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MySQL Goes a Clustering

MySQL AB has unveiled its first clustering technology, designed to significantly improve the availability and performance of its open-source database for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMB).

During the MySQL User's Conference & Expo in Orlando, Fla. Wednesday, the Sweden-based company announced MySQL Cluster for e-commerce and other Web-based applications that require continuous availability.

MySQL Vice President of Marketing Zack Urlocker said MySQL Cluster includes the MySQL database, built on a clustering architecture that serves database applications at a 99.999 percent availability rate.

Urlocker said the availability rate was comparable to clustering features in IBM's DB2 Universal Database, Oracle's 10g database software and Microsoft's SQL Server.

In that respect, he compared the increasing sophistication of MySQL to that of the growth of Linux in the enterprise -- from primarily a developer or department utility to a maturing suite of critical software.

"Previously, clustering was something for the big guys," Urlocker told internetnews.com. "If you were a Fortune 1000, or a Yahoo! or Google or someone you might do this kind of software yourself, but it's very labor-intensive to do. Often it requires dedicated custom programming, expensive shared disks or storage area networks."

The executive explained there are a lot of databases and applications that don't have high-availability functionality that run the risk of losing money or customers if something goes down on the network.

MySQL Cluster, created from the NDB Cluster database technology MySQL acquired from Ericsson spin-off Alzato last October, is the answer to that problem because the clustering technology is being offered as an open-source offering under the dual-licensing model, Urlocker said.

"We want to bring clustering into the mainstream and make it affordable to everyone," Urlocker said.

In a database cluster, data is distributed over a group of inter-connected databases residing on multiple servers, or nodes. With MySQL Cluster, the databases in the cluster work as one database running on low-cost commodity hardware and software.

This "shared nothing" architecture means it doesn't require any shared disks and runs on any commodity hardware, including 32- and 64-bit Intel systems, PowerPC, Linux, Windows and Macintosh.

For someone already using MySQL, MySQL Cluster plugs in as another storage engine. Users get 99.999 percent availability, high performance and throughput with a response time of 5-10 milliseconds and throughput of 100,000 replicated transactions per second; no single point of failure; sub-second failover; and greater scalability over the basic MySQL database

A preview version of MySQL Cluster is available now for free download under the open source GPL license from the MySQL Web site. Under the company's dual-licensing model, a production version will be available free under the GPL license and a commercial license will be priced at less than $5,000 per processor when MySQL Cluster is ready in the third quarter 2004.