MySQL Moves on Clustering Technology

The developer of one of the world’s most high-profile, open-source databases, Sweden’s MySQL AB, this week launched MySQL Cluster, a new open-source database clustering technology for applications that need continuous availability.

The MySQL Cluster combines a clustering architecture with the MySQL database to deliver 99.999 percent uptime for database applications, making it the first low-cost, enterprise-wide database clustering software.

“The increasing volume of critical data, transactions, and users in today’s ‘always on’ Internet and networked environments has made high availability a necessity for companies,” said the CEO of MySQL AB, Marten Mickos. “MySQL Cluster has the availability, scalability, and throughput for the most demanding applications, and its affordability makes clustering an option for any organization.”

Always On

The technology features the MySQL database as well as a distributed, in-memory clustering architecture designed to maximize the availability and throughput of critical data, the company said.

For example, in a database cluster, data is distributed over a group of interconnected databases residing on multiple servers, or nodes. But with the MySQL Cluster, the databases in the cluster work as a single, fault-tolerant database running on low-cost commodity hardware and software, the company said.

“MySQL has come a long way in offering a reliable open-source DBMS to the community, and with MySQL clustering product, it extends its boundaries even further by addressing the higher availability and scalability requirements to support mission-critical applications,” said Noel Yuhanna, a senior analyst at Forrester Research. “The new clustering solution makes MySQL look attractive to customers that are looking for enterprise-level DBMS features at low cost.”

The company said the MySQL Cluster fosters mainframe-level reliability by serving as a main memory database that provides response time of 5 to 10 milliseconds and throughput of 100,000 replicated transactions per second. There is no single point of failure because the technology relies on a distributed, fault-tolerant architecture.

According to the company, the database cluster will provide subsecond failover — meaning users will be able to deliver service with no perceptible interruption. The system is also scalable. Users can incrementally grow their applications as business needs increase, using commodity hardware.

Service Availability Key

One of Sweden’s largest broadband ISPs, Bredbandsbaloget, provides broadband Internet access and VoIP services to more than 175,000 customers throughout the Nordic land and has chosen MySQL Cluster for this 24-7 operation.

“Service availability is the number one requirement for our customers,” said Lars-Ake Norling, CTO of B2, noting that it is important to guarantee continuous broadband access and VoIP services to subscribers.

“This has had an immediate impact in significantly improving customer satisfaction and has also reduced the cost of operating our network,” said Norling. “We now have the scalable infrastructure to aggressively grow our subscriber base and offer new value-added services.”

Other brand-name customers include Yahoo, Sabre Software, Cox Communications and NASA.

Dual-License Business Model

The software is available under a “dual license” business model; it will be provided at no cost under the open-source GNU General Public License (GPL) for open-source projects and also under a commercial license for software vendors and other commercial MySQL customers, the company said.

A preview version of MySQL Cluster is available under the open-source GPL license from the MySQL Web site.

MySQL AB will launch the new product formally next week at a conference, headlined by technology gadfly Tony Perkins, who founded the 1990s Silicon Valley cheerleader publication Red Herring magazine, and also will announce a new partner program to promote rapid expansion of the network of MySQL-supported software.

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