2021 Digest: The HOSS Talks FOSS Most Popular Episodes

2021 Year Digest: The HOSS Talks FOSS Most Popular Episodes

2021 Year Digest: The HOSS Talks FOSS Most Popular Episodes2022 is coming! While we look forward to it, it is time to summarize the results of this year to find out what content was the most viewed, and raised the most interest, during the past months.

Percona’s HOSS (Head of Open Source Strategy) Matt Yonkovit hosts an amazing podcast with tech talks on all things open source. He invites absolutely different people (CEOs, engineers, DBAs, community leaders) to chat about their experiences.

Here is an overview of the Top 10 Most Popular episodes of the HOSS Talks FOSS podcast, the ones that attracted the largest part of the viewer’s attention. Look through to find something to entertain yourself on the long winter evenings!

  1. The absolute hit is the episode with Peter Zaitsev talking about Open Source and the SSPL (Server-side Public License). Peter and Matt discussed if ??SSPL is good or bad and what is the possible impact on open source.
  2. The second place takes the episode with Karthik Ranganathan, CTO at Yugabyte. Karthik was on the team that first built Apache Cassandra, helped optimize and scale HBase, and most recently built Yugabyte. In this video, he talks about lessons he learned and how Yugabyte takes those lessons and implements them.
  3. Data Geekery GmbH and JooQ to speed up open source databases – Matt sits down with Lucas Eder to discuss the open-source Java framework that gives you an API that allows writing SQL statements through natural Java API calls.
  4. Get involved in Databases on Kubernetes (DoK) Community with Bart Farrell, Head of the DoK community DoK. Bart and Matt chatted about what is happening in the community, how people can get involved, and what fun things are coming up next.
  5. All things Vitess, PlanetScale, MySQL, and Sailing Passion – in this video, Matt talked to Alkin Tezuysal on his role as a Vitess maintainer, who is using & contributing to Vitess, and where it makes sense for companies to switch to this solution.
  6. PingCAP, HTAP, NewSQL, and TiDB with Liquan Pei talking to Matt about hybrid transactional analytical processing ( HTAP), and getting deeper into TiDB.
  7. MySQL Backups and Database Recovery Best Practices with Walter Garcia, Percona’s remote DBA experts, talking about recovery best practices, common backup mistakes, the difference between logical and physical backups, and more.
  8. Open Source Databases, Debugging, GDB & RR – Record and Replay with Marcelo Altmann, Software Engineer at Percona. Listen to it if you are interested in finding and debugging hard-to-find bugs.
  9. Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MongoDB DBAs to DBREs – a talk with David Murphy about his experience of bringing more of a DevOps and SRE mentality to a company and why keeping control of your data is so important.
  10. The episode with MySQL and open source veteran Morgan Tocker about database monitoring, alerting, contributing to MySQL and TiDB, and waffles.

There is even more great content on the Percona YouTube channel! Subscribe to stay tuned to new episodes in the upcoming year.

Want to participate in tech conversations with Matt? Join our weekly online meetups, ask your questions to database experts, or become a guest yourself!


Percona’s Most Popular Posts on Open Source Database Technologies

Percona Blog Most Popular Posts on Open Source Database Technologies

While we prepare to enter 2022 and start to sum up its results and schedule a plan for the future, let’s look back at the awesome posts published in the Percona Blog and find out which products and themes raised more engagement among readers.

We count the number of views of each blog post and recognize its author internally with the Blogger of the Month award: an exclusive hat and a bonus.

So here are the most popular articles in each month that draw the most of your attention.

January ChampionPostgreSQL on ARM-based AWS EC2 Instances: Is It Any Good? by Jobin Augustine and Sergey Kuzmichev. They took an independent look at the price/performance of the new instances from the standpoint of running PostgreSQL, and perform some tests described in the post.

February ChampionPostgreSQL Database Security: Authentication by Ibrar Ahmed. It covers each and every PostgreSQL internal authentication method in detail.

March Champion – Overview of MySQL Alternative Storage Engines by Sri Sakthivel. InnoDB engines are very popular but there are some alternatives for MySQL to consider. This post is an overview of other engines with examples.

April ChampionUpgrading to MySQL 8: Embrace the Challenge by Mike Benshoof. He shared some tips to facilitate and approach the upgrade to MySQL 8.

May ChampionManage MySQL Users with Kubernetes by Sergey Pronin. Quite a common request that we receive from the community and customers is to provide a way to manage database users with Operators. Sergey described the way to take it to another level and create a way to provision users on any database through the Kubernetes control plane with the help of

June ChampionAutoscaling Databases in Kubernetes for MongoDB, MySQL, and PostgreSQL by Dmitriy Kostiuk and Mykola Marzhan explores to what extent it is possible to automate horizontal scaling of those databases in Kubernetes and how we do it.

