Percona Live Europe is now over, MySQL is not

Percona Live Europe is now more than a week away. l left Amsterdam with a positive thought: it has been the best European event for MySQL so far. Maybe the reason is that I saw the attendance increasing, or maybe it was the quality of the talks, or because I heard others making the same comment, and I also saw a reinvigorated MySQL ecosystem.
There are three main aspects I want to highlight.

1. MySQL 5.7 and the strong presence of the Oracle/MySQL team

There have been good talks and keynotes on MySQL 5.7. It is a sign of the strong commitment of Oracle towards MySQL. I think there is an even more important point. The most interesting features in 5.7 and the projects still in MySQL Labs derive or are in some way inspired by features available from other vendors. Some examples:

  • The JSON datatype from MySQL and MariaDB – two fairly different approaches, but definitely an interesting addition
  • Improvements in the optimizer from MySQL and MariaDB. There is a pretty long list of differences, this slide deck can help understand them a bit better…
  • Improvement for semi-sync replication from MySQL and WebScaleSQL
  • Automatic failover with replication from MySQL and MHA
  • Multi-source replication from MySQL and MariaDB 10
  • Group replication in MySQL and MariaDB 10 – Here things differ quite a lot, but the concept is similar.
  • MySQL router in MySQL and MaxScale – Again, a different approach but similar concepts to achieve the same results

My intent here is not to compare the features-I am simply pointing out that the competition among projects in the MySQL ecosystem is at least inspirational and can offer great advantages to the end user. Of course the other side of the coin is the creation of almost identical features, and the addition of more confusion and incompatibilities among the distributions.

2. The Pluggable Storage Engine Architecture is alive and kicking

Oracle’s commitment to improving InnoDB has been great so far, and hopefully InnoDB will get even better in the future. That said, the Pluggable Storage Engine Architecture was a unique feature for a long time. There have been two recent additions to the list of storage engines that have been around for long time. Today TokuDB, Infobright, InfiniDB, and ScaleDB share the advantage of being pluggable to MySQL with Deep and RocksDB. RocksDB is also pluggable to MongoDB, and even more important, it has been designed with a specific use case in mind.

3. Great support from the users

The three aspects have similar weight in measuring the health of MySQL, but this is my favourite, because it demonstrates how important MySQL is for some of the most innovative companies on the planet. Despite Kristian Koehntopp’s great keynote, showing us how boring the technology is at Booking.com, nobody really thought it was true. Using a stable and mature product like MySQL is not boring, it is wise. But this was not the only presentation that we enjoyed from the end users. Many showed a great use of MySQL, especially compared to the levels of scalability and performance that NoSQL databases ( these two combined aspects being the number 1 reason for using a NoSQL DB) struggle to produce with certain workloads.
I am looking forward to seeing the next episode, at Percona Live 2016 in Santa Clara.