Aug
10
2021
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VCs are betting big on Kubernetes: Here are 5 reasons why

I worked at Google for six years. Internally, you have no choice — you must use Kubernetes if you are deploying microservices and containers (it’s actually not called Kubernetes inside of Google; it’s called Borg). But what was once solely an internal project at Google has since been open-sourced and has become one of the most talked about technologies in software development and operations.

For good reason. One person with a laptop can now accomplish what used to take a large team of engineers. At times, Kubernetes can feel like a superpower, but with all of the benefits of scalability and agility comes immense complexity. The truth is, very few software developers truly understand how Kubernetes works under the hood.

I like to use the analogy of a watch. From the user’s perspective, it’s very straightforward until it breaks. To actually fix a broken watch requires expertise most people simply do not have — and I promise you, Kubernetes is much more complex than your watch.

How are most teams solving this problem? The truth is, many of them aren’t. They often adopt Kubernetes as part of their digital transformation only to find out it’s much more complex than they expected. Then they have to hire more engineers and experts to manage it, which in a way defeats its purpose.

Where you see containers, you see Kubernetes to help with orchestration. According to Datadog’s most recent report about container adoption, nearly 90% of all containers are orchestrated.

All of this means there is a great opportunity for DevOps startups to come in and address the different pain points within the Kubernetes ecosystem. This technology isn’t going anywhere, so any platform or tooling that helps make it more secure, simple to use and easy to troubleshoot will be well appreciated by the software development community.

In that sense, there’s never been a better time for VCs to invest in this ecosystem. It’s my belief that Kubernetes is becoming the new Linux: 96.4% of the top million web servers’ operating systems are Linux. Similarly, Kubernetes is trending to become the de facto operating system for modern, cloud-native applications. It is already the most popular open-source project within the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), with 91% of respondents using it — a steady increase from 78% in 2019 and 58% in 2018.

While the technology is proven and adoption is skyrocketing, there are still some fundamental challenges that will undoubtedly be solved by third-party solutions. Let’s go deeper and look at five reasons why we’ll see a surge of startups in this space.

 

Containers are the go-to method for building modern apps

Docker revolutionized how developers build and ship applications. Container technology has made it easier to move applications and workloads between clouds. It also provides as much resource isolation as a traditional hypervisor, but with considerable opportunities to improve agility, efficiency and speed.

Apr
15
2021
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Platform End of Support Announcement for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

EOL Ubuntu 16.04

EOL Ubuntu 16.04The End Of Support date for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is coming soon. According to the Ubuntu Release Life Cycle, it will be at the end of April 2021. With this announcement comes some implications to support for Percona software running on these operating systems.

So we will no longer be producing new packages and binary builds for Ubuntu 16.04.

We generally align our platform end of life/support dates with those of the upstream platform vendor. The platform end of life/support dates are published in advance on our website on the  Percona Software support life cycle page

According to our policies, Percona will continue to provide operational support for your databases on Ubuntu 16.04. However, we will be unable to provide any bug fixes, builds, or OS-level assistance if you encounter an issue outside the database itself.

Each platform vendor has a supported migration or upgrade path to their next major release. Please reach out to us if you need assistance in migrating your database to your vendor’s supported platform – Percona will be happy to assist you.

Jan
21
2020
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Canonical’s Anbox Cloud puts Android in the cloud

Canonical, the company behind the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution, today announced the launch of Anbox Cloud, a new platform that allows enterprises to run Android in the cloud.

On Anbox Cloud, Android becomes the guest operating system that runs containerized applications. This opens up a range of use cases, ranging from bespoke enterprise apps to cloud gaming solutions.

The result is similar to what Google does with Android apps on Chrome OS, though the implementation is quite different and is based on the LXD container manager, as well as a number of Canonical projects like Juju and MAAS for provisioning the containers and automating the deployment. “LXD containers are lightweight, resulting in at least twice the container density compared to Android emulation in virtual machines – depending on streaming quality and/or workload complexity,” the company points out in its announcements.

Anbox itself, it’s worth noting, is an open-source project that came out of Canonical and the wider Ubuntu ecosystem. Launched by Canonical engineer Simon Fels in 2017, Anbox runs the full Android system in a container, which in turn allows you to run Android application on any Linux-based platform.

What’s the point of all of this? Canonical argues that it allows enterprises to offload mobile workloads to the cloud and then stream those applications to their employees’ mobile devices. But Canonical is also betting on 5G to enable more use cases, less because of the available bandwidth but more because of the low latencies it enables.