July ChampionImprove PostgreSQL Query Performance Insights with pg_stat_monitor by Ibrar Ahmed and Hamid Akthar. It describes how pg_stat_monitor helps to look at query performance and avoid combining manually client/connection information from pg_stat_activity, statistical data from pg_stat_statements, and query plan from auto_analyze to complete the dataset to understand query performance patterns.

August ChampionMigrating PostgreSQL to Kubernetes by Sergey Pronin. Sergey described the way to migrate PostgreSQL with minimal downtime using Percona Distribution for PostgreSQL Operator.

September ChampionPostgreSQL 14 – Performance, Security, Usability, and Observability by Umair Shahid. It is an overview of the PostgreSQL 14 enhancements for heavy transactional workloads, specialized use cases, and additional support for distributed data.

October ChampionWhy Linux HugePages are Super Important for Database Servers: A Case with PostgreSQL by Jobin Augustine. He described how Linux Huge Pages can potentially save the database server from OOM Killers and associated crashes with a testable and repeatable case.

And while we don’t know the November most popular post now, we definitely have the leader – Should I Create an Index on Foreign Keys in PostgreSQL?  by Charly Batista, with the answer to the question he’s seen in the webinars he presented.

Some articles did not take first place the month they were published, but they definitely deserve special mention as very popular ones covering some interesting themes.

Often we also invite authors of those posts and other active community members to take part in another Community project – The HOSS Talks FOSS podcast, hosted by Matt Yonkovit. There they have fun, chat, and discuss all things open source. Episodes are available on the Percona YouTube channel, as well as the recordings of weekly online meetups for PostgreSQL, MySQL, MongoDB, and Percona Monitoring and Management. Subscribe to the channel updates to stay tuned for new episodes!


Percona Sponsors Conferences and Supports Community

Percona Sponsors Conferences

We love supporting communities and open source. One of the things we are thrilled about at Percona is hybrid and in-person conferences coming back this fall. Local events are a perfect opportunity to meet and reinforce you, community members, and open source lovers, talk about databases and remote work, and maybe even hug!

Especially for this conference season, Matt Yonkovit built an arcade controller – a gadget to manage database workloads in real-time and play with them in Percona Monitoring and Management. Have you ever thought about managing your database workload with the help of selectors? Now all visitors of our booth can try to literally manipulate the database with their hands! That was really a hit. It consists of several buttons and switches which allow you to run a vacuum, stop all the workload, and do lots of other stuff. If you want to see it in action, watch the video of the live-streamed PMM meetup from OSS (Open Source Summit) in Seattle with the demo. And for those who decide to replicate it or build their own version, Matt shared the code on his GitHub.

Percona Sponsors Conferences

Traditionally, we sponsor the OSDN Conf Kyiv in September where Percona staff members from Ukraine actively participate and organize. It is a one-day, non-commercial, volunteer-organized event centered on free and open source software. Richard Stallman was their special guest this year with the talk “Free Software and the GNU General Public License.”

Also, it was really exciting for our team to meet again in person at All Things Open in Raleigh and celebrate Percona’s 15 years with everyone! Approximately 1000 people were on-site and 2500 people were online. All of them were able to get to know our experts and play with Matt’s PMM arcade controller. Also, Percona speakers gave four talks with good attendance.

One of the virtual events we were happy to support was Nerdearla 2021, the most important IT conference in the Latin American region. Though it was lots of fun virtually, we hope that in the future we will be able to meet in person again!

So, what is up next? At the end of November, we are flying to Las Vegas to the breathtaking AWS re:Invent. It promises to become a notable event of the year celebrating 10 years of the conference. If you are going to be there, stop by the Percona booth and see us!

Right after re:Invent, our team will be in New York at the non–profit, community-run PGConf NYC. We will be Platinum sponsors this time, and Percona Postgres experts will give five talks on Postgres topics. Preparations for this event are already in full swing!

We are thinking of the next year, too. In January, we will welcome you to the booth in Silicon Valley at the Postgres Conference. Come and enjoy this event with us. We are looking forward to it!

Want us to speak at your event? Organize a conference or a local meetup in any part of the globe and need speakers? Contact us at and we will work with you on the support we can provide.

And we are hiring!  The Community Team is actively looking for the Technical Evangelists to join our team and work with open source communities all over the world. Watch a short video to get an idea of the work of the team and how we encourage open source growth.

Percona Sponsors Conferences and Supports Community


Percona Is a Finalist for Best Use of Open Source Technologies in 2021!

Percona Finalist Open Source

Percona has been named a finalist in the Computing Technology Product Awards for Best Use of Open Source Technologies. If you’re a customer, partner, or just a fan of Percona and what we stand for, we’d love your vote.

With Great Power…

You know the phrase. We’re leaving it to you and your peers in the tech world to push us to the top.

