Oct
03
2017
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Webinar October 4, 2017: Databases in the Hosted Cloud

Databases in the Hosted Cloud 1

Join Percona’s Chief Evangelist, Colin Charles as he presents Databases in the Hosted Cloud on Wednesday, October 4, 2017, at 7:00 am PDT / 10:00 am EDT (UTC-7).Databases in the Hosted Cloud 1


Today you can use hosted MySQL/MariaDB/Percona Server for MySQL/PostgreSQL in several “cloud providers” as a database as a service (DBaaS). Learn the differences, the access methods and the level of control you have for the various public databases in the hosted cloud offerings:

  • Amazon RDS including Aurora
  • Google Cloud SQL
  • Rackspace OpenStack DBaaS
  • Oracle Cloud’s MySQL Service

The administration tools and ideologies behind each are completely different, and you are in a “locked-down” environment. Some considerations include:

  • Different backup strategies
  • Planning for multiple data centers for availability
  • Where do you host your application?
  • How do you get the most performance out of the solution?
  • What does this all cost?
  • Monitoring

Growth topics include:

  • How do you move from one DBaaS to another?
  • How do you move from a DBaaS to your own hosted platform?

Register for the webinar here.

Securing Your MySQLColin Charles, Chief Evangelist

Colin Charles is the Chief Evangelist at Percona. He was previously on the founding team for MariaDB Server in 2009, worked in MySQL since 2005 and been a MySQL user since 2000. Before joining MySQL, he worked actively on the Fedora and OpenOffice.org projects. He’s well known within many open source communities and has spoken on the conference circuit.

 

Oct
02
2017
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AWS fires back at Larry Ellison’s claims, saying it’s just Larry being Larry

 When Oracle chairman Larry Ellison announced his company’s new autonomous database product at the Oracle OpenWorld conference keynote, he took several minutes to disparage AWS, one of his chief rivals in the cloud market. As market leader, Amazon stands firmly in Ellison’s crosshairs, but AWS took exception to his comments, and decided to issue a public rebuke. Read More

Sep
21
2017
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Percona Support with Amazon RDS

Amazon RDS

This blog post will give a brief overview of Amazon RDS capabilities and limitations, and how Percona Support can help you succeed in your Amazon RDS deployments.

One of the common questions that we get from customers and prospective customers is about Percona Support with Amazon RDS. As many companies have shifted to the cloud, or are considering how to do so, it’s natural to try to understand the limitations inherent in different deployment strategies.

Why Use Amazon RDS?

As more companies move to using the cloud, we’ve seen a shift towards work models in technical teams that require software developers to take on more operational duties than they have traditionally. This makes it essential to abstract infrastructure so it can be interacted with as code, whether through automation or APIs. Amazon RDS presents a compelling DBaaS product with significant flexibility while maintaining ease of deployment.

Use Cases Where RDS Isn’t a Fit

There are a number of use cases where the inherent limitations of RDS make it not a good fit. With RDS, you are trading off the flexibility to deploy complex environment topologies for the ease of deploying with the push of a button, or a simple API call. RDS eliminates most of the operational overhead of running a database in your environment by abstracting away the physical or virtual hardware and the operating system, networking and replication configuration. This, however, means that you can’t get too fancy with replication, networking or the underlying operating system or hardware.

When Using RDS, Which Engine is Right For Me?

Amazon’s RDS has numerous database engines available, each suited to a specific use case. The three RDS database engines we’ll be discussing briefly here are MySQL, MariaDB and Aurora.

Use MySQL when you have an application tuned for MySQL, you need to use MySQL plug-ins or you wish to maintain compatibility to support external replicas in EC2. MySQL with RDS has support for Memcached, including plug-in support and 5.7 compatible query optimizer improvements. Unfortunately, thread pooling and similar features that are available in Percona Server for MySQL are not currently available in the MySQL engine on RDS.