“Driven by emerging 5G networks and edge computing, millions of users will benefit from access to ultra-rich, on-demand Android applications on a platform of their choice,” said Stephan Fabel, director of Product at Canonical, in today’s announcement. “Enterprises are now empowered to deliver high performance, high density computing to any device remotely, with reduced power consumption and in an economical manner.”

Outside of the enterprise, one of the use cases that Canonical seems to be focusing on is gaming and game streaming. A server in the cloud is generally more powerful than a smartphone, after all, though that gap is closing.

Canonical also cites app testing as another use case, given that the platform would allow developers to test apps on thousands of Android devices in parallel. Most developers, though, prefer to test their apps in real — not emulated — devices, given the fragmentation of the Android ecosystem.

Anbox Cloud can run in the public cloud, though Canonical is specifically partnering with edge computing specialist Packet to host it on the edge or on-premise. Silicon partners for the project are Ampere and Intel .

Apr
29
2019
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Canonical’s Mark Shuttleworth on dueling open-source foundations

At the Open Infrastructure Summit, which was previously known as the OpenStack Summit, Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth used his keynote to talk about the state of open-source foundations — and what often feels like the increasing competition between them. “I know for a fact that nobody asked to replace dueling vendors with dueling foundations,” he said. “Nobody asked for that.”

He then put a point on this, saying, “what’s the difference between a vendor that only promotes the ideas that are in its own interest and a foundation that does the same thing. Or worse, a foundation that will only represent projects that it’s paid to represent.”

Somewhat uncharacteristically, Shuttleworth didn’t say which foundations he was talking about, but since there are really only two foundations that fit the bill here, it’s pretty clear that he was talking about the OpenStack Foundation and the Linux Foundation — and maybe more precisely the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, the home of the incredibly popular Kubernetes project.

It turns out, that’s only part of his misgivings about the current state of open-source foundations, though. I sat down with Shuttleworth after his keynote to discuss his comments, as well as Canonical’s announcements around open infrastructure.

One thing that’s worth noting at the outset is that the OpenStack Foundation is using this event to highlight that fact that it has now brought in more new open infrastructure projects outside of the core OpenStack software, with two of them graduating from their pilot phase. Shuttleworth, who has made big bets on OpenStack in the past and is seeing a lot of interest from customers, is not a fan. Canonical, it’s worth noting, is also a major sponsor of the OpenStack Foundation. He, however, believes, the foundation should focus on the core OpenStack project.

“We’re busy deploying 27 OpenStack clouds — that’s more than double the run rate last year,” he said. “OpenStack is important. It’s very complicated and hard. And a lot of our focus has been on making it simpler and cleaner, despite the efforts of those around us in this community. But I believe in it. I think that if you need large-scale, multi-tenant virtualization infrastructure, it’s the best game in town. But it has problems. It needs focus. I’m super committed to that. And I worry about people losing their focus because something newer and shinier has shown up.”

To clarify that, I asked him if he essentially believes that the OpenStack Foundation is making a mistake by trying to be all things infrastructure. “Yes, absolutely,” he said. “At the end of the day, I think there are some projects that this community is famous for. They need focus, they need attention, right? It’s very hard to argue that they will get focus and attention when you’re launching a ton of other things that nobody’s ever heard of, right? Why are you launching those things? Who is behind those decisions? Is it a money question as well? Those are all fair questions to ask.”

He doesn’t believe all of the blame should fall on the Foundation leadership, though. “I think these guys are trying really hard. I think the common characterization that it was hapless isn’t helpful and isn’t accurate. We’re trying to figure stuff out.” Shuttleworth indeed doesn’t believe the leadership is hapless, something he stressed, but he clearly isn’t all that happy with the current path the OpenStack Foundation is on either.

The Foundation, of course, doesn’t agree. As OpenStack Foundation COO Mark Collier told me, the organization remains as committed to OpenStack as ever. “The Foundation, the board, the community, the staff — we’ve never been more committed to OpenStack,” he said. “If you look at the state of OpenStack, it’s one of the top-three most active open-source projects in the world right now […] There’s no wavering in our commitment to OpenStack.” He also noted that the other projects that are now part of the foundation are the kind of software that is helpful to OpenStack users. “These are efforts which are good for OpenStack,” he said. In addition, he stressed that the process of opening up the Foundation has been going on for more than two years, with the vast majority of the community (roughly 97 percent) voting in favor.