Computing’s Technology Product Awards are open to a public vote until October 29. Vote Here!

percona Best Use of Open Source Technologies

Thank you for supporting excellence in the open source database industry. We look forward to the awards ceremony on Friday, November 26, 2021.

Why We’re an Open Source Finalist

A contributing factor to our success has been Percona Monitoring and Management (PMM), an open source database monitoring solution. It helps you reduce complexity, optimize performance, and improve the security of your business-critical MySQL, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, and MariaDB database environments, no matter where they are located or deployed. It’s impressing customers, and even competitors, in the industry.

If you want to see how Percona became a finalist, learn more about Percona Monitoring and Management, and be sure to follow @Percona on all platforms.

Vote Today!


Do You Believe in the Future of Open Source Databases? Tell Us Your Views!

2021 Percona Open Source Survey

2021 Percona Open Source SurveyComplete the 2021 Open Source Data Management Software Survey to share your knowledge and experience, and help inform the open source database community.

In 2020 we ran our second Open Source Data Management Software Survey. This resulted in some interesting data on the state of the open source database market. 

Some key statistics:

  • 41% of buying decisions are now made by architects, giving them significant power over software adoption within a company.
  • 81% of respondents gave cost savings as the most important reason for adoption. In this challenging economic climate, many companies are actively avoiding vendor license costs and lock-in.
  • 82% of respondents reported at least a 5% database footprint growth over the last year, with 62% reporting more significant growth and 12% growing over 50%.
  • Although promoted as a cheap and convenient alternative, cloud costs can spiral, with 22% of companies spending more on cloud hosting than planned.

To see how the landscape has changed over the last (turbulent) year, we are pleased to announce the launch of our third annual Open Source Data Management Software Survey

The final results will be 100% anonymous and made freely available via Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike (CC BY-SA).

Access to Accurate Market Data is Important

There are millions of open source projects currently running, and most are dependent on databases. 

Accurate data helps people track the popularity of different databases, and see how and where these databases are running successfully. 

The information helps people build better software and take advantage of shifting trends. It also helps businesses understand industry direction and make informed decisions on the software and services they choose.

We want to help developers, architects, DBAs, and any other users choose the best database or tool for their business, and understand how and where to deploy it. 

How Can You Help This Survey Succeed?

Firstly, we would love you to complete the survey and share your insight into current trends and new developments in open source database software. 

Secondly, we hope you will share this survey with other people who use open source database software and encourage them to contribute.

The more responses we receive, the more useful this data will be to the community. If there is anything we missed or you would like to ask in the future, we welcome your feedback.

The survey should take around 10 minutes to complete. 

Click here to complete the survey!


Lessons From Peter Zaitsev…

Tom Basil Peter Zaitsev Percona

Tom Basil Peter Zaitsev PerconaPeter Zaitsev, known to all as Percona’s founder and CEO, asked me to pen a few reminisces as I retire.  How do I sum up 22 years in the MySQL world?  How do I even begin?  I best start with gratitude. I’ve had the amazing privilege of being on the inside of the leadership teams of two highly impactful software startups, MySQL and Percona.

I now find myself as Percona’s first-ever retiree.  So I write as PZ requested of me, with the caveat that these reflections are wholly my own.  They do not necessarily reflect Percona policy or even Percona’s current conditions, as I’ve been less in the front lines in recent times.

Tom, Monty Widenius (MySQL Founder), Heikki Turri (InnoDB Creator), & Peter, at the 2nd ever MySQL User Conference, 2004

Tom, Monty Widenius (MySQL Founder), Heikki Turri (InnoDB Creator), & Peter, at the 2nd ever MySQL User Conference, 2004

I became a MySQL DBA in late 1999.  My then-boss in Maryland agreed to buy the highest tier support offered by the fledgling MySQL company in Finland.  A $12,000 annual payment got you the personal telephone numbers of everyone in the company, then maybe a half dozen persons, and quick answers to your emails often direct from company founder Monty Widenius.  The passionate intensity of MySQL support was unlike anything I’d ever experienced.  I loved it, while the speed and simplicity of MySQL delighted me.

Monty Widenius and co-founder David Axmark pioneered the now-familiar pattern of open source software employment – no in-person job interviews, work at home from anywhere via the internet, then fly all over the world for meetings and conferences.  But when Monty invited me to join MySQL Ab in 2001, this was still pretty weird stuff, at least in the USA.  My wife was incredulous that I’d take a job from some guy in Finland whom I’d never met and who gave away his software for free.  As I once wrote in 2007:

I had a much better Oracle DBA offer from a large bank, and six kids (ages 2 to 13) plus my wife at home.  To her the bank was a sure bet and a virtual boss in Finland an absurd risk.  But MySQL struck me as an exciting company that kept its promises.  What to do?  I asked a trusted (Catholic) priest for his opinion.  He surprised me and voted for MySQL.  I borrowed a bedroom from the kids as my office and joined MySQL as employee #11.

