Larson: Thank you for allowing me to do this interview with you. I have been talking with a few different Oracle ACEs about the MySQL Connect Conference. I figured the MySQL community might be missing you as well. You have been very busy with Oracle Linux but I know you still have an eye on the MySQL Community. How have things been?
Lenz Grimmer: Thanks for including me in this series of interviews, I feel honored! I've read the other interviews, and really liked them. I still try to follow what's going on over in the MySQL community and it's good to see that many of the familiar faces are still around. Over the course of the 9 years that I was involved with MySQL, many colleagues and contacts turned into good friends and we still maintain close relationships.
It's been almost 1.5 years ago that I moved into my new role here in the Linux team at Oracle, and I really enjoy working on a Linux distribution again (I worked for SUSE before I joined MySQL AB in 2002). I'm still learning a lot - Linux in the data center has greatly evolved in so many ways and there are a lot of new and exciting technologies to explore.
Larson: What were your thoughts when you heard that Oracle was going to deliver the MySQL Connect conference to the MySQL Community?
Lenz Grimmer: I think it's testament to the fact that Oracle deeply cares about MySQL, despite what many skeptics may say. What started as "MySQL Sunday" two years ago has now evolved into a full-blown sub-conference, with 80 sessions at one of the largest corporate IT events in the world. I find this quite telling, not many products at Oracle enjoy this level of exposure! So it certainly makes me feel proud to see how far MySQL has come.
Larson: Have you had a chance to look over the sessions? What are your thoughts on them?
Lenz Grimmer: I did indeed look at the final schedule.The content committee did a great job with selecting these sessions. I'm glad to see that the content selection was influenced by involving well-known and respected members of the MySQL community. The sessions cover a broad range of topics and technologies, both covering established topics as well as recent developments.
Larson: When you get a chance, what sessions do you plan on attending?
Lenz Grimmer: I will actually be manning the Oracle booth in the exhibition area on one of these days, so I'm not sure if I'll have a lot of time attending sessions. But if I do, I'd love to see the keynotes and catch some of the sessions that talk about recent developments and new features in MySQL, High Availability and Clustering . Quite a lot has happened and it's hard to keep up with this constant flow of new MySQL releases.
In particular, the following sessions caught my attention:
Larson: So I will ask you just like I have asked the others I have interviewed, any tips that you would give to people for handling the long hours at conferences?
Lenz Grimmer: Wear comfortable shoes and make sure to drink a lot! Also prepare a plan of the sessions you would like to attend beforehand and familiarize yourself with the venue, so you can get to the next talk in time without scrambling to find the location. The good thing about piggybacking on such a large conference like Oracle OpenWorld is that you benefit from the whole infrastructure. For example, there is a nice schedule builder that helps you to keep track of your sessions of interest. Other than that, bring enough business cards and talk to people, build up your network among your peers and other MySQL professionals!
Larson: What features of the MySQL 5.6 release do you look forward to the most ?
Lenz Grimmer: There has been solid progress in so many areas like the InnoDB Storage Engine, the Optimizer, Replication or Performance Schema, it's hard for me to really highlight anything in particular. All in all, MySQL 5.6 sounds like a very promising release. I'm confident it will follow the tradition that Oracle already established with MySQL 5.5, which received a lot of praise even from very critical members of the MySQL community. If I had to name a single feature, I'm particularly and personally happy that the precise GIS functions have finally made it into a GA release - that was long overdue.
Larson: In your opinion what is the best reason for someone to attend this event?
Lenz Grimmer: This conference is an excellent opportunity to get in touch with the key people in the MySQL community and ecosystem and to get facts and information from the domain experts and developers that work on MySQL. The broad range of topics should attract people from a variety of roles and relations to MySQL, beginning with Developers and DBAs, to CIOs considering MySQL as a viable solution for their requirements.
Larson: You will be attending MySQL Connect and have some Oracle Linux Demos, do you see a growing demand for MySQL on Oracle Linux ?
Lenz Grimmer: Yes! Oracle Linux is our recommended Linux distribution and we have a good relationship to the MySQL engineering group. They use Oracle Linux as a base Linux platform for development and QA, so we make sure that MySQL and Oracle Linux are well tested together. Setting up a MySQL server on Oracle Linux can be done very quickly, and many customers recognize the benefits of using them both in combination.
Because Oracle Linux is available for free (including free bug fixes and errata), it's an ideal choice for running MySQL in your data center. You can run the same Linux distribution on both your development/staging systems as well as on the production machines, you decide which of these should be covered by a support subscription and at which level of support. This gives you flexibility and provides some really attractive cost-saving opportunities.
Larson: Since I am a Linux user and fan, what is on the horizon for Oracle Linux?
Lenz Grimmer: We're working hard on broadening the ecosystem around Oracle Linux, building up partnerships with ISVs and IHVs to certify Oracle Linux as a fully supported platform for their products. We also continue to collaborate closely with the Linux kernel community on various projects, to make sure that Linux scales and performs well on large systems and meets the demands of today's data centers. These improvements and enhancements will then rolled into the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel, which is the key ingredient that sets Oracle Linux apart from other distributions. We also have a number of ongoing projects which are making good progress, and I'm sure you'll hear more about this at the upcoming OpenWorld conference :)
Larson: What is something that more people should be aware of when it comes to Oracle Linux and MySQL ?
Lenz Grimmer: Many people assume that Oracle Linux is just tuned for Oracle products, such as the Oracle Database or our Engineered Systems. While it's of course true that we do a lot of testing and optimization for these workloads, Oracle Linux is and will remain a general-purpose Linux distribution that is a very good foundation for setting up a LAMP-Stack, for example. We also provide MySQL RPM packages for Oracle Linux, so you can easily stay up to date if you need something newer than what's included in the stock distribution.
One more thing that is really unique to Oracle Linux is Ksplice, which allows you to apply security patches to the running Linux kernel, without having to reboot. This ensures that your MySQL database server keeps up and running and is not affected by any downtime.
Larson: What else would you like to add ?
Lenz Grimmer: Thanks again for getting in touch with me, I appreciated the opportunity. I'm looking forward to MySQL Connect and Oracle OpenWorld and to meet you and many other people from the MySQL community that I haven't seen for quite some time!
Larson: Thank you Lenz!