OpenStack board member Allison Randal echoed this. “Over the past few years, and a long series of strategic conversations, we realized that OpenStack doesn’t exist in a vacuum. OpenStack’s success depends on the success of a whole network of other open-source projects, including Linux distributions and dependencies like Python and hypervisors, but also on the success of other open infrastructure projects which our users are deploying together. The OpenStack community has learned a few things about successful open collaboration over the years, and we hope that sharing those lessons and offering a little support can help other open infrastructure projects succeed too. The rising tide of open source lifts all boats.”

As far as open-source foundations in general, he surely also doesn’t believe that it’s a good thing to have numerous foundations compete over projects. He argues that we’re still trying to figure out the role of open-source foundations and that we’re currently in a slightly awkward position because we’re still trying to determine how to best organize these foundations. “Open source in society is really interesting. And how we organize that in society is really interesting,” he said. “How we lead that, how we organize that is really interesting and there will be steps forward and steps backward. Foundations tweeting angrily at each other is not very presidential.”

He also challenged the notion that if you just put a project into a foundation, “everything gets better.” That’s too simplistic, he argues, because so much depends on the leadership of the foundation and how they define being open. “When you see foundations as nonprofit entities effectively arguing over who controls the more important toys, I don’t think that’s serving users.”

When I asked him whether he thinks some foundations are doing a better job than others, he essentially declined to comment. But he did say that he thinks the Linux Foundation is doing a good job with Linux, in large parts because it employs Linus Torvalds . “I think the technical leadership of a complex project that serves the needs of many organizations is best served that way and something that the OpenStack Foundation could learn from the Linux Foundation. I’d be much happier with my membership fees actually paying for thoughtful, independent leadership of the complexity of OpenStack rather than the sort of bizarre bun fights and stuffed ballots that we see today. For all the kumbaya, it flatly doesn’t work.” He believes that projects should have independent leaders who can make long-term plans. “Linus’ finger is a damn useful tool and it’s hard when everybody tries to get reelected. It’s easy to get outraged at Linus, but he’s doing a fucking good job, right?”

OpenStack, he believes, often lacks that kind of decisiveness because it tries to please everybody and attract more sponsors. “That’s perhaps the root cause,” he said, and it leads to too much “behind-the-scenes puppet mastering.”

In addition to our talk about foundations, Shuttleworth also noted that he believes the company is still on the path to an IPO. He’s obviously not committing to a time frame, but after a year of resetting in 2018, he argues that Canonical’s business is looking up. “We want to be north of $200 million in revenue and a decent growth rate and the right set of stories around the data center, around public cloud and IoT.” First, though, Canonical will do a growth equity round.

Nov
15
2018
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Canonical plans to raise its first outside funding as it looks to a future IPO

It’s been 14 years since Mark Shuttleworth first founded and funded Canonical and the Ubuntu project. At the time, it was mostly a Linux distribution. Today, it’s a major enterprise player that offers a variety of products and services. Throughout the years, Shuttleworth self-funded the project and never showed much interest in taking outside money. Now, however, that’s changing.

As Shuttleworth told me, he’s now looking for investors as he looks to get the company on track to an IPO. It’s no secret that the company’s recent re-focusing on the enterprise — and shutting down projects like the Ubuntu phone and the Unity desktop environment — was all about that, after all. Shuttleworth sees raising money as a step in this direction — and as a way of getting the company in shape for going public.

“The first step would be private equity,” he told me. “And really, that’s because having outside investors with outside members of the board essentially starts to get you to have to report and be part of that program. I’ve got a set of things that I think we need to get right. That’s what we’re working towards now. Then there’s a set of things that private investors are looking for and the next set of things is when you’re doing a public offering, there’s a different level of discipline required.”

It’s no secret that Shuttleworth, who sports an impressive beard these days, was previously resistant to this, and he acknowledged as much. “I think that’s a fair characterization,” he said. “I enjoy my independence and I enjoy being able to make long-term calls. I still feel like I’ll have the ability to do that, but I do appreciate keenly the responsibility of taking other people’s money. When it’s your money, it’s slightly different.”

Refocusing Canonical on the enterprise business seems to be paying off already. “The numbers are looking good. The business is looking healthy. It’s not a charity. It’s not philanthropy,” he said. “There are some key metrics that I’m watching, which are the gate for me to take the next step, which would be growth equity.” Those metrics, he told me, are the size of the business and how diversified it is.

