Percona Live London 2014 Wrap Up

Percona Live London 2014 SummaryThe 2014 edition of Percona Live London brought together attendees from 30 countries to hear insightful talks from leaders in the MySQL community. The conference kicked off on Monday with a full day of tutorials followed by the very popular Community Dinner featuring a double decker bus shuttle from the conference to the event.

Tuesday started with keynote talks by representatives from MySQL, VMware, HGST, Codership, and Percona. I particularly enjoyed the talks by Tomas Ulin of MySQL (which highlighted the upcoming MySQL 5.7 release) and Robert Hodges of VMware (which focused on the evolution of MySQL). The remainder of the day was filled by six time slots of breakout sessions (30 sessions in all) broken into 10 tracks. The day wrapped up with the always popular Community Networking Reception. Attesting to the quality of the conference, 4 out of 5 respondents to our post conference survey indicate they are likely to attend the conference again in 2015.

The session slides are available by visiting the Percona Live London 2014 conference website (look for the “Session Slides” button in the right hand column). Slides are added as they come in from the speakers so please check back if the slides are not yet available for a specific talk that interests you.

Special thanks goes out to the Percona Live London 2014 Conference Committee which put together such a great program:

  • Cedric Peintre of Dailymotion
  • David Busby of Percona
  • Colin Charles of MariaDB
  • Luis Motta Campos of the ebay Classified Group
  • Nicolai Plum of
  • Morgan Tocker of Oracle
  • Art van Scheppingen of Spil Games

Percona Live London 2014 Attendee Survey

Percona Live London 2014 Attendee SurveyThis year we collaborated with ComputerworldUK to run a short survey at the conference which should appear in that publication in the near future. We had 64 responses, all of them being form MySQL professionals who attended the conference. The results were interesting:

Do you agree with the statement that “Oracle has been a good steward of MySQL over the past twelve months”?
YES = 81%
NO = 19%

Are you currently running a production OpenStack environment in your organization?
YES = 17%
NO = 83%

Have you evaluated OpenStack within the past twelve months?
YES = 25%
NO = 75%

Do you plan to evaluate OpenStack in the next twelve months?
YES = 48%
NO = 52%

Are you currently using an AWS product to run MySQL in the Cloud?
YES = 28%
NO = 72%

Are you more likely to switch to a non-MySQL open source database now than you were twelve months ago?
YES = 35%
NO = 65%

The sentiment about Oracle’s stewardship of MySQL compares favorably with the comments by our own Peter Zaitsev in a recent ZDNet article titled “MySQL: Why the open source database is better off under Oracle“.

Percona Live MySQL Conference and OpenStack Live Conference

Percona Live London 2014The ratings related to OpenStack mirror our experience with the strong growth in interest in that technology. In response, we are launching the inaugural OpenStack Live 2015 conference in Silicon Valley which will focus on making attendees more successful with OpenStack with a particular emphasis on the role of MySQL and Trove. The event will be April 13-14, 2015 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. The call for proposals closes on November 16, 2014.

Our next Percona Live MySQL Conference and Expo is April 13-16, 2015 in Silicon Valley. Join us for the largest MySQL conference in the world – last year’s event had over 1,100 registered attendees from 40 countries who enjoyed a full four days of tutorials, keynotes, breakout sessions, networking events, BOFs, and more. The call for speaking proposals closes November 16, 2014 and Early Bird registration rates are still available so check out the conference website now for full details.

Thanks to everyone who helped make Percona Live London 2014 a great success. I look forward to the Percona Live MySQL Conference and the OpenStack Live Conference next April in Silicon Valley!

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Get a handle on your HA at Percona Live London 2014

Liz_Fred_Kenny_Percona Live London

From left: Liz van Dijk, Frédéric Descamps and Kenny Gryp

If you’re following this blog, it’s quite likely you’re already aware of the Percona Live London 2014 conference coming up in just a few days. Just in case, though (you know, if you’re still looking for an excuse to sign up), I wanted to put a spotlight on the tutorial to be delivered by my esteemed colleagues Frédéric Descamps (@lefred) and Kenny Gryp (@gryp), and myself.

