Welcome ScaleDB 15.10!

Time really flies. A bit less than 4 months ago, I wrote a post about my decision to join ScaleDB. Today, after 4 months and a lot of excitement working with a great team and genuinely good people, I am proud to announce that the first version of ScaleDB is available to the public.

ScaleDB 15.10 Ararat

We decided to number this version 15.10 and to name it Ararat. Indeed, we intend to follow the release cycle of other famous software projects, such as Ubuntu, OpenStack and recently CentOS. Our logo is a peak, we are all about scaling, as in our name and as the main objective of our products. To scale comes from the Latin word scandere, i.e. ‘to climb’. Mount Ararat is one of the most beautiful peaks in the whole world, yet hard to climb and full of significance and mystery for many. It looked natural for us to start our journey naming the product after this mountain.

ScaleDB 15.10 is the first public version of our product. So far, we’ve been using a private beta and we have been working with users, developers and DBAs to make the product available to the public for a more general use.

We have customers and community users who use ScaleDB in production- in the last year we have worked hard to fix all the S1 bugs known to us, but as with any software, we cannot guarantee that the quality of the product will be top notch right from its first public version, therefore we strongly recommend you thoroughly test ScaleDB 15.10 before deploying it in a production environment.

The software is available for download from our website as a tarball, and we are going to provide Red Hat and Ubuntu packages very soon. You can click here, fill in a quick form and receive information on how to download and use ScaleDB within minutes. We will setup an account for you, in which you will also find updates, patches and new releases.

Streaming data, time series and realtime analytics

The main objective of ScaleDB 15.10 is to provide a Big Data solution with MySQL, currently in the form of streaming data and realtime analytics (see some extra info here). From the perspective of a MySQL user, ScaleDB is a standard storage engine that can be plugged into MariaDB. Behind the scenes, we make extensive use of special handlers in MariaDB 10.1 that extend the condition pushdown to the storage engine (although in the very first version of 15.10 we still recommend MariaDB 10.0) and to a cluster of machines. We also call the ScaleDB Cluster IDC, Intelligent Data Cluster.

ScaleDB can handle millions of inserts per second loaded by parallel workers, whilst hundreds of concurrent users can analyse the very same data in realtime. We ran some basic tests and one of them is published here: it can give you an idea of the type of analysis and scalability you may expect from ScaleDB.

We use a different and innovative approach to storing, indexing and accessing the data. The best fit for ScaleDB is time series data, which probably represent a significant part of the data currently qualified as Big Data. That said, ScaleDB can also be used to store and analyse not only time series, but any kind of data, although we are not currently focused on rich data such as documents and multimedia.

ScaleDB ONE and ScaleDB Cluster

ScaleDB 15.10 comes in two flavours, ScaleDB ONE and ScaleDB Cluster.

ScaleDB ONE stands for One Node Edition. It is a single node version of the product. DBAs can install and use the product on a single node. Performance is great for many use cases, and ScaleDB ONE can already sustain hundreds of thousands of inserts per second and real time analysis on a single node. ScaleDB ONE is completely free, and support can be purchased on request.

ScaleDB Cluster is the fully loaded version of ScaleDB that can scale up to many Terabytes of data and hundreds of concurrent users. ScaleDB Cluster is available as a commercial license with technical support that can be purchased from ScaleDB Inc.

What’s next?

Well, this is just the start. We will talk more about ScaleDB in future posts, from its internal structures, to advanced indexing, scalability, roadmap and much more! As they often tell me as a frequent flyer: sit back, relax, and enjoy the journey with ScaleDB.

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.

This time it is real…

A few months ago I updated my profile on LinkedIN, and adjusted my position as CTO and founder of Athoa Ltd, a British company currently active for translation services and events that in the past hosted a couple of interesting open source projects. I simply forgot to disable the email notification to my connections, set by default, and in 2-3 hours I received tens of messages from friends and ex-colleagues who were curious to hear about my new adventure.

Today, I changed my profile on LinkedIN again and have left the email notification set on purpose.

As of today, I join the team at ScaleDB. My role is to define the product and the strategy for the company, working closely with CEO Tom Arthur, CTO Moshe Shadmon, CMO Mike Hogan and the rest of the team.

Leaving Canonical

The last nine months at Canonical have been an outstanding and crazily intense journey. I learned as I never learned before about systems and network infrastructures, and I met an amazing team of core engineers. It has been a unique experience, one of those that only come along once in a lifetime – I really mean it – and I will never forget it.

