President Obama calls for diversity efforts and openness with Mark Zuckerberg at GES

US President Barack Obama speaks at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California on June 24, 2016.        (Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images) President Barack Obama praised tech companies’ efforts to improve diversity in their workforces and called for governments around the world to embrace openness and transparency today at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.
Obama encouraged companies to continue hiring workers from diverse backgrounds, citing tech companies’ diversity reports as a step in the right direction. The… Read More


A running tab of what tech people think about whether we’re living in a simulation

elon musk code confere Are we living in a simulation? For whatever reason, this is a hot topic in Silicon Valley these days. It all more or less started when Tesla Motors CEO (and soon to be SolarCity CEO — check one off for the simulation argument there) Elon Musk made a claim at the Code Conference that there’s such a high chance that we’re living in a simulation that it’s more likely we… Read More


Percona Toolkit 2.2.18 is now available

Percona Toolkit

Percona ToolkitPercona announces the availability of Percona Toolkit 2.2.18, released on June 24, 2016.

Percona Toolkit is a collection of advanced command-line tools to perform a variety of MySQL server and system tasks that are too difficult or complex for DBAs to perform manually. Percona Toolkit, like all Percona software, is free and open source.

This release is the current stable release in the 2.2 series. It includes new features and bug fixes as well as improved MySQL 5.7 compatibility. Full details are below. Downloads are available here and from the Percona Software Repositories.

New features:

  • 1537416: pt-stalk now sorts the output of transactions by id
  • 1553340: Added “Shared” memory info to pt-summary
  • PT-24: Added the --no-vertical-format option for pt-query-digest, allowing compatibility with non-standard MySQL clients that don’t support the G directive at the end of a statement

Bug fixes:

  • 1402776: Fixed error when parsing tcpdump capture with pt-query-digest
  • 1521880: Improved pt-online-schema-change plugin documentation
  • 1547225: Clarified the description of the --attribute-value-limit option for pt-query-digest
  • 1569564: Fixed all PERL-based tools to return a zero exit status when run with the --version option
  • 1576036: Fixed error that sometimes prevented to choose the primary key as index, when using the --where option for pt-table-checksum
  • 1585412: Fixed the inability of pt-query-digest to parse the general log generated by MySQL (and Percona Server) 5.7 instance
  • PT-36: Clarified the description of the --verbose option for pt-slave-restart

You can find release details in the release notes and the 2.2.18 milestone on Launchpad. Bugs can be reported on the Percona Toolkit launchpad bug tracker.


Percona Server for MongoDB 3.0.12-1.7 is now available


Percona Server for MongoDBPercona announces the release of Percona Server for MongoDB 3.0.12-1.7 on June 24, 2016. Download the latest version from the Percona web site or the Percona Software Repositories.

Percona Server for MongoDB 3.0.12-1.7 is an enhanced, open source, fully compatible, highly scalable, zero-maintenance downtime database supporting the MongoDB v3.0 protocol and drivers. Based on MongoDB 3.0.12, it extends MongoDB with MongoRocks and PerconaFT storage engines, as well as features like external authentication and audit logging. Percona Server for MongoDB requires no changes to MongoDB applications or code.

NOTE: The MongoRocks storage engine is still under development. There is currently no officially released version of MongoRocks that can be recommended for production.

This release includes all changes from MongoDB 3.0.12, and the following known issue that will be fixed in a future release:

  • The --version does not correctly report the software version. The effected binaries are:
    • bsondump
    • mongodump
    • mongoexport
    • mongofiles
    • mongoimport
    • mongooplog
    • mongorestore
    • mongostat
    • mongotop

The release notes are available in the official documentation.



Migrate from MS SQL Server to MySQL

Migrate from MS SQL Server to MySQL

In this blog series, I will share my experiences as I migrate commercial databases (i.e., Microsoft SQL or Oracle) to open source (MySQL). More specifically, we will look at how you can migrate from MS SQL Server to MySQL.

For this first blog post I’ve chosen Jira database as an example, and used three different tools to migrate Jira database in Microsoft SQL Server to MySQL:

  1. MySQL Workbench (opensource)
  2. Amazon DMS (cloud tool)
  3. Ispirer MnMTK 2015 (commercial tool)

When I started my research, I was under the impression that Jira database would be easy to migrate (no stored procedures, no triggers, etc.). It turned out that there were some problems that I was able to fix.

One of the reasons I chose Jira as opposed to some standard MS SQL database (such as AdventureWorks2014) is that it is a non-standard choice. Most of the software vendors use standard databases to test their software, and it works perfectly on those standard databases. Jira is not a usual choice and will be closer to real life.

MySQL Workbench

MySQL Workbench supports Microsoft SQL Server migration. The migration is straightforward except the issues with character sets. I have experienced the error “Could not successfully convert UCS-2 string to UTF-8”.