The past two years at Percona we’ve been spending a substantial amount of time working with customers taking their first steps into creating Highly Available MySQL environments built on Galera. Percona XtraDB Cluster allows you to get it up and running very fast, but as any weathered “HA” DBA will tell you, building the cluster is only the beginning. (Percona XtraDB Cluster is an open source (free) high-availability and high-scalability solution for MySQL clustering.)

Any cluster technology is likely to introduce a great amount of complexity to your environment, and in our tutorial we want to show you not only how to get started, but also how to avoid many of the operational pitfalls we’ve encountered. Our tutorial, Percona XtraDB Cluster in a nutshell, will be taking place on Monday 3 November and is a full-day (6 hours) session, with an intense hands-on approach.

We’ll be covering a great deal of practical topics, such as:

  • Things to keep in mind when migrating an existing environment over to PXC
  • How to manage and maintain the cluster, keeping it in good shape
  • Load balancing requests across the cluster
  • Considerations for deploying PXC in the cloud

Planning on attending? Be sure to come prepared! Given the hands-on approach of the tutorial, make sure you bring your laptop with enough disk space (~20GB) and processing power to run at least 4 small VirtualBox VM’s.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Facebook MySQL database engineers ready for Percona Live London 2014

With 1.28 billion active users, Facebook MySQL database engineers are active and extremely valuable contributors to the global MySQL community. So naturally they are also active participants of Percona Live MySQL conferences! And next week’s Percona Live London 2014 (Nov. 3-4) is no exception. (Register now and use the promotional code “Facebook” to save £30!)

I spoke with Facebook database engineers Yoshinori “Yoshi” Matsunobu and Shlomo Priymak about their upcoming sessions along with what’s new at Facebook since our last conversation back in April.

Percona Live London 2014Tom: Yoshi, last year Facebook deployed MySQL 5.6 on all production environments – what have you and your team learned since doing that? And do you have a few best practices you could share? I realize you’ll be going into detail during your session in London (MySQL 5.6 and WebScaleSQL at Facebook), but maybe a few words on a couple of the bigger ones?

Yoshi: MySQL 5.6 has excellent replication enhancements to use in large-scale deployments. For example, crash safe slave makes it possible to recover without rebuilding a slave instance on server crash. This can greatly minimize slave downtime, especially if your database size is large. There are many other new features such as GTID, multi-threaded slave, streaming mysqlbinlog and we actively use them in production.

For InnoDB, Online DDL is a good example to ease operations. Many MySQL users are doing schema changes by switching masters. This can minimize downtime but requires operational efforts. Online DDL made things much easier.

Tom: Facebook is an active and extremely valuable part of the overall MySQL community and ecosystem – what are some of the key features and improvements you’ve contributed in the past year since moving to MySQL 5.6?

Yoshi: For InnoDB, I think online defragmentation and faster full table scan are the most valuable contributions from Facebook in 5.6. I have received very positive feedback about faster InnoDB full table scan (Logical ReadAhead). My colleague Rongrong will speak about something interesting regarding online defragmentation at Percona Live London. For Replication, we have done many optimizations to make GTID and MTS work without pain. Semi-Synchronous mysqlbinlog and backported Loss-Less semisync from MySQL 5.7 are very useful when you use Semi-Synchronous replication.

Tom: Shlomo, your sesson, “MySQL Automation at Facebook Scale,” will be of great interest to DBAs at large and growing organizations considering that Facebook has one of the world’s largest MySQL database clusters. What are the two or three most significant things that you’ve learned as a database engineer operating a cluster of this size? And has anything surprised you along the way (so far)?

Shlomo: This is a great question! We like to speak of “10x” at Facebook when thinking of scaling. For example, what would you do differently if the number of servers you had was 10x more than what it is? This type of mental exercise is surprisingly useful when working with systems at scale. If you, or any of the readers, try to extrapolate this about systems you manage, there will be things you’ll be imagining about how a system like this would be – and you won’t be too far from our reality in many aspects.

