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Posts Tagged ‘drizzle’

Work on Drizzle full-time at Rackspace Mosso!

April 27, 2009 9 comments

This is really cool. Rackspace is hiring people to work on Drizzle full-time for their cloud product, Mosso. Adrian Otto writes the Drizzle mailing list:

I was speaking with Eric Day at the developer conference, and I mentioned that Rackspace is wiling to employ full time developers for the specific purpose of furthering the Drizzle project’s mission. He suggested that I email you on this list becuase he expected there would be interest in this offer. If you work on the project now part time, and want to make it a full time job working exclusively on the Drizzle project, let me know. The Rackspcae Cloud believes in open source, and we want to do our part to make Drizzle a wild success.

I’m super-excited about Drizzle and think this is fabulous for the community at large. I’m not alone – Mark Callaghan and Jeremy Zawodny like the idea too.

So if this sounds like your thing, go do it!

Great things afoot in the MySQL community

December 23, 2008 37 comments

tl;dr: The MySQL community rocks. Percona, XtraDB, Drizzle, SSD storage, InnoDB IO scalability challenges.

For anyone who lives and dies by MySQL and InnoDB, things are finally starting to heat up and get interesting. I’ve been banging the “MySQL/InnoDB scales poorly” drums for years now, and despite having paid Enterprise licenses, I haven’t been able to get anywhere. I was pretty excited when Sun bought MySQL since their future is intrinsically tied to concurrency, but things have been pretty slow going over there this year.

But the community has finally taken up arms and is fighting the good fight. It’s (finally!) a great time to be a MySQL user because there’s been lots of recent progress. Here’re some of my favorites (and highlights of work left to do):

PERCONA

I can’t sing Percona’s praises enough. They’re probably the most knowledgeable MySQL experts out there (possibly even including Sun). Absolutely the best bang for the buck in terms of MySQL service and support – better than MySQL’s own offering. (If I had to guess why that is, I’d bet that MySQL/Sun don’t want to step on Oracle’s toes by fixing InnoDB – but >99% of what we need is related to InnoDB. Percona has no such tip-toeing limitations.) Let me quickly count the ways they’ve helped me in the last few months:

  • They knew of a super obscure configuration setting “back_log“. Have you ever heard of it? I hadn’t. But we started seeing latency on MySQL connections (up to *3 seconds*!) on systems that hadn’t changed recently (exactly 3 seconds sounded awfully suspicious, and sure enough, it was TCP retries). After going through every single kernel, network, and MySQL tuning parameter I know (and I know a lot), I finally called Percona. They dug in, investigated the system, and unearthed ‘back_log’ within an hour or two. Popped that into my configuration and boom, everything was fine again. Whew!
  • We have servers that easily exceed InnoDB’s transaction limits. Did you know InnoDB has a concurrent transaction limit of 1024? (Technically, 1024 INSERTs and 1024 UPDATEs. But INSERT … ON DUPLICATE KEY UPDATE manages to chew up one of each). I know all about it – I’ve had bugs open with MySQL Enterprise for more than 2 years on the issue. What’s more, these are low-end systems – 4 cores, 16GB of RAM – and they’re no-where near CPU or IO bound. It took MySQL months to figure out what the problem was (years, really, to figure out all the final details like the different undo logs for INSERT vs UPDATE). Their final answer? It’ll be fixed in MySQL 6. ūüė¶ Note that 5.1 *just* went GA after years and years. On the other hand, it took Percona one weekend to diagnose the problem, and 13 days to have a preliminary patch ready to extend it to 4072 undo slots. Talk about progress! (And yes, we want Percona to release the patch to the world)
  • Solving the CPU scaling problems. These have been plaguing us for years (we have had some older four-socket systems for awhile … now with quad-core, it’s even worse), and thanks to Google and Percona, this problem is well on its way to being solved. We’re sponsoring this work and can’t wait to see what happens next.
  • XtraDB. This is the biggy. So big it deserves its own heading….

XTRADB

Oracle’s done a terrible job of supporting the community with InnoDB. The conspiracy theorists can all say “I told you so! Oracle bought them to halt MySQL progress” now – history supports them. Which is a shame – Heikki is a great guy and has done amazing work with InnoDB, but the fact remains that it wasn’t moving forward. The InnoDB plugin release was disappointing, to say the least. It addressed none of the CPU or IO scalability issues the community has been crying about for years.

Luckily, Percona finally did what everyone else has been too afraid to do – they forked InnoDB. XtraDB is their storage engine, forked from InnoDB (and then turbocharged!). We’re not running it in production yet, but we are running all of the patches that went into XtraDB and I can tell you they’re great. We’re sponsoring more XtraDB development (and yes, we made sure Percona will be contributing anything they build for us back to the community) with Percona, and I’m sure that’ll continue.

