productive hours online.
We parted company in the afternoon and that was the end of my US campaign.


MySQL meetup

Paris meetup is held very far away from the center. It's a different town actually, which gave me time to catch some sleep in the cab ride.
The attendance was not high, but everyone was interested, and all resisted
until the end. How many? We were 10, which is decimal ten, not binary two. The funny thing is that the next day, at least ten more people told me that they would have come to the meetup, if it hadn't been so far away from the center!

The topic was, once more, MySQL Proxy, and the questions asked were a bit different from the usual ones. Someone wants to use MySQL Proxy as a front end to hide the complexity of using different versions of MySQL in a sharded environment.
After Proxy, Nat Makarevitch, a local celebrity presented a long topic on server optimization, which lasted until 10:30pm, when finally we had food and drinks.

Customers conference

More talks, met more people, was asked to explain Proxy features again, discussed the Infobright roadmap, collected more business cards, and fell asleep in an armchair, only to be woken up suddenly for an incoming meeting.
Oh, well! it was an interesting exercise, but don't ask me to do it again soon!

Tuesday Nov 25, 2008

Seeding to the mirrors

If you hear a distant rumble in the air, it could be either Dups testing his new mountaineering gear, or, more likely, MySQL 5.1-GA seeding to the mirrors.

We promised that it would come soon, and it's coming. All internal QA automated tests were passed, a batch of additional manual tests with the packaged binaries (called "smoke tests" internally) were performed to make sure that no embarrassing errors were left, and now the train of bits is traveling to the mirrors. Once the mirrors are loaded, expect the announcement, within a few days.

Tuesday Nov 18, 2008

MySQL 5.1-GA is coming

Sheeri has already commented on this, but I want to stress that MySQL 5.1.30 will be GA by December 6th, 2008.

OpenSQLCamp - breaking news

Monday Nov 03, 2008

Good Luck Jay, Welcome Dups!

Jay Pipes has joined the Drizzle project, and we have been busy looking for a replacement. Cloning Jay Pipes brought serendipitous results. You know that cloning is not an exact science, and we could not get a perfect replica. Perhaps it was a MySQL replication issue. We should try with row-based logging, next time. Anyway, we were looking for a replica of Jay's skillset, and instead we found a match for the kind of enthusiasm that brought Jay to start working for MySQL in 2006 and then to embrace Drizzle this year.

Exit Jay, whom we will miss dearly. He was the first person that I met in the MySQL community who went to work for the company. That's when I started thinking that maybe I could become an employee as well. Best of luck to Jay, and I am sure we will hear from him in the MySQL/Drizzle ecosystem

Enough with the past, fast forward to the present. Who is this Dups anyway?

Dups is a fantastic mixture of technical skill, enthusiasm, vision, and reliability. He's a doer with an attitude. He has a solid experience as a web programmer, an infectious sense of humor, a gift for simplifying complex problems and for describing them in plain English. Ah, and to solve them! Dups has a well deserved reputation of Getting Things Done ™.

I met him in cyberspace a few weeks before he came to work for MySQL, and we exchanged some very inspiring email messages. Since then, I have always had a high respect for his skills and his opinion, and when I finally met him in person I was confirmed that I was in front of a remarkable person.

That's why, when he sent me a message saying "how tempting ... ", minutes after I wrote the blog post in search of a new team member, I rushed to contact him in IRC and ask if he was serious.

He was! And the process of interviewing him and checking his requirements, his attitude towards community work, his set of values, was truly enjoyable. Dups has a vision, and he will show it in public very soon. He was not the only candidate. Within minutes, I got not one, but three candidates, and three more applied the next day. So it was a tough choice. Thanks to the ones who applied, and sorry I could not hire all of you!

So, welcome Dups! We needed new ideas, new energy, new expertise!

Thursday Oct 23, 2008

MySQL East Coast mini tour

Next month I will be in the US East Coast, to attend the Open SQL Camp. Since I will arrive a few days earlier, I will also attend a few meetups on the way from Boston to Charlottesville.

Are you around these locations? If yes, please attend the meetups, or drop me a note.

These events are happening because several people have worked on the issue behind the scenes. Thanks to Sheeri K. Cabral, Angelo Rajadurai, Josie Kaufman, Mark Rubin, Tom Coveney, Philip Antoniades, Ronald Bradford, Greg Haase for taking care of the organization and apologies if I forgot someone.

UC2009 proposals, wow! A near miss

OK. I was exceedingly optimistic, but not too much. I said that we may get enough submissions by the end of the regular CfP, and I was almost right. At midnight of October 22nd, we got 284 submissions, which is about 100 proposals more than last year (before extending), but not as much as we got after the extension.

Well done, MySQL Community!

But since we are hard to please, we want to have at least the same number of proposals that we had last year (I am sure we'll get more!), and so we are extending for two weeks. You have time until November 5th to submit a proposal.

What's missing?

Surprisingly, participation from other Sun communities is low. Solaris, Java, NetBeans, Glassfish, OpenOffice have either a token representation or are just silent. I know that there has been much going on between MySQL and these communities, and thus I am surprised to find so little.

Do you have a good technical MySQL presentation about one of the above topics? Then show us!

Remember that the theme of the conference is Innovation Everywhere. Anything technical and innovative about MySQL will be well received.


Giuseppe Maxia


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