Use MariaDB when you have an application that requires features available for this engine but not in others. Currently, MariaDB engines in RDS support thread pooling, table elimination, user roles and virtual columns. MySQL or Aurora don’t support these. MariaDB engines in RDS support global transaction IDs (GTIDs), but they are based on the MariaDB implementation. They are not compatible with MySQL GTIDs. This can affect replication or migrations in the future.

Use Aurora when you want a simple-to-setup solution with strong availability guarantees and minimal configuration. This RDS database engine is cloud-native, built with elasticity and the vagaries of running in a distributed infrastructure in mind. While it does limit your configuration and optimization capabilities more than other RDS database engines, it handles a lot of things for you – including ensuring availability. Aurora automatically detects database crashes and restarts without the need for crash recovery or to rebuild the database cache. If the entire instance fails, Aurora automatically fails over to one of up to 15 read replicas.

So If RDS Handles Operations, Why Do I Need Support?

Generally speaking, properly using a database implies four quadrants of tasks. RDS only covers one of these four quadrants: the operational piece. Your existing staff (or another provider such as Percona) must cover each of the remaining quadrants.

Amazon RDS
Amazon RDS

The areas where people run into trouble are slow queries, database performance not meeting expectations or other such issues. In these cases they often can contact Amazon’s support line. The AWS Support Engineers are trained and focused on addressing issues specific to the AWS environment, however. They’re not DBAs and do not have the database expertise necessary to fully troubleshoot your database issues in depth. Often, when an RDS user encounters a performance issue, the first instinct is to increase the size of their AWS deployment because it’s a simple solution. A better path would be investigating performance tuning. More hardware is not necessarily the best solution. You often end up spending far more on your monthly cloud hosting bill than necessary by ignoring unoptimized configurations and queries.

As noted above, when using MariaDB or MySQL RDS database engines you can make use of plug-ins and inject additional configuration options that aren’t available in Aurora. This includes the ability to replicate to external instances, such as in an EC2 environment. This provides more configuration flexibility for performance optimization – but does require expertise to make use of it.

Outside support vendors (like Percona) can still help you even when you eliminate the operational elements by lending the expertise to your technical teams and educating them on tuning and optimization strategies.

Sep
15
2017
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Why Dropbox decided to drop AWS and build its own infrastructure and network

 There is always a tension inside companies about whether to build or to buy, whatever the need. A few years ago Dropbox decided it was going to move the majority of its infrastructure requirements from AWS into its own data centers. As you can imagine, it took a monumental effort, but the company believed that the advantages of controlling its own destiny would be worth all of the challenges… Read More

Sep
14
2017
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AWS now offers a virtual machine with over 4TB of memory

 Earlier this year, Amazon’s AWS group said that it was working on bringing instance types with between 4 to 16TB of memory to its users. It’s now starting to fulfill this promise as the company today launched its largest EC2 machine (in terms of memory size) yet: the x1e.32xlarge instance with a whopping 4.19TB of RAM. Previously, EC2’s largest instance only featured just… Read More

Aug
28
2017
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VMware Cloud is now live on AWS — and IT pros just did a little happy dance

 When VMware announced it was partnering with AWS last fall, it turned more than a few enterprise heads. After all, we’re talking about one company that dominates virtual machines on-prem, and the other in the public cloud. Together, the two companies make a powerful combination — and VMware made the whole shebang official today at VMworld when it announced that VMware Cloud was live… Read More

Aug
14
2017
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Amazon Macie helps businesses protect their sensitive data in the cloud

 Amazon’s AWS cloud computing service hosted its annual NY Summit today and it used the event to launch a new service: Amazon Macie. The idea behind Macie is to use machine learning to help businesses protect their sensitive data in the cloud. Read More

Aug
09
2017
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AWS just proved why standards drive technology platforms

 When AWS today became a full-fledged member of the container standards body, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, it represented a significant milestone. By joining Google, IBM, Microsoft, Red Hat and just about every company that matters in the space, AWS has acknowledged that when it comes to container management, standards matter. Read More

Aug
09
2017
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How to Configure Aurora RDS Parameters

Aurora RDS Parameters

Aurora RDS ParametersIn this blog post, we’ll look at some tips on how to configure Aurora RDS parameters.

