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April 14, 2004

MySQL adds clustering to open source database

Open source database vendor MySQL AB has introduced a new database clustering product to provide high availability for databases deployed over clustered servers.

By CBR Staff Writer

The Uppsala, Sweden-based database software specialist’s MySQL Cluster product is now in beta testing and features the MySQL database along with distributed in-memory clustering technology.

The product provides 99.999% availability, high performance and throughput and sub-second failover, according to the company, and is available both at no cost under the open source General Public License as well as a commercial license for software vendors and customers who prefer a commercial license.

The addition of clustering capabilities to the MySQL database brings it into closer competition with established database products from the likes of Oracle Corp, IBM Corp and Microsoft Corp.

Even so, in an interview with ComputerWire, MySQL’s VP of marketing Zack Urlocker, said the company is happy to provide a product aimed squarely and unashamedly at the commodity-end of the database market.

We’ve chosen a particular approach that we think has been underserved, the commoditized database market, with a product that is solid, but easy to use, he said.

The company believes there is a gap in the market that has opened up thanks to commercial database vendors adding more and more functionality to their products. If you’re not going to use the features, why pay for them? Urlocker said, before conceding: If you need grid features, buy Oracle, it’s a great product.

While Urlocker shied away from declaring competitive war on the likes of Oracle and IBM, clearly MySQL’s eponymous database is stealing market share away from more established vendors, and will continue to do so as it develops functionality.

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What happens is that the commodity products get better and better. We’re not trying to compete against the big databases with overall features, but we will add capabilities, Urlocker said.

I think we are following in the footsteps of Linux in terms of the usage, he added, noting that Linux first made its way into enterprise accounts on web servers.

Over five or six years Linux has matured from a technology perspective and it has proven itself in certain areas, he said. I think we’re going to follow a similar path. Now customers are wondering if they should have an open source software stack.

The preview version of MySQL Cluster is available now for download under the GPL, while a production version will be available under both licenses in the third quarter. MySQL Cluster will run on Linux as well as Microsoft’s Windows, Sun’s Solaris and Apple’s Mac OS X.

This article is based on material originally published by ComputerWire

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