Monty, Vadim, & Peter share dinner, 2008

Monty, Vadim, & Peter Share Dinner, 2008

Monty appointed me Director of Support.  This ultimately grew to be a team of 60 high-end experts.  This was another of Monty’s innovations – technical support was not an entry-level role but a senior-level one, a prestigious career destination for top experts.

Twenty years seems not that long ago.  Yet so much that’s considered ordinary now wasn’t then.  Neighbors assumed I was really unemployed until I started to travel to Europe pretty regularly.  Everything inside MySQL was transacted by email.  No Zoom, no Slack, no Confluence, nor any other of today’s common tools were then known.  Maybe within a year of my joining MySQL, we began using Internet Relay Chat, or IRC.  Having real-time chat among a global team was breakthrough technology.  Yet, the IRC command line was too geeky for admin staff, so it never became a company-wide tool.

Another novelty though now commonplace, was a 100% global workforce.  I had been in my mid-30s when the Cold War ended in 1991.  Throughout my formative years, Russians, Ukrainians, Estonians, Bulgarians, and Serbs lived trapped behind the Iron Curtain, far distant from ordinary Americans like me.  Now they had become my daily co-workers and personal friends.  For me, it was another bit of cultural whiplash of the MySQL era.

MySQL experts were then extremely scarce.   In 2002 Monty called me excitedly.  A Russian MySQL prodigy had just accepted his job offer.  His name was Peter Zaitsev, and Monty wanted me to be his manager.  That year the entire MySQL company fit into one bus and rode from Helsinki to St. Petersburg to meet our new Russian colleagues.  Peter looked to me like a teenager.  In reality, he was age 20, married with one child, had a Master’s Degree in Computer Science, and was already a serial entrepreneur. He’d built his Russian startup Spylog around InnoDB, making himself one of the world’s first experts on this now ubiquitous storage engine.

Peter & Monty at the MySQL User Conference, 2008

Peter & Monty at the MySQL User Conference, 2008

I created the “High-Performance Group” within MySQL Support as a home for Peter to run.  He was in demand all over the globe to troubleshoot difficult MySQL cases.  He badly needed a deputy, and this is how Vadim Tkachenko entered my life.  It also became the first of many business lessons I would learn from Peter.  Peter is young enough to be my son.  But regarding entrepreneurship, it has been the reverse, Peter the father teaching me the son.

One lesson personified in Vadim was how demanding Peter was in his hiring standards.  He disqualified many applicants who struck me as very well qualified.  Peter painstakingly probed and tested Vadim’s coding expertise.  But the fruit of that care has shown in their long partnership and the technical excellence that Percona is known for.  More troubling is that when I approved Vadim’s hiring, I had no warning of his wry sense of humor or that I would ever become its victim.  How often I have paid for this oversight in the ensuing years.

In 2006 Peter and Vadim left MySQL to launch Percona and invited me to join them.  MySQL had by now become well established, with 400+ staff and strong VC backing.  Peter had only Vadim and a good reputation, but no money.  Peter argued loudly with me – he is known for this – that Percona would become the future of MySQL.  Peter said trends were shifting in his favor, and if I had any sense, I’d see it and get onboard.

I was then comfortable and established in MySQL Ab.  I saw no need at age 53 to risk everything (again) on a two-person startup.  But in 2008, Sun acquired MySQL for $1 billion. Sun’s culture was big corporate America and so unlike the freewheeling Scandinavian culture of MySQL.  And being the CEO’s friend at a tiny startup seemed a better place to live than the anonymous middle tiers of a downsizing megafirm.

So I quit Sun and became Percona’s first COO, a title I held for seven years.  Later, Peter named me Percona’s Chief of Staff, a role I held until my retirement.  In total, I was Peter’s boss for four years, and then he was my boss for 13 years.  Vadim went from my second-level report to being my second boss. The arrangements of fate are indeed curious.

So what have I witnessed at Percona, and what have I learned from it all?  

Foremost is that in a certain sense, Percona is a web of friendship. It’s a nexus of skilled people who cooperate, communicate, help, and labor hard as friends around a common endeavor.  Seeing Percona as a family is an exaggeration, but seeing it as a community of highly interdependent friends is not.  The enjoyment of friendships I’ve seen among staff, especially at conferences and meetings, has been deep and real.

Tom jumps off a cliff with Percona colleagues in Cancun, 2011

Tom jumps off a cliff with Percona colleagues in Cancun, 2011

My memories of Percona include events in California, Texas, New York, North Carolina, Quebec, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, Estonia, Ukraine, Croatia, and Montenegro.  These remain precious memories, and I’m certain I’m not alone in this.  The relationships nurtured in these events build up reservoirs of trust and goodwill.  This is what oils the progress made during the long months of working in isolation from home.

Percona also welcomed families to most Percona events.  My wife and I shared seven trips with Percona to attractive locales.  She made Percona friends of her own with whom she’d enjoy reunions.  Kids came too, a few times.  We also hosted Percona guests in our home.