I was recently deploying a few Aurora RDS instances, a process very similar to configuring a regular RDS instance. I noticed a few minor differences in the way you configure Aurora RDS parameters, and very few articles on how the commands should be structured (for RDS as well as Aurora). The only real literature available is the official Amazon RDS documentation.

This blog provides a concise “how-to” guide to quickly change Aurora RDS parameters using the AWS CLI. Aurora retains the parameter group model introduced with RDS, with new instances having the default read only parameter groups. For a new instance, you need to create and allocate a new parameter group (this requires a DB reboot). After that, you can apply changes to dynamic variables immediately. In other words, the first time you add the DB parameter group you’ll need to reboot even if the variable you are configuring is dynamic. It’s best to create a new DB parameter group when initializing your clusters. Nothing stops you from adding more than one host to the same DB Parameter Group rather than creating one per instance.

In addition to the DB Parameter Group, each instance is also allocated a DB Cluster Parameter Group. The DB Parameter Group is used for instance-level parameters, while the DB Cluster Parameter Group is used for cluster-level parameters (and applies to all instances in a cluster). You’ll find some of the MySQL engine variables can only be found in the DB Cluster Parameter Group. Here you will find a handy reference of all the DB cluster and DB instance parameters that are viewable or configurable for Aurora instances.

To run these commands, you’ll need to have the “aws” cli tool installed and configured. Note that the force-failover option used for RDS instances doesn’t apply to Aurora. You should perform either a controlled failover or let Aurora handle this. Also, the group family to use for Aurora is “oscar5.6”. The commands to set this up are as follows:

aws rds create-db-parameter-group
    --db-parameter-group-name percona-opt
    --db-parameter-group-family oscar5.6
    --description "Percona Optimizations"
aws rds modify-db-parameter-group
    --db-parameter-group-name percona-opt
    --parameters "ParameterName=max_connections,ParameterValue=5000,ApplyMethod=immediate"
# For each instance-name:
aws rds modify-db-instance --db-instance-identifier <instance-name>
    --db-parameter-group-name=percona-opt
aws rds reboot-db-instance
    --db-instance-identifier <instance-name>

Once you create the initial DB parameter group, configure the variables as follows:

aws rds modify-db-parameter-group
    --db-parameter-group-name <instance-name>
    --parameters "ParameterName=max_connect_errors,ParameterValue=999999,ApplyMethod=immediate"
aws rds modify-db-parameter-group
    --db-parameter-group-name <instance-name>
    --parameters "ParameterName=max_connect_errors,ParameterValue=999999,ApplyMethod=immediate"
## Verifying change:
aws rds describe-db-parameters
      --db-parameter-group-name aurora-instance-1
      | grep -B7 -A2 'max_connect_errors'

Please keep in mind, it can take a few seconds to propagate changes to nodes. Give it a moment before checking the values with “show global variables”. You can configure the DB Cluster Parameter group similarly, for example:

# Create a new db cluster parameter group
aws rds create-db-cluster-parameter-group --db-cluster-parameter-group-name percona-cluster --db-parameter-group-family oscar5.6 --description "new cluster group"
# Tune a variable on the db cluster parameter group
aws rds modify-db-cluster-parameter-group --db-cluster-parameter-group-name percona-cluster --parameters "ParameterName=innodb_flush_log_at_trx_commit,ParameterValue=2,ApplyMethod=immediate"
# Allocate the new db cluster parameter to your cluster
aws rds modify-db-cluster --db-cluster-identifier <cluster_identifier> --db-cluster-parameter-group-name=percona-cluster
# And of course, for viewing the cluster parameters
aws rds describe-db-cluster-parameters --db-cluster-parameter-group-name=percona-cluster

I hope you find this article useful, please make sure to share with the community!

Jul
27
2017
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It looks like Amazon would be losing a lot of money if not for AWS

 Amazon reported its second-quarter earnings today, and it was a bit of a whiff — and a bummer for Jeff Bezos, who is now no longer the solar system’s richest human and has been relegated to the unfortunate position of second-richest human. Read More

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