What a n00b!

Percona Live MySQL Conference 2012 - day 1

This week I am fortunate enough to be sent to the Percona Live Conference by my company. I've been sitting here tonight, pondering and recalling sessions for the day; trying to think of all those things that I learned I'm was doing wrong or better tools I could be using. And, since I don't blog enough lately, here we go!

Nothing earth-shattering so far, but some takeaways from sessions I hit up today:

Building a Multi-Master, Mult-Region Database Infrastructure in Amazon EC2

When I first realized this was going to be just a demo of some commercial software (Tungsten Enterprise), not a "lessons-learned" type of session I was pretty disappointed (I didn't read the program carefully enough!). As the speaker got deeper into the talk, though, I became more and more impressed with the technology. Continuent has built some interesting technology, letting you not only failover (and failback!) individual nodes easily, but also entire clusters. They also have some pretty hot backup/restore/replication functionality as well.

One to Many: The Story of Sharding at Box

Definitely the most engaging session of the day for me, personally. The session was a pretty open story about Box's migration from a single database architecture into a sharded architecture (which seems pretty new for them). There were quite a few gotcha's along the way, especially on the application side. One of the more relevant pieces for me was in their clever use of the Tungsten Replicator to move databases between clusters in a fairly ad-hoc fashion.

The 5 Minute DBA: MySQL DBA 101 for Non-DBA's

While I wouldn't exactly call myself a "Non-DBA".. I know enough to be break things worse than they already are, and I am certainly not a full-time DBA. This was a great session a great overview of the basics (needed occasionally), and a solid overview of some of the tools available in the Percona Toolkit that I know I should be using but currently am not. For shame.

Backing up Facebook

I have to be brutally honest and say attending this session was easily the biggest letdown of the day. I was hoping for more from Facebook on this one. We spent about 25 minutes listening to them talk about how they use mysqldump every day on every database server.. in a non-consistency-ensuring way. And when a pointed question was asked about what would happen when they would need to recover a host server to a point in time? The question was basically brushed off saying they'd use some other mechanism to restore (presumably Xtrabackup or something similar).. I thought that's what we were here for? Whatever. I did have some interesting hallway conversation with a couple of fine folks about how perhaps there's some interestingness happening on the database that they're not wanting to talk about that solves this problem for them. That very well could be (and probably is) the right answer, but then why are they at a conference giving a session on doing backups? Ugh. Again.. whatever.

Scaling MySQL Databases for the Web

This was another title that decieved me ('fool me twice', or something like that..). It was less about scaling MySQL and more about a tool developed in-house at YouTube that currently front-ends all MySQL traffic there, doing some intelligent caching and optimization.

One more thing

I usually don't enjoy or look forward to walking around in the exhibit halls at conferences like this, but I did talk with one very interesting vendor that I hadn't heard of before. NuoDB seems to be working on a pretty interesting product that's just about ready to release. I don't really have the time to dive into details about how it supposedly works, but they seem to understand and handle the scaling-back part of elasticity better than most other database vendors I've talked with. They also have a replication strategy that's similar to the way bittorrent works which is a pretty awesome idea. There seems to be nothing open (as in source) about the product, except they want others to write various language bindings for them, so we'll see how well this thing takes off. Definitely an interesting product to watch, though.


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