Vadim with Tom & his wife Kathleen at their home in Maryland, 2007.

Vadim with Tom & his wife Kathleen at their home in Maryland, 2007.

Consciously making Percona a family affair was another of Peter’s ideas and a very good one for business.  That my family’s welfare was directly tied to Percona’s success was understood by each of us.  When I had to upend our schedule for the Percona crisis du jour, family complaints were few.  My wife and children’s connectedness with Percona also made working remotely less isolating for me.

I think the interruption of professional friendships has been the worst consequence of the Covid pandemic for Percona.  Friendships can be built online too, but it’s much harder when done among those who’ve never once met. There’s something about relating in person that’s unique.  The virtual world can imitate but not replace it.

When friends are dealing with friends, all problems get resolved without managerial escalation or bureaucratic morass.  All sorts of improvements get implemented with minimal friction.  Peter usually fosters debate and invites dissenting opinions, as did Monty and MySQL CEO Marten Mickos before him.  Yet honest debate and credible decisions require trust.  And trust is best fostered within an atmosphere of authentic friendships.

This dynamic was at play inside MySQL Ab, and I think a big factor in powering MySQL to prominence.  Percona, at its best, has continued with this and many other MySQL traditions.  For instance, Percona’s monthly All Company Zoom calls are where the entire staff is trusted with batches of corporate metrics, both good and bad, and staff can directly question the CEO.

Yet friendship is not indulgence.  Another PZ business lesson I’ve imbibed is that deserved firing is an act of friendship towards the company as a whole.  I didn’t fully grasp this pre-Percona.  Not everyone makes a worthy friend, and some need to depart before they drag down the whole.  Friendship is also not indiscreet.  Transparency has proper limits, and some things cannot be explained or even acknowledged.

Another PZ lesson is that what (or who) got you here isn’t what will get you where you need to go.  At a certain point, Percona outgrew me as COO.  I had the work ethic but not the skills or experience for Percona’s larger corporate stage.  Peter helpfully explained this to me at one of our less agreeable meetings.  Needful directness is another of his business attributes.

A few years ago, a high-priced consultant flattered our Executive Team by explaining that only 0.4% of all startups reach Percona’s age and size.  That means 99.6% of startups don’t survive at all or end up far smaller than Percona if they endure.

The absolute necessity of constant adaptation to a swirl of change became another lesson.  I saw in Peter a constant lookout for what’s the next opportunity, the next danger, the process to strengthen, etcetera.  My temperament favors stability and predictability, but I learned its limits in a competitive marketplace.

Seizing an unexpected opportunity was part of this lesson. It’s the lesson of taking action now when an opportunity appears, not when it’s convenient. It’s hard to believe, but Percona software wasn’t, at first, part of any grand master plan.  Percona did consulting, period.  But MySQL Ab had let InnoDB development languish for tangled reasons.  Desperate for a workaround, some experts inside MySQL privately asked us to release all of the InnoDB performance patches Percona had accumulated.

These patches were at first bundled as XtraDB, a drop-in replacement for the InnoDB engine.  Later this grew into the Percona Server for MySQL, a drop-in replacement for MySQL.  Ultimately it grew into a full-fledged engineering team with Percona versions of MySQL, MongoDB, and PostgreSQL, plus the Percona Monitoring and Management (PMM) dashboard.  But in a certain sense, Percona’s entire future sprung from seizing one unexpected and seemingly small opportunity.

Peter awards Tom a Percona University PhD!

Peter awards Tom a Percona University Ph.D.!

What does the CEO’s life consist of?  What I witnessed includes –  Endless meetings.  Upset customers.  Aggressive competitors.  Flaming disagreements.  Sudden resignations.  Regulatory swamps.  No money for payroll.  Paying others but not yourself.  Failing products.  Whispering critics.  Continual interruptions.

Crisis after crisis gets lobbed at the CEO, often several at once.   It takes guts just to persevere and to improvise when no visible solution exists.  I recall an early Executive Team meeting that Peter ran for sixteen straight hours trying to deal with everything; then he reconvened us for more of the same after a few hours of sleep.

I hope Peter and Vadim get rich.  Guts should have its reward.  I might not have thought this pre-Percona.  But life in its trenches convinced me.  Expert tech opinion bet heavily against Percona early on.  Voices said there’s no profit in consulting, you’re too niche to survive, VC money is your only hope, and similar refrains.  It takes some guts to stand alone and not cave into the doubters, especially when there’s a faction on your own leadership team chanting “give up now.” Simply surviving is underappreciated for the victory it represents.

How do you explain business risk to those who’ve never lived it?  What does it feel like to have hundreds of families depend on your payroll?  How do you cope knowing that other people pay hard for your own mistakes?  Percona once misjudged and had to quickly lay off 20 people.  It was painful not only for them, since Peter as CEO bore conspicuous responsibility.