DRIZZLE

I’ve already blogged a bit about Drizzle, but it sure looks like Drizzle + XtraDB might be a match made in heaven. Drizzle can be though of as a MySQL engine re-write with an eye towards web workloads and performance, rather than features. MySQL 4.1, 5.0, and 5.1 added a lot of features that bloated the code without offering anything really useful to web-oriented workloads like ours, so the Drizzle team is ripping all that stuff back out and rethinking the approaches to the things that are being left in. Very exciting.

SSD STORAGE

The advent of “cheap enough” super-fast SSD storage is finally upon us. I’ve got Sun S7410 storage appliances in production and they’re blazingly fast. I have a very thorough review coming, but the short version is that even with NFS latencies, we’re able to do obscene write workloads to these boxes (let alone reads). 10000+ write IOPS to 10TB of mirrored, crazy durable (thanks ZFS!) storage is a dream come true. Once you mix in snapshots, clones, replication, and Analytics – well, it just doesn’t get much better than this.

(Don’t get sticker shock looking at the web pricing – no-one pays anything even remotely like that. Sign up for Startup Essentials if you can, or talk to your Sun sales rep if you can’t, and you can get them much cheaper. I nearly had a heart attack myself until I got “real” pricing. Tell them I sent you – enough Sun people read this blog, it might just help ūüôā ).

STILL NEEDED…

So, all in all, there’s been an awful lot of progress this year, which is great. CPUs are finally scaling under InnoDB, and we finally have storage that isn’t bounded by physical rotation and mechanical arms. Unfortunately, great CPU scaling plus amazing IO capabilities isn’t something InnoDB digests very well. As is common in complicated systems, once you fix one bottleneck, another one elsewhere in the system crops up. This time, it’s IOPS. It was eerie reading Mark Callaghan’s post about this last night – I’d come to the exact same conclusions (from an Operations point of view rather than code-level) just yesterday.

Bottom line: Despite having ample CPU and ample IO, InnoDB isn’t capable of using the IO provided. You can bet we’ll be working with Percona, Google and Sun (read: sitting back and admiring their brilliant work while writing the occasional check and providing production workload information) to look into fixing this.

In the meantime, we’re back to the old standbys: replication and data partitioning. Yes, we’re stacking lots of MySQL instances on each S7410 to maximize both our IOPS and our budget. Fun stuff – more on that later. ūüôā

UPDATE: Just occurred to me that there are plenty of *new* readers to my blog who haven’t heard me praise Google and their patches before. Mark Callaghan’s team over at Google definitely deserves a shout-out – they’ve really been a catalyst for much of this work along with Percona.

Hot technologies I care about – Sep '08

September 17, 2008 30 comments
Iron Worker by ikegami

photo by: ikegami

I’ve been too busy to blog lately, and for that I apologize. ¬†But here’s a quicky detailing the technologies (internet related and not) I’m excited about right now:

  • Drizzle. ¬†For years now, I’ve felt that MySQL has been doing in a direction in opposition to my use case. ¬†Stored procedures, views, etc etc have added bloat and complexity without offering me anything useful. ¬†Turns out I’m not alone – and thus Drizzle was born. ¬†To say I’m *super* excited about this is a serious understatement.
  • Google & Percona’s MySQL patches. ¬†While I wait for Drizzle, I’m stuck dealing with terrible concurrency issues in MySQL/InnoDB that force us to partition data way before we really should have to, making our system more complex. ¬†It’s crazy having a server keel over when it shouldn’t be either CPU-bound *or* IO-bound but that’s life with MySQL and InnoDB these days – or at least, it was until Google and Percona fixed what I couldn’t get MySQL to fix with our Platinum Enterprise subscriptions. ¬†Open source rules!
  • Flash storage. ¬†I really wish I could talk about this some more (pesky NDAs), but there are datacenter changes coming that are more dramatic than anything I’ve seen in 14 years of working on them. I hope I’ve talked to everyone in the space (and from the companies I’ve talked to, one of them seems to be the *very* clear winner for this upcoming round), but if you’re a storage vendor working on flash appliances and I haven’t talked to you, ping me. ¬†We’re a bleeding edge customer and we’ll put your stuff in production faster than you can deliver it to us. ¬†ūüôā
  • ZFS. ¬†Regardless of flash storage, ZFS is the filesystem of choice – head and shoulders over everything we’ve used or heard of. ¬†The advent of flash just makes this even more compelling. ¬†The downside? ¬†It’s not on Linux. ¬†ūüė¶
  • OpenSolaris. ¬†ZFS is so incredible, my hand has been forced, and we’re about to put our first OpenSolaris system into production. ¬†OpenSolaris is, in theory, the Solaris kernel (think ZFS, DTrace, SMF, high concurrency, etc) with the GNU-like userland (think Linux-like). ¬†In practice, it’s still extremely painful for a Linux expert and Solaris n00b like me to use – even on a single-purpose machine like a MySQL server. ¬†Only ZFS makes the pain worth it. ¬†For development, it’s basically unusable for Linuxers (it’s probaby fabulous for Solaris guys – lucky ducks).
  • Nexenta. ¬†Unlike OpenSolaris, Nexenta *is* the Solaris kernel plus GNU userland. ¬†Unfortunately, it’s not backed by Sun or anyone else I have any relationship with. ¬†Sun has been absolutely the very best technology vendor we’ve ever dealt with in terms of support, technical knowledge, and just plain listening to us, so that’s a big issue. ¬†I wish Sun had taken Nexenta’s approach (or would just buy them or offer support or something). ¬†If OpenSolaris continues to be painful, we may fall back on Nexenta instead – remember, ZFS is the driving factor here.
  • Amazon Web Services competitors. ¬†They’ve been promising they’d be coming out for years now and I’m shocked they’ve given Amazon this much runway. ¬†But I believe a few more are getting very close (can’t say more, again, pesky NDAs). ¬†Now, we’re extremely happy with Amazon, so we have no plans to switch, but competition is good for everyone – and Amazon is a fierce competitor. ¬†Plus there are still gaps in Amazon’s strategy, and if I can mix & match to plug some of those gaps, awesome – sign me up.
  • Memcached. ¬†This one’s been on my list for years, and it’s still way up there. ¬†Binary protocol on the verge of shipping, nice patch to resolve some networking issues we’ve seen, and talk about scabability. ¬†If you’re building web apps and this isn’t a core part of your infrastructure, you’re doing it wrong.
  • Big RAM. ¬†4GB DIMMs are dirt cheap, so if you’re not loading your DB and Memcached boxes to the gills, you’re missing the boat. ¬†Cheap 2-socket 64GB (and relatively cheap 128GB at 4-sockets) are here.
  • Sun Fire X4140 and X4440. ¬†The best 1U (2-socket) and 2U (4-socket) servers on earth. ¬†Despite being late to the game with quad-core, Opteron RAM performance kills Xeon, so these are the servers we’re buying. ¬†You can load them to the gills with 4GB DIMMs, enjoy the dual-power supplies (yes, in the 1U box too), and crank out some great stuff.
  • OpenSocial, Y!OS, etc. ¬†The big boys are finally getting real about getting open and cross-pollinating data and I think we’re finally nearing an inflection point. ¬†We’re hiring a Sorcerer to do nothing but think and build in this space. ¬†I’m sure magic will ensue.
  • Nikon D90 and Canon 5D MkII. ¬†Nikon’s taken the photography world by storm with amazing high-ISO performance, and Canon just announced a DSLR that shoots full 1080p video. ¬†Both look amazing and both are game-changers.
  • Onkyo TX-SR806. ¬†I’m an A/V junkie and this thing is amazing. ¬†5 HDMI inputs (need more?), THX Ultra2 Plus (the low-volume enhancements are *awesome* with young kids sleeping at home), automatic room EQ, decodes every modern audio encoding, etc. ¬†I don’t even use the amplifier section (I have separates), but it’s turning out to be the best Pre/Pro I’ve ever owned. ¬†Sounds fabulous on my gear.
  • iPhone App Store. ¬†That thing is a game changer, and we’re barely seeing the tip of the iceberg. ¬†All the other players have to respond – which is great for you and I. ¬†And talk about a platform that’s a dream to develop on!
So there you have it. ¬†Those are the most important pieces of tech I’m watching these days. ¬†I’ll *definitely* be writing up our ZFS experiments as they come along and I have interesting data to share. ¬†Stay tuned. ¬†
 
Oh, and if you’re curious about what I *wish* was on the list, there’s really only one thing: ¬†iTunes syncing. ¬†I have two desktops (one at my office, one at home) and two laptops, plus my wife has accounts on my computers. ¬†Keeping those all in sync so that when I update a playlist at the office, the update is waiting for me at home, is a nightmare. ¬†I’d pay lots of money if someone could solve that – seems like iTunes + AWS + a smart coder = solved, no? ¬†Wish I had some time….
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