Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tungsten Development News - Lots of New Features!

Articles on this blog have been pretty scanty of late for a simple reason--we have been 100% heads-down in Tungsten code since the recent MySQL Conference. The result has been a number of excellent improvements that are already in Subversion and will appear as open source builds over the next couple of weeks.

Tungsten has a simple goal: create highly available, performant database clusters using unaltered commodity databases that are simple to manage and look as close to a single database as possible for applications. Over the last two months we completed the integration of individual Tungsten components necessary to make this happen.

Full integration is a big step forward and finally gets us to the ease-of-use we were seeking. Imagine you want to add a slave database to the cluster. There's no management procedure any more--you just turn it on. Managers in the cluster automatically detect the new slave and add it as a data source. That's the way we want every component to work from top to bottom--either on or off, end of story. It was really nice to see it start to work a few weeks ago.

We are now ready to start pushing builds out to the Tungsten SourceForge.net project. Here is a selection of the features:

Tungsten Replicator -- API support for seamless failover, certification on Solaris, better Windows support, testing against MariaDB, and many other improvements like flush events for seamless failover. There are already 26 fixes in JIRA and I expect more before we post the build.

Tungsten SQL Router -- Pluggable load balancing with session consistency support. Session consistency means users see their own writes but can read changes by other users from a slave. It works using a single database connection, which is an important step toward eliminating application changes in order to scale on master/slave clusters.

Tungsten Manager -- Directory-based management model that allows you to view and manage both JMX-enabled services as well as regular operating system processes that follow the familiar LSB pattern of 'service name start/stop/restart'. The managers use group communications and can broadcast commands across multiple hosts, handle failures, and automatically detect new services as they come online.

Tungsten Monitor -- Improved monitoring of replicator status including slave latency, which is necessary to guide SQL Router load balancing features like session consistency.

There's a lot going on with Tungsten right now, in fact far too many things to mention even in a longish post like this one. One of my current code projects is to implement built-in backup and restore for Tungsten Replicator. I am planning on supporting slave auto-provisioning: a new slave comes up, restores the latest backup, and starts replicating. All you have to do is turn the slave on. (More of that on/off stuff--it's kind of an obsession for us at this point.)

Integrating backup/restore is the final big feature for Tungsten Replicator 1.0--after this we plan to turn attention to parallel replication and are already discussing how this might work with several potential customers. Feel free to contact me through this blog or better yet post on the community forums parallel replication topic to join the conversation.

One final bit of news, we are starting to work seriously on Tungsten PostgreSQL integration thanks to a new partnership between Continuent and 2nd Quadrant. This work is commercially focused for now but will lead to additional open source features in the not too distant future. Keep watching this space... :)

p.s., We also had a nice refit on the community website. Check it out.

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Scaling Databases Using Commodity Hardware and Shared-Nothing Design