I, too, dreamed of VC money as easier than the painful austerity of a bootstrap.  Peter was a fanatic about keeping Percona independent.  Only gradually did I see how Percona’s freedom from VC interference was paying off.  A near-term VC exit strategy looks very different from a lifetime venture strategy.  Perhaps VC oversight would have given Percona more discipline and consistency inside or had other benefits.  But I doubt it would have been worth it.

My career ended as it began.  My boss told me he’d hired a Russian prodigy and asked me to become his manager.  The boss this time was Peter, and the employee was Daniil Bazhenov.  Daniil barely spoke English, but Peter assured me he was a quick learner and that we’d find a way.  We did, along with some amusement.  In another bit of cultural whiplash, Daniil’s worked for me from Ulyanovsk, Lenin’s hometown.

Tom & Daniil on the beach in Punta Cana, 2020

Tom & Daniil on the beach in Punta Cana, 2020

I could ramble on and on.  But I close my blog and professional life with images of so many wonderful people, which flood my mind.

I think of Monty, who opened the door for my MySQL future, and of my wife Kathleen, who trusted me to walk through it.  I think of those very first MySQL employees, Sinisa Milivojevic, Jani Tolonen, Tim Smith, Matt Wagner, Jeremey Cole, and Indrek Siitan, who first wooed me with MySQL’s beauty and excellence.

I think of the MySQL Support Team leaders to whom I owe so much:  Dean Ellis, Salle Kermidarski, Lachlan Mulcahay, Bryan Alsdorf, and Miguel Solorzano.  Joined with them are Mark Leith, Tonci Grgin, Hartmut Holtzgraffe, Victoria Reznichenko, Todd Farmer, Geert Vanderkelen, Domas Mituzas, Harrison Fisk, Hartmut Holzgraefe, Kolbe Kegel, Matt Lord, Shawn Green, Ligaya Isler-Turmelle, and many others to whom I owe a great debt, including Ulf Sandberg, my boss.

Finally, from my MySQL years, I think of David Axmark, Marten Mickos, Kaj Arno, Zack Urlocker, Edwin Desouza, Brian Aker, Boel Larsen, and other key players who, with Monty, navigated MySQL to stunning success. Please forgive me if the fading of time means I’ve omitted a name I should never forget.

And of my Percona years, how can I begin to name with gratitude everyone I ought with whom my Percona life has intersected.  I can only say thank you and again ask forgiveness for any omissions.

First, I think of those who were part of my teams over the years or whom I helped recruit:  Mark Sexton, RIP.  Svetlana Prozhogin.  Kortney Runyan.  Natalie Kesler.  Andrey Maksimov.  Agustin Gallego.  Colin Charles.  Drew Sieman.  Lorraine Pocklington.  Daniil Bazhenov.  Laura Byrnes.  Aleksandra Abramova.  Fredel Mamindra.  Jana Carmack.

I think of those Percona experts with whom I had the chance to closely interact at different times:  Michal Coburn. George Lorch.  Alexander Rubin.  Ovais Tariq.  Marcos Albe.  Alkin Tezuysal.  Marco Tusa.  Liz van Dijk.  Kenny Gryp.  Dimitry Vanoverbeke.  Przemek Malkowski.  Lenz Grimmer.  Ibrar Ahmed.  Tate McDaniel.  Yves Trudeau.  Yura Surokin.  Mykola Marhazan.

I think of those EMT colleagues with whom I shared so many long meetings:  Baron Schwartz.  Bill Schuler.  Ann Schlemmer.  John Breitenfeld.  Matt Yonkovit.  Sam Duffort.  Bennie Grant.  Jim Doherty.  Plus Keith Moulsdale of Whiteford, Taylor, Preston, Percona’s expert legal counsel for many years.

I think of those who’ve moved on but remained friends of Percona:  Peter Farkas.  Ignacio Nin.  Bill Karwin.  Aurimas Mikalauskas.  Sasha Pachev.  Raghu Prabhu.  Peter Schwaller.  Roel van de Paar.  Evgeniy Stepchenko.  Morgan Tocker.  Brian Walters.  Ewen Fortune.  Ryan Lowe.

Tom thanks Vadim for his gift of retirement guidance!

Tom thanks Vadim for his gift of retirement guidance!

And Vadim Tkachenko, how could I almost forget you?!

And Peter Zaitsev.  I am so glad we met.


Modern Web-Based Application Architecture 101

Modern Web-Based Application Architecture 101

Modern Web-Based Application Architecture 101This article is meant to provide a high-level overview of how a web-based application is commonly structured nowadays. Keep in mind the topic presented is very simplified. It is meant as an introduction only and hopefully encourages the reader to investigate some of the concepts in more depth.