You’d imagine that we automate much of the single units of work, like master/slave failover, upgrades and schema changes. You’d suspect we have automated fault detection, self managing systems, good alarming and self remediation. You’d presume that if you’re used to running a command on 100 machines, you’ll now be running it on 1000. At least that’s what I thought to myself, so these are not the things that surprised me. There are a few fundamental shifts in one’s thinking when you get to these sizes, which I didn’t foresee.

The first one is that there is absolutely no such thing as “one-off.” If there is a server somewhere that hits a problem every three years, and you have 1000 servers, this will be happening daily! Take it to 10,000 servers, and you can see absolutely nothing is a “one-off”. We can’t write things off as “worst case, I’ll get an SMS.” Whatever it is, we have to chase it down and fix it. Not just that – to deploy a fix at scale can require writing fairly large amounts of code, a fix that could be deployed manually by a DBA in smaller environments.

The second one is adapting to constraints which are very pragmatic and tangible. If you’re on AWS, you’re pretty much isolated from things like worrying where your servers are physically located, when they go over their lifetime, and if the firmware on the switch in the rack needs to be upgraded. If you’re a small shop and have a few racks up in a co-lo, hardware maintenance is just not as frequent, but it becomes more painful as you grow.

At Facebook, we run our own datacenters! We need to work around interesting challenges, such as running datacenters that have highly variable compositions of server hardware. Since we have so many servers, something is always going on. Racks of servers need to be moved. Whole clusters need to be rebuilt or refreshed, to be made better, faster, stronger.  New datacenters are constructed, others decommissioned.

Tom: And this is where automation comes into the picture, right?

Shlomo: We have had to build a lot of automation to make these operations seamless, and we work closely with the Site Ops teams on the ground to coordinate these logistically complicated processes.

Another thing my team does in this space is planning capacity and hardware purchases. Since we build our own servers, the turnaround time between ordering and getting machines is quite long, so proper planning is paramount. Buy too much, and you’ve wasted millions of dollars. Buy too few servers, and there won’t be space for user growth and upcoming projects. The sheer scale makes these decisions more complicated and involved.

These things have actually made my job much more interesting, and I think I’d find it hard to adjust to a smaller environment.

Tom: Last April Facebook announced a move to the newly created WebScaleSQL. Yoshi, do you have an update on where WebScaleSQL is today? And I know it’s early, but has there been any impact on Facebook yet?

Yoshi: WebscaleSQL is a collaboration among engineers from several companies that face similar challenges in running MySQL at scale. Collaboration is nothing new to the MySQL community. The intent is to make this collaboration more efficient.

We are based on the latest upstream (currently MySQL-5.6.21), and added many features. We added patches to improve InnoDB performance around compression LRU flushing, locking, NUMA Support, and doublewrite. We statically link Semi-Sync based on lessons learned at Facebook environments (plugin-lock caused hot mutex contentions). We have many upcoming features such as async clients.

We will continue to track the upstream branch that is the latest, production-ready release (currently MySQL 5.6). We are continuing to push the generally useful changes we have from all of the participants.  If you think you have something to contribute, get in touch!

Tom: I remember being surprised earlier this year when you told me there was usually just one MySQL Operations team member on call at any given time thanks to “robots.” How many robots did your team build and what do they do? Oh, and should rank-and-file DBAs around the world be worried about losing their day jobs to these robots? ;-)

Shlomo: Instead of becoming obsolete as some fear, our team is shifting its focus from smaller to larger problems, as we rise higher in the levels of abstraction. Our team has progressed with the requirements of the role. From being a team of DBAs that automate some of their work, we have become more like Production Engineers. We design, write and maintain MySQL/Facebook-specific automation that does our work for us.

While we build these software “robots” to do our work, we also have to maintain them. The job of the oncall is to fix these robots when they malfunction, and that can sometimes be difficult due to the size of our codebase.

In regards to employment concerns, I’d say our work has become more interesting, and the amount has increased. It definitely did not decrease, so if Facebook is indicative of other companies, jobs are not at risk just yet. Speaking of jobs – if what we’re doing sounds interesting, we’re hiring!

Oh, and as for details about these “robots” – that’s the topic of my talk next week in London. Come and hear me speak if you want to know more!