It turns out (with the help of Martin Brennan’s blog) that we will need to use “ODBC (FreeTDS)” drive for MS SQL, and enable sending Unicode data as UTF8:


After changing those settings, I was able to successfully migrate Jira database from MS SQL to MySQL.

Advantages and disadvantages:

  • Plus: free and open source tool, multi-platform
  • Plus: successful migration for Jira
  • Plus: supports multi-threaded migrations (increase worker tasks if needed, default value is 2)
  • Minus: needed some tweaks to work with character sets
  • Minus: not very easy to debug errors

Amazon DMS

AWS Database Migration Service supports migrating from MS SQL to MySQL, but the actual migration method is different from other tools. It uses the source database (MS SQL server in this case) replication feature to stream the data to the target database (MySQL). Amazon DMS starts a temporary “migration” instance that is used to stream data. Both the source and destination database can be in AWS (EC2 or RDS) or outside AWS (no restriction).


The important limitation for MS SQL migration: it only works with MS SQL Server versions that support replication (subscription service). It doesn’t work with MS SQL Express edition. Also, if the subscription service is not enabled the DMS can’t even see the schema(s) to migrate (full list of limitations for MS SQL Server migration).

I’ve also gotten errors around the “constraint” name being too long:

2016-04-02T18:20:23 [TARGET_LOAD ]E: Failed to execute statement: 'ALTER TABLE `dbo`.`AO_38321B_CUSTOM_CONTENT_LINK`
[122502] ODBC general error. (ar_odbc_stmt.c:4048)

The problem here is that “AO_38321B_CUSTOM_CONTENT_LINK_pk_AO_38321B_CUSTOM_CONTENT_LINK_ID” is too long a string for MySQL. At the same time, this name does not really matter as this is the PRIMARY KEY.

After changing the “constraint” name in MS SQL to smaller strings, I could migrate all tables to MySQL.

Amazon DMS notes: Amazon DMS lets you migrate from a database located anywhere (not necessarily in AWS) to another database located anywhere (not necessarily in AWS) — however, the traffic will go thru AWS. Thus the migration path is fastest and the most beneficial if either the source or target (or both) instances are in AWS (for example, ec2 or rds instances).

Advantages and disadvantages:

  • Plus: successful migration for Jira
  • Plus: Multithreaded execution (this is a huge advantage for migrating large databases)
  • Plus: In addition to migration, you can also use a replication link between the SQL Server and the new MySQL to fetch the new changes. This is a huge advantage when migrating a large database with lots of traffic and tight downtime requirements.
  • Minus: replication should be enabled to perform a migration, which means that migrating from SQL Server Express isn’t supported.
  • (Can be plus and minus): All traffic is going through a cloud environment.

Potential issues

I’ve figured out that the table structures generated by Workbench and Amazon DMS are different. For example:

Workbench generated:

  `CONTENT_KEY` varchar(255) DEFAULT NULL,
  `LINK_LABEL` varchar(255) DEFAULT NULL,
  `LINK_URL` varchar(255) DEFAULT NULL,
  `SEQUENCE` int(11) DEFAULT '0',
  KEY `index_ao_38321b_cus1828044926` (`CONTENT_KEY`)

AWS DMS generated:

  `ID` int(11) NOT NULL,

In AWS DMS version, the index on CONTENT_KEY is missing and ID is not declared as auto_increment. However, the Workbench “lost” the character set.

At the same time, I was able to start Jira on top of two versions of the MySQL database (migrated by using Workbench and Amazon DMS).

Ispirer MnMTK 2015

Ispirer MnMTK 2015 toolkit is a commercial (not open-source) software application that lets you migrate from MS SQL Server to MySQL (among other databases). Ispirer has provided me with a demo license so I can test the migration.

I was able to migrate the Jira database from MS SQL to MySQL with the Ispirer SQLWays Wizard:


One issue with this process is that SQL Ways Wizard relies on the MySQL command line utility (“mysql”), which should be in the path. If you do not have MySQL installed on the migration machine, or it is not in the path, the migration will fail:


To fix simply add the MySQL “bin” directory to the path. In addition, you can use the SQL Ways Wizard to generate scripts and run those scripts on the destination host where the utilities are installed.

Advantages and disadvantages:

  • Plus: successful migration for Jira
  • Plus: support from SQL ways: can work on fixing potential migration issues (requires paid license)
  • Plus: can convert stored procedures, triggers, foreign key constraints
  • Minus: commercial, not open source software.
  • Minus: only runs on Windows (however, target machine for the database migration can be Linux)
  • Minus: no multi-treaded migration support (can manually run multiple instances of SQL Ways)


All tools I tried finally worked, but at the same time I was surprised with the number of issues I found. Migrating a very simple database (no stored procedures, no triggers, no foreign key constraints) should be easier.