Monolith vs Microservices

With the rise of containerization and microservices, applications nowadays tend to be composed of loosely coupled services that interact with each other. For example, an e-commerce site would have separate “microservices” for things like orders, questions, payments, and so on.

In addition to this, data is oftentimes geographically distributed in an effort to bring it closer to the end-user.

For example, instead of having a single database backend, we can have N smaller database backends distributed across different regions. Each of these would hold a portion of the data set related to the users located closer to it.

The Many Faces of Caching

As traffic grows, eventually the database + application servers combination is no longer the best cost-effective way to scale. Instead, we can do so by introducing some additional elements, each of these targeting a specific part of the user experience.

Here’s how things would look like from a single microservice’s perspective:

Modern Application Architecture

Starting from what’s closest to the end-user, let’s briefly describe all these components.

Content Delivery Networks

You can think of the content delivery network (CDN) as a geo-distributed network of proxies with the goal of improving the response times for the end-user.

CDN were traditionally used to cache “static” assets like web objects, downloadable files, streaming media, etc. Nowadays they can also be used to deliver some dynamic content as well.

Popular providers include Akamai, Cloudflare, and Fastly.

HTTP Caches

The HTTP cache or web accelerator layer is typically deployed between the web servers and the CDN.

Their purpose is to reduce the access times using a variety of techniques (like caching, prefetching, compression, etc) while also reducing resource utilization on the application servers.

For example, Varnish is a web application accelerator for content-heavy dynamic websites that caches HTTP requests and functions as a reverse proxy. Other examples include nginx and squid.

Database Caches

Next comes the database cache layer. This usually consists of an in-memory key/value store that stores results of read database queries, allowing to scale reads without introducing additional database servers.

Cache invalidation can be performed explicitly from the application or simply by defining a TTL for each object.

One important point to consider in regards to caching is that there might be application flows that require strict read-after-write semantics.

Some commonly used solutions for database caching are Redis and Memcached.

The Data Layer

Finally, the data layer can include online transaction processing (OLTP) and analytics/reporting (DW) components.

To scale the database, we have to consider reads and writes separately. We can scale reads by introducing replicas, while for writes we can do data partitioning or sharding.

For the data warehouse, there are many possibilities, even using a general-purpose database like MySQL. One might want to also consider a columnar storage, which is typically better for analytic queries (e.g. Clickhouse).

The data warehouse is refreshed periodically via an ETL process. Some of the available solutions for ETL include Fivetran and Debezium.


There are some special considerations for write-intensive services. For example, data sources sending a continuous stream of data, or things like incoming orders which might have “spikes” at certain times.

It is a common pattern to deploy a queueing system (like Activemq), or a more complex streams-processing system (like Apache Kafka) in front of the database layer.

The queue acts as a “buffer” for the incoming data sent by the application. Since we can control the amount of write activity the queue does, we avoid overloading the database when there is a spike of requests.

Final Words

These are just some of the patterns used to architect modern web applications in a cost-effective and scalable way, some of the challenges frequently encountered, and a few of the available solutions to help overcome them.


Mirantis launches cloud-native data center-as-a-service software

Mirantis has been around the block, starting way back as an OpenStack startup, but a few years ago the company began to embrace cloud-native development technologies like containers, microservices and Kubernetes. Today, it announced Mirantis Flow, a fully managed open source set of services designed to help companies manage a cloud-native data center environment, whether your infrastructure lives on-prem or in a public cloud.

“We’re about delivering to customers an open source-based cloud-to-cloud experience in the data center, on the edge, and interoperable with public clouds,” Adrian Ionel, CEO and co-founder at Mirantis explained.

He points out that the biggest companies in the world, the hyperscalers like Facebook, Netflix and Apple, have all figured out how to manage in a hybrid cloud-native world, but most companies lack the resources of these large organizations. Mirantis Flow is aimed at putting these same types of capabilities that the big companies have inside these more modest organizations.

While the large infrastructure cloud vendors like Amazon, Microsoft and Google have been designed to help with this very problem, Ionel says that these tend to be less open and more proprietary. That can lead to lock-in, which today’s large organizations are looking desperately to avoid.

“[The large infrastructure vendors] will lock you into their stack and their APIs. They’re not based on open source standards or technology, so you are locked in your single source, and most large enterprises today are pursuing a multi-cloud strategy. They want infrastructure flexibility,” he said. He added, “The idea here is to provide a completely open and flexible zero lock-in alternative to the [big infrastructure providers, but with the] same cloud experience and same pace of innovation.”

They do this by putting together a stack of open source solutions in a single service. “We provide virtualization on top as part of the same fabric. We also provide software-defined networking, software-defined storage and CI/CD technology with DevOps as a service on top of it, which enables companies to automate the entire software development pipeline,” he said.

As the company describes the service in a blog post published today, it includes “Mirantis Container Cloud, Mirantis OpenStack and Mirantis Kubernetes Engine, all workloads are available for migration to cloud native infrastructure, whether they are traditional virtual machine workloads or containerized workloads.”