Tom: Yoshi, you also will host a session titled “Fast Master Failover without Data Loss.” I don’t want to give too much away, but how did you get failover to work at scale – across vast datacenters?

Yoshi: Master failure is a norm at Facebook, because of the large amount of servers. Without automation, it is not realistic for a limited number of people to manage. We have a very interesting infrastructure to automate failure handling at Facebook scale. To automate stuff, reliability is important. Unreliable automation makes engineers spend lots of time fixing things manually, and that increases downtime. It is also important to define what to automate and what we shouldn’t automate. Define failure scenarios and write good test cases and continuously integrate. There are multiple failure scenarios like the ones below and you’ll hear about each in detail at my session:

– mysqld crash
– mysqld stalls
– kernel panic and reboot
– error spikes caused by H/W failure
– error spikes caused by bad application logic
– rack switch down
– multiple rack switches down
– datacenter down

Tom: What other sessions, keynotes or events are you looking forward to at Percona Live London 2014? And are you guys planning on attending the MySQL Community Dinner?

Yoshi:MySQL 5.7: Performance and Scalability Benchmark(led by Oracle MySQL performance architect Dimitri Kravtchuk). And yes, we’re looking forward to meeting with people at MySQL Community Dinner!

Tom:  Thanks again Yoshi and Shlomo for taking the time to speak with me and I look forward to seeing you both in London next week!

Percona Live London 2014 MySQL Community DinnerAnd readers, I invite you to register now for Percona Live London using the promotional code “Facebook” to save £30. I also hope to see you at the MySQL Community Dinner next Monday (Nov. 3). Space is limited so be sure to reserve your spot now and join us aboard our private double-decker bus to the restaurant.

I’d also like to thank the Percona Live London 2014 Conference Committee for putting together a terrific event this year! The conference committee includes:

  • Dailymotion’s Cédric Peintre, conference chairman
  • Percona’s David Busby
  • MariaDB’s Colin Charles
  • ebay Classifieds Group’s Luis Motta Campos
  •’s Nicolai Plum
  • Oracle’s Morgan Tocker
  • Spil Games’ Art van Scheppingen

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MySQL community set to meet at Percona Live London 2014

The countdown is on for Europe’s largest annual MySQL event, Percona Live London 2014. The two days of technical tutorials and sessions, November 3-4, will focus on the latest MySQL industry trends, news, best practices – and a look at what’s on the near- and long-term horizon within the global MySQL ecosystem.

Percona Live London 2014 will bring attendees up to date on key areas including MySQL 5.7, database security, database as a service (DBaaS), Hadoop and high availability (HA), disaster recovery, replication and backup, performance and scalability, WebScaleSQL and much, much more.

Team Oracle will be in London, led by Tomas Ulin, vice president of Oracle’s MySQL engineering team, who will explain why MySQL just keeps getting better with the latest news for the MySQL Database, MySQL Cluster, MySQL Workbench… and more. Oracle’s Luis Soares, principle software engineer, and Andrew Morgan, MySQL HA product management, will provide insight into what’s in the latest 5.7 development milestone release and also what’s going on in the labs… particularly around MySQL replication. Seize the opportunity to learn how to leverage MySQL 5.7 replication to grow your business from their session, “MySQL Replication: What’s New in 5.7 and Beyond.”

If anything keeps DBAs up at night it’s database security – especially with recent revelations of vulnerabilities like the POODLE SSLv3 security flaw (CVE-2014-3566) and “Bash Bug,” also known as Shellshock (CVE-2014-6271). Attendees will have the opportunity to talk face-to-face with database security expert David Busby of Percona, who will also lead a session titled, “Security it’s more than just your database you should worry about.”

The official Percona Live London 2014 t-shirt!

The official Percona Live London 2014 t-shirt!
(Click image for larger view)

Observe how to incorporate semi-synchronous replication to achieve failover – without data loss. Facebook’s Yoshinori Matsunobu and Santosh Banda will share how they did it at scale (across data centers) by extending MySQL internals along with some handy new self-made tools.