The decision to leave Canonical came after a lot of thinking and many sleepless nights. I met so many great people that in many ways, are making history in IT. In my team under Dan Poler, I worked with experienced Cloud and Solutions Architects that can analyze problems, discuss architectures and suggest solutions from the high level view, down to the kernel of the operating system and even to the silicon of systems and devices. Chris Kenyon and John Zannos teams are called “Sales”, but they are really advisors for a growing ecosystem of providers and adopters of Ubuntu and OpenStack technologies.

I have been inspired by the dedication and leadership of Canonical CEO Jane Silber. Jane has the difficult job of leading a company that is moving at lightspeed in many different directions, so that the technology that powers clouds, networks, end users and small devices can share the same kernel and will eventually converge. Jane is in my opinion the leading force, making Canonical blossom like a plum tree in mid-winter, when the rest of the of the nature still sleeps under the snow.

My greatest experience at Canonical has been working with Mark Shuttleworth. Mark is an inspiration not only for the people of Canonical or for the users of Ubuntu, but for us all. Mark’s energy and passion are second only to his great vision for the future. I recommend everybody to follow Mark’s blog and watch or attend his talks. His attention to detail and search for perfection never shadows the core message and understanding of the big picture; for this reason, both experienced listeners and newbies will have takeaways from his talks.

Back in June last year, I decided to join Canonical because of Mark’s vision. His ideas were in sync with what I wanted to bring at SkySQL/MariaDB. At Canonical, I could see this vision materialize in the direction the products were going, only on larger scale. This experience has reinforced in me the belief that we have an amazing opportunity right in front of us. The world is changing dramatically and at a speed that is incomparable with the past, even when compared with the first 10 years of the new millennium. We must think out of the box and reconsider the models that companies have used so far to sustain their business, since some of them are already anachronistic and create artificial barriers that will eventually collapse.

This experience at Canonical will stay with me forever and I hope to make a good use of what I have learned so far and all that I will learn in the future from Mark.

Joining ScaleDB

The last Percona Live was a great event. It was great to see so many friends and ex-colleagues again, now working on different companies but gathering together once a year as in a school reunion. Percona has now become a mature company, but more importantly, it has reached its maturity growing organically. The results are outstanding and the new course to be a global player in the world of databases looks even more promising.

The list of people and companies I would like to mention is simply too long and it would be a subject for a post per se. I found the MySQL world more active than ever. In this Percona Live I found the perfect balance between solid and mature technologies that are constantly improving, and new and disruptive technologies that are coming out under the same MySQL roof.

I simply feel as I am part of this world, and it is part of me. I worked with databases in many different roles for all my life, first with Digital/Oracle RDB and Digital/HP Datatrieve, then with IBM/Informix, Oracle, Sybase and SQLServer, and last with MySQL. I am looking at this world with the eyes of someone who has been enriched by new experiences. I simply think I have more to offer to this market than to networks and systems infrastructures. I therefore decided to come back. I also feel I can offer more in designing and defining products than in running services.

ScaleDB seems to me the company where I can express myself and I can help more at this point of my working life. With my previous role as advisor for the company, working on products and strategies just feels natural to me. The position is also compatible with my intention to improve and extend my involvement in the MySQL ecosystem, not only as MariaDB Ambassador, but also and equally advocating for Oracle and Percona products.

I also believe that MySQL should not be an isolated world from the rest of the database market. I already expressed my interest in Hadoop and other DB technologies in the past, and I believe that there should be more integration and sharing of information and experiences among these products.

I’ve known and have been working with Moshe Shadmon, ScaleDB CTO, for many years. Back in 2007, we spent time together discussing the use, advantages and disadvantages of distributed databases. At the time, we were talking about the differences between Oracle RAC, MySQL/NDB and DB/2, their strong and weak points, what needed to be improved. That was the time when ScaleDB as a technology started taking the shape that it has today.

ScaleDB is an amazing technology. It is currently usable as a storage engine with MariaDB 10.0, it has been developed with the idea of a cluster database from the ground up. As for MySQL in 2005, when the goal was to provide performance, scalability and ease of use in a single product, ScaleDB today provides more performance and greater scalability, without compromising availability and the use of standard SQL/MySQL. The engineering team at ScaleDB has recently worked on an amazing extension of their technology to sustain fast inserts and real-time queries on commodity hardware, at a fraction of the cost of NoSQL alternatives. This addition makes ScaleDB the perfect solution for storing and retrieving time series data, which is the essence for stream analytics and Internet of Things.

I believe ScaleDB has the incredible potential to become a significant player in the DB world, not only in MySQL. I feel excited and honored to be given the opportunity to work on this new adventure. I will try my hardest to serve the MySQL ecosystem in the best possible way, contributing to its success and improving the collaboration of companies – providers, customers, developers and end users – in MySQL and in the world of databases.

Now hop onto the new ride, the future is already here…