For companies worried about migrating their VMware virtual machines to this solution, Ionel says they have been able to move these VMs to the Mirantis solution in early customers. “This is a very, very simple conversion of the virtual machine from VMware standard to an open standard, and there is no reason why any application and any workload should not run on this infrastructure — and we’ve seen it over and over again in many many customers. So we don’t see any bottlenecks whatsoever for people to move right away,” he said.

It’s important to note that this solution does not include hardware. It’s about bringing your own hardware infrastructure, either physical or as a service, or using a Mirantis partner like Equinix. The service is available now for $15,000 per month or $180,000 annually, which includes: 1,000 core/vCPU licenses for access to all products in the Mirantis software suite plus support for 20 virtual machine (VM) migrations or application onboarding and unlimited 24×7 support. The company does not charge any additional fees for control plane and management software licenses.


Confluent CEO Jay Kreps is coming to TC Sessions: SaaS for a fireside chat

As companies process ever-increasing amounts of data, moving it in real time is a huge challenge for organizations. Confluent is a streaming data platform built on top of the open source Apache Kafka project that’s been designed to process massive numbers of events. To discuss this, and more, Confluent CEO and co-founder Jay Kreps will be joining us at TC Sessions: SaaS on Oct 27th for a fireside chat.

Data is a big part of the story we are telling at the SaaS event, as it has such a critical role in every business. Kreps has said in the past the data streams are at the core of every business, from sales to orders to customer experiences. As he wrote in a company blog post announcing the company’s $250 million Series E in April 2020, Confluent is working to process all of this data in real time — and that was a big reason why investors were willing to pour so much money into the company.

“The reason is simple: though new data technologies come and go, event streaming is emerging as a major new category that is on a path to be as important and foundational in the architecture of a modern digital company as databases have been,” Kreps wrote at the time.

The company’s streaming data platform takes a multi-faceted approach to streaming and builds on the open source Kafka project. While anyone can download and use Kafka, as with many open source projects, companies may lack the resources or expertise to deal with the raw open source code. Many a startup have been built on open source to help simplify whatever the project does, and Confluent and Kafka are no different.

Kreps told us in 2017 that companies using Kafka as a core technology include Netflix, Uber, Cisco and Goldman Sachs. But those companies have the resources to manage complex software like this. Mere mortal companies can pay Confluent to access a managed cloud version or they can manage it themselves and install it in the cloud infrastructure provider of choice.

The project was actually born at LinkedIn in 2011 when their engineers were tasked with building a tool to process the enormous number of events flowing through the platform. The company eventually open sourced the technology it had created and Apache Kafka was born.

Confluent launched in 2014 and raised over $450 million along the way. In its last private round in April 2020, the company scored a $4.5 billion valuation on a $250 million investment. As of today, it has a market cap of over $17 billion.

In addition to our discussion with Kreps, the conference will also include Google’s Javier Soltero, Amplitude’s Olivia Rose, as well as investors Kobie Fuller and Casey Aylward, among others. We hope you’ll join us. It’s going to be a thought-provoking lineup.

Buy your pass now to save up to $100 when you book by October 1. We can’t wait to see you in October!


October 13, 2021: Open Mic on Open Source Takes on MongoDB

Percona Open Source MongoDB

Percona Open Source MongoDBHave a burning question about MongoDB?

Database experts will be leading an open forum discussion based on attendees’ interests. Are you ahead of the curve? Just trying to keep up? Get the best of MongoDB.

Live Stream: October 13 at 11:30 am CT (30 min)

Watch this upcoming Open Mic on Open Source to learn the latest from the experts. Will Fromme, Percona Solutions Engineer, and Michal Nosek, Percona Enterprise Architect, will share their insights into what’s facing MongoDB admins right now.

Will and Michal will bring you up to speed on:

  • How to convert a standalone MongoDB Community Edition to Percona Server for MongoDB
  • How to convert an entire replica set running MongoDB Community Edition to Percona Server for MongoDB
  • How to run Kubernetes Operators with Percona Server for MongoDB

Percona’s pro pairing will bring together in-depth operational knowledge of MongoDB, Percona’s open source tools, and a fully-supported MongoDB Community distribution. They’ll also remind you how to best scale a cluster, use the self-healing feature, backup and restore your database, and modify parameters.

Hear what other open source enthusiasts want to know about!

This is an open forum for a reason. If you get stumped sometimes, don’t worry; you’re not alone! Our hosts will take your questions in REAL-TIME. And you can remain anonymous even if you want to ask a question.

Register to Attend!

When you register, our hosts will make sure they provide a webinar worth the half-hour!

Space is limited. Secure your spot now and we’ll see you on October 13 at 11:30 am.

Powered by WordPress | Theme: Aeros 2.0 by