Meet the next-generation C connector for MySQL: libAttachSQL. It’s a new lightweight async C connector library for MySQL being developed from scratch by HP’s Advanced Technology Group. Andrew Hutchings, principal software engineer at Hewlett-Packard, will be on hand to share the latest on libAttachSQL.

Successful applications often become limited by MySQL performance. But tracking down and fixing those issues can be a huge drain on time and resources. Unless you think smart – spending time on what gives you the best return. Percona CEO Peter Zaitsev will explain how in his session, “Practical MySQL Performance Optimization.”

Percona Live London attendees will also learn from the real-life experiences of MySQL experts who share case studies. Shake hands with Art van Scheppingen, head of database engineering at Spil Games, who will explain how to serve out any page with an HA Sphinx environment.

Save yourself a quarter century by absorbing Tim Callaghan’s MySQL performance benchmarking tips, tricks and lessons learned. Tim, vice president of engineering at Tokutek, with share what he’s learned in the past 25 years maintaining the performance of database applications.

And of course there will be a MySQL community dinner! But be sure to register now for the dinner because space is limited – especially if you want to enjoy a ride to the restaurant on a vintage double-decker London bus (you do not need to attend the conference to join the dinner).

Register now for Percona Live London 2014 and save £30 with discount code “MPB30“. See you in London!

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Autumn: A season of MySQL-related conferences. Here’s my list

Autumn is a season of MySQL-related conferences and I’m about to hit the road to speak and attend quite a  few of them.

Peter Zaitsev prepares for a tour of worldwide MySQL-related conferences including Percona Live London, All Things Open, Highload++, AWS re:Invent - Percona will also be at OpenStack Paris.This week I’ll participate in All Things Open, a local conference for me here in Raleigh, N.C. and therefore one I do not have to travel for. All Things Open explores open source, open tech and the open web in the enterprise. I’ll be speaking on SSDs for Databases at 3:15 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 23 and I’ll also be participating in a book signing for the High Performance MySQL Book at 11:45 p.m. at the “Meet the Speaker” table. We are also proud to be sponsor of this show so please stop by and say “Hi” at our booth in the expo hall.

Following this show I go to Moscow, Russia to the Highload++ conference. This is wonderful show for people interested in high-performance solutions for Internet applications and I attend almost every year. It has a great lineup of speakers from leading Russian companies as well as many top International speakers covering a lot of diverse technologies. I have 3 talks at this show around Application Architecture, Using Indexes in MySQL and about SSD and Flash Storage for Databases. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with my many Russian friends at this show.

From Highload I go directly to Percona Live London 2014 (Nov. 3-4) which is the show we’re putting together – which of course means it is filled with great in-depth information about MySQL and its variants. I think this year we have a good balance of talks from MySQL users such as Facebook, Github,, Ebay, Spil Games, IE Domain registry as well as vendors with in-depth information about products and having experiences with many customer environments – MySQL @ Oracle, HP, HGST, Percona, MariaDB, Pythian, Codership, Continuent, Tokutek, FromDual, OlinData. It looks like it is going to be a great show (though of course I’m biased) so do not forget to get registered if you have not already. (On Twitter use hashtag #PerconaLive)

The show I’m sorry to miss is the OpenStack Paris Summit. Even though it is so close to London, the additional visa logistics make it unfeasible for me to visit. There is going to be a fair amount of Perconians on the show, though. Our guys will be speaking about a MySQL and OpenStack Deep Dive as well as Percona Server Features for OpenStack and Trove Ops. We’re also exhibiting on this show so please stop by our booth and say “hi.”

Finally there is AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas Nov. 11-14. I have not submitted any talks for this one but I’ll drop in for a day to check it out. We’re also exhibiting at this show so if you’re around please stop by and stay “hi.”

This is going to be quite a busy month with a lot of events! There are actually more where we’re speaking or attending. If you’re interested about events we’re participating, there is a page on our web site to tell you just that! I also invite you to submit papers to speak at the new OpenStack Live 2015 conference April 13-14, which runs parallel to the annual Percona Live MySQL Conference and Expo 2015 April 13-16 – both at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara & The Santa Clara Convention Center in Silicon Valley.

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