As Tomas announced in his keynote at MySQL Connect 2013, we are working on a brand new product called MySQL Fabric. Along with this release of MySQL Fabric, we are releasing Connector/J 5.1.26 with Fabric support on labs.mysql.com. This is an alpha-quality release that adds support for scalability features in MySQL Fabric. Sharding and read/write splitting are the initial features supported by Connector/J.
In a setup involving read/write splitting or customized sharding, we generally have to duplicate knowledge of this configuration in the client applications. This is done in connection strings specified in configuration files or directly in code. With MySQL Fabric, we can express our system-wide configuration of database servers in a way that it can be accessed by client applications. In cases where this needs to change (and it always does..), the configurations affecting client applications no longer need to be changed. The connector will access the configuration change through the MySQL Fabric server and automatically route new connections to the appropriate servers.
In addition to the JDBC API, this release includes integration for using Hibernate with MySQL Fabric. Based on Hibernate's built-in multi-tenancy support, you can access your sharded data with little effort.
This is a big step forward for handling large datasets and we encourage you try out the new features! Download MySQL Utilities: Fabric and Connector/J with Fabric support from labs.mysql.com. For more details, refer to the README.1ST file in the Connector/J package.
There are several blogs posts by other developers involved that provide an introduction to the concepts of MySQL Fabric and it's operation. Vn's MySQL Fabric - Sharding - Introduction gives the background for the motivation for the development of Fabric and lays out the basic system architecture. A high-level overview of the high-availability features can be found in Mats' A Brief Introduction to MySQL Fabric. Finally, get an idea of how to use MySQL Fabric in your application by reading Alfranio's post Writing a Fault-tolerant Database Application using MySQL Fabric. Keep on the lookout for future blog posts about MySQL Fabric and future releases.