Open Source Databases And The Cloud: Takeaways From The Percona MySQL Conference [Video]

In the last few years we have seen new distributions emerge, like MariaDB and Percona Server, as viable alternatives to MySQL. These new distributions create more choice for users with increased focus on performance and offer new configurations that empower users to push the limits of their database and optimize in new ways.

At the Percona MySQL conference earlier this month in Santa Clara, Calif., Rackspace connected with the MySQL community to learn about new innovations in the open source database space and speak directly with the community about what DBAs want from a managed database service.  This year’s conference was especially exciting and boasted sessions and keynotes around revolutionary changes to a very stable ecosystem.

At the conference, Daniel Morris and I (Sean Anderson) sat down with SiliconANGLE’s “The Cube” to discuss the conference, the community and the work Rackspace is doing in the data space.

Feel free to watch the entire interview, but it is important to take note of these four key points from the conversation:

Data lives in the cloud.

Increasingly data is generated by applications that live natively in the cloud.  The ease and scalability of the cloud allows for the generation of countless data points, logs and metrics.  This data is used to optimize user interactions and create new functionality in applications that are termed “data driven.”  Since this data was bred in the cloud it only makes sense to store and process it in the cloud.  Data can only move at the speed of light so there are complications in moving data between environments.  This is prompting developers to seriously consider having their data only exist in the cloud.  This brings about new concerns with the integrity of data and congruency of database systems that are being tackled by the community.

“We don’t exist in a world where it’s cloud or nothing.”

Daniel makes a very staunch point here that in the world of Rackspace it’s not “cloud computing or nothing.”  The reality is that moving to the cloud is a journey.  Each company/application/initiative is somewhere in that journey.  There are applications that may never live in the cloud whether due to compliance or performance concerns or other factors.  The way that Rackspace adds value in this journey is by helping them make informed and prudent choices based on the recommendations of experts along with specific considerations of their applications.  Having hybrid capabilities means that we do not shy away from making the best infrastructure recommendation for the desired workload/operation.

The roadmap is important.

The emergence of various cloud providers gives users choices – they can choose the cloud provider that best fits their lens of the future.  Every provider has a different strategy.  It doesn’t mean that one is right and the other is wrong, but one provider may be better aligned with your business needs than others.  Choosing a cloud provider with a roadmap that mirrors your future technology aspirations is key to success.  As open communities accelerate new technology innovation it becomes more important to have expertise behind these new technologies.  We are seeing users pay close attention to the various providers’ roadmaps to understand which will be best equipped to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.  Faith in that roadmap gives developers the peace of mind that they will have the right teams in place if new problems arise.

Open means more than open source.

Daniel points out that Rackspace doesn’t approach the idea of open to just be defined as open source software.  While an open strategy consists of open source technologies, it encompasses more than just the application.  Open means that you can port a workload or application between providers and platforms without disruptive redesign.  Proprietary software will continue to be a part of an open strategy without the added benefit of the communities.  Being open means that development, deployment and growth are all free of the constraints of any specific technology provider.

The future is bright for the open ecosystem of data technologies, whether they are traditional open-sourced databases or new data platforms.  Rackspace will continue to lead in contributions to open initiatives like Trove.  SiliconANGLE Founder John Furrier makes a great point in the video that “open-source wins.” That point is validated by the increased emphasis put on new open data technologies.  Daniel wraps up the sentiment nicely by saying “Just when people think MySQL is running out of steam, the community rallies around it to figure out as workloads change, as things move to the cloud, how do we bring MySQL forward?”  While we don’t have all of the answers about how this will play out, we are excited to be a part of this revolution in data.

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