Percona Live featured talk with Geir Hoydalsvik: What’s New in MySQL

What's New in MySQL

What's New in MySQLWelcome to the next installment of our talks with Percona Live Data Performance Conference 2016 speakers! In this series of blogs, we’ll highlight some of the talks that will happen at this year’s conference, as well as discuss the technologies and outlooks of the speakers themselves. Make sure to read to the end to get a special Percona Live registration bonus!

In this installment we’ll meet Geir Høydalsvik, Oracle Senior Software Development Director. His talk, presented with Simon Mudd, booking.com DBA, is What’s New in MySQL. This will cover some key enhancements to MySQL version 5.7.

I had a chance to speak with Geir and learn a bit more about MySQL 5.7:

Percona: Give me brief history: how you got into database development, what you work on, and why you love it.

Geir: My interest in databases grew while working in banking in the late nineties. Back then I implemented back-end ATM servers using HP-UX and Sybase as the development platform. I remember we had an allowed maintenance window from 2am-5am and struggled with finishing a blocking create index operation on our main table with 30 million rows. I remember thinking “Why can’t this be done online?”

Then by chance the local database startup Clustra started an “online schema change” project and asked me to join. Since then it has been all about developing databases. A DBMS is a combined communication system, an operating system, a file system, a compiler. Each and every aspect of computer science is relevant: maintainability, observability, performance, availability, reliability, security. The quality of developers you meet in this area is stunning. Customers design their business around their data. So, why should I consider doing anything else?

Percona: Your talk is going to be on “What’s New in MySQL.” So the obvious question is what’s new?!? But more specifically, what is the feature you think will have the most affect in the community, and why?

Geir: MySQL 5.7 is the result of almost three years of development, and brings improvements to all areas of the product. Just take a look at http://www.thecompletelistoffeatures.com/. In terms of features that will have the most affect in the community, I would say the JSON support, the JSON datatype, JSON functions, and virtual columns. Virtual columns can be used together with JSON functions to index the content in a JSON document. This functionality is opening up new choices for developers. Next would be the Query Rewrite capabilities, a feature that can help solve many legacy problems in today’s complex software stacks. Finally, I would highlight the much improved monitoring capabilities with SYS Schema, on top of an extended Performance Schema, and close to 600 instrumentation points.

Percona: How will it affect application performance? What might prevent people from immediately adopting the new version? Are there some caveats that need mentioning?

Geir: There are many scenarios where applications will see much improved performance: multi-core scalability, parallel replication slaves, connect/disconnect speed, temporary tables, GIS queries, a better optimizer that provides better JOIN ordering, a better use of indexes, etc. A smooth upgrade was one of our main design objectives, and so upgrading to 5.7 should be easy in most cases. The challenge comes when there is a need to balance 100% backward compatibility with improved data safety or improved security.

Percona: What do you see as an issue that we the open source database community needs to be on top of with regard to MySQL development? What keeps you up at night with regard to the future of MySQL?

Geir: I think the future of MySQL is bright, and if I don’t sleep well at night it’s because of excitement. I see a big and complex eco-system bubbling with ideas and products – with MySQL being one component mixed with others. The challenge is to find the right mix, but I feel we are on the right track.

Percona: What are you most looking forward to at Percona Live Data Performance Conference 2016?

Geir: I look forward to collecting feedback from our users trying out new versions of our products. We collected some great ideas at Percona Amsterdam last year! Then, as always, I look forward to the buzzing crowd of people, highly-voiced opinions, and exciting technologies.

You can read more of Geir’s thoughts, and about MySQL, at the News from the MySQL Server Team blog. Geir contributes as often as he can. You can also read specifically about MySQL 5.7 in his blog post here: http://mysqlserverteam.com/whats-new-in-mysql-5-7-generally-available/.

Want to find out more about Geir, Simon, and MySQL 5.7? Register for Percona Live Data Performance Conference 2016, and come see his talk What’s New in MySQL. Use the code “FeaturedTalk” and receive $100 off the current registration price!

The Percona Live Data Performance Conference is the premier open source event for the data performance ecosystem. It is the place to be for the open source community as well as businesses that thrive in the MySQL, NoSQL, cloud, big data and Internet of Things (IoT) marketplaces. Attendees include DBAs, sysadmins, developers, architects, CTOs, CEOs, and vendors from around the world.

The Percona Live Data Performance Conference will be April 18-21 at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara & The Santa Clara Convention Center.

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