Another surprise was that all tools are focused on a nice GUI with “next” buttons. For migrating one database to another, I would prefer using a command line tool interface (may be similar to Percona toolkit or iconv):

# dbmigrate --source user:pass@sqlserverhost:1433 --target user:pass@mysqlhost:3309 --parallel 8 --verbose --overwrite

Actually, Ispirer MnMTK does have a command line migration utility included, but it only works on Windows.

Until somebody develops a better command line tool, any of the above solutions will help you migrate from MS SQL Server to MySQL.


Workato unveils Personal Workbot to silence some of the Slack bot noise

Multiple apps jumping off a tablet screen. Bots can be useful little pieces of technology to help you work smarter, and in Slack they can help make the communications tool a kind of centralized enterprise application dashboard. The trouble is that they also can generate lots of unwanted noise in the form of over-messaging. To help bring that message chaos under control, Workato released a tool today called Personal Workbot designed… Read More


Narvar raises $22 million to help internet retailers deliver physical goods without frustrating customers

A Sephora customer tracks their order with a Narvar-powered app. Battery Ventures led a $22 million, Series B investment in Narvar Inc., a company helping internet retailers keep their customers happy post-purchase, meaning until their packages are delivered, and if need be, successfully returned for an exchange or refund. Battery was joined by Fung Capital, a logistics-focused fund, and Narvar’s earlier backers Accel Partners and Freestyle… Read More


Salesforce Communities update shoots for simplification and personalization

Business manipulating representation of social network. As companies try to move to more of a self-service approach to customer service, online forums become more important than ever to help users find the right answers quickly, whether troubleshooting a problem or making a buying decision. Today, Salesforce released an update to its Community Cloud service that makes it easier for community managers to update pages and put the right information… Read More


Twilio prices its IPO at $15 per share, above its previous target

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08:  Co-Founder & CEO at Twilio Inc. Jeff Lawson during TechCrunch Disrupt London 2015 - Day 2 at Copper Box Arena on December 8, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for TechCrunch) *** Local Caption *** Jeff Lawson Twilio today said it would price its initial public offering at $15 per share, which would value the company at around $1.23 billion. That would value Twilio above its previous $1 billion valuation from its last financing round. With the pricing, the company expects to raise around $150 million, with an option for another 1.5 million shares to be purchased. It’s also a higher price than… Read More


Troubleshooting configuration issues: Q & A

Troubleshooting configuration issues

Troubleshooting configuration issuesIn this blog, I will provide answers to the Q & A for the Troubleshooting configuration issues webinar.

First, I want to thank you for attending the June, 9 webinar. The recording and slides for the webinar are available here. Below is the list of your questions that I wasn’t able to answer during the webinar, with responses:

Q: What are the predefined roles installed per default?

A: MySQL does not support roles by default. But, if you need roles you can either use MariaDB or emulate roles with Percona PAM Plugin and proxy users. But MySQL has pre-built user accounts. One of them is


, which has all available privileges, and anonymous account that can access the test database without a password. See the user manual for more information.

Q: How do you determine the root cause for a query that just hangs?

A: There are several possible reasons for a hanging query. They include:

  1. Poorly optimized query – it doesn’t really “hang,” but just requires a lot of time to execute. Dealing with these types of queries was discussed in the Troubleshooting Slow Queries webinar.
  2. The query is waiting for a lock set by another query or transaction. These issues were discussed in the Troubleshooting locking issues webinar
  3. A bug in MySQL.

When I see hanging queries I look into all the above possibilities. But I prefer to start at query optimization.

Q: Can we get the powerpoint slides?

A: I do not use PowerPoint to create slides. Slides are available in PDF format only.

Q: 1) Is it safety to use SQL_LOG_BIN = 0 for specific connections (statements), for example for DELETE, when we need to keep old data on a slave, but delete from master? What are side-effects? Can it break replication?

A: Using


 itself is safe, but you need to understand what you are doing. For example, if you delete data in a table that has a unique key on the master, and then insert a row that has the same unique value that existed in one of rows you deleted, replication will fail with “Duplicate key” error.

Q: Is it reasonable to disable query_cache_type (set 0) on MySQL instances with very big (huge) amount of data?

A: Yes. I would recommend it.

Q: 3) How does the number of innodb_buffer_pool_instances affect performance? Does a lot of innodb_buffer_pool_instances = high performance?

A: InnoDB introduced buffer pool instances to reduce contention “as different threads read and write to cached pages“. However, they improve performance only if you have many concurrent threads inside InnoDB.

Q: I have a question, where can I download the threadpool plugin at Percona? I checked your download page and couldn’t find it. Is it bundled in the Percona official release? wW have 5.6.28,29 and 30 and there is no thread.so in the plugin directory. Can you let me know how to get it?

A: Percona built thread pool into Percona Server; a separate download isn’t necessary. See the user manual for instructions.


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