Shuttleworth likens this program of getting the company ready to IPO to getting fit. “There’s no point in saying: I haven’t done any exercise in the last 10 years but I’m going to sign up for tomorrow’s marathon,” he said.

The move from being a private company to taking outside investment and going public — especially after all these years of being self-funded — is treacherous, though, and Shuttleworth admitted as much, especially in terms of being forced to setting short-term goals to satisfy investors that aren’t necessarily in the best interest of the company in the long term. Shuttleworth thinks he can negotiate those issues, though.

Interestingly, he thinks the real danger is quite a different one. “I think the most dangerous thing in making that shift is the kind of shallowness of the unreasonably big impact that stock price has on people’s mood,” he said. “Today, at Canonical, it’s 600 people. You might have some that are having a really great day and some that are having a shitty day. And they have to figure out what’s real about both of those scenarios. But they can kind of support each other. […] But when you have a stock ticker, everybody thinks they’re having a great day, or everybody thinks they’re having a shitty day in a way that may be completely uncorrelated to how well they’re actually doing.”

Shuttleworth does not believe that IBM’s acquisition of its competitor Red Hat will have any immediate effect on its business, though. What he does think, however, is that this move is making a lot of people rethink for the first time in years the investment they’ve been making in Red Hat and its enterprise Linux distribution. Canonical’s promise is that Ubuntu, as well as its OpenStack tools and services, are not just competitive but also more cost-effective in the long run, and offer enterprises an added degree of agility. And if more businesses start looking at Canonical and Ubuntu, that can only speed up Shuttleworth’s (and his bankers’) schedule for hitting Canonical’s metrics for raising money and going public.

Jul
11
2018
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AMD EPYC Performance Testing… or Don’t get on the wrong side of SystemD

Ubuntu 16 AMD EPYC

Ever since AMD released their EPYC CPU for servers I wanted to test it, but I did not have the opportunity until recently, when Packet.net started offering bare metal servers for a reasonable price. So I started a couple of instances to test Percona Server for MySQL under this CPU. In this benchmark, I discovered some interesting discrepancies in performance between  AMD and Intel CPUs when running under systemd .

The set up

To test CPU performance, I used a read-only in-memory sysbench OLTP benchmark, as it burns CPU cycles and no IO is performed by Percona Server.

For this benchmark I used Packet.net c2.medium.x86 instances powered by AMD EPYC 7401P processors. The OS is exposed to 48 CPU threads.

For the OS I tried

  • Ubuntu 16.04 with default kernel 4.4 and upgraded to 4.15
  • Ubuntu 18.04 with kernel 4.15
  • Percona Server started from SystemD and without SystemD (for reasons which will become apparent later)

To have some points for comparison, I also ran a similar workload on my 2 socket Intel CPU server, with CPU: Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2680 v3 @ 2.50GHz. I recognize this is not most recent Intel CPU, but this was the best I had at the time, and it also gave 48 CPU Threads.

Ubuntu 16

First, let’s review the results for Ubuntu 16

Or in tabular format:

Threads Ubuntu 16, kernel 4.4; systemd Ubuntu 16, kernel 4.4;

NO systemd

Ubuntu 16, kernel 4.15
1 943.44 948.7 899.82
2 1858.58 1792.36 1774.45
4 3533.2 3424.05 3555.94
8 6762.35 6731.57 7010.51
12 10012.18 9950.3 10062.82
16 13063.39 13043.55 12893.17
20 15347.68 15347.56 14756.27
24 16886.24 16864.81 16176.76
30 18150.2 18160.07 17860.5
36 18923.06 18811.64 19528.27
42 19374.86 19463.08 21537.79
48 20110.81 19983.05 23388.18
56 20548.51 20362.31 23768.49
64 20860.51 20729.52 23797.14
72 21123.71 21001.06 23645.95
80 21370 21191.24 23546.03
90 21622.54 21441.73 23486.29
100 21806.67 21670.38 23392.72
128 22161.42 22031.53 23315.33
192 22388.51 22207.26 22906.42
256 22091.17 21943.37 22305.06
512 19524.41 19381.69 19181.71

 

There are few conclusions we can see from this data

  1. AMD EPYC CPU scales quite well to the number of CPU Threads
  2. The recent kernel helps to boost the throughput.

Ubuntu 18.04

Now, let’s review the results for Ubuntu 18.04

Threads Ubuntu 18, systemd
Ubuntu 18, NO systemd
1 833.14 843.68
2 1684.21 1693.93
4 3346.42 3359.82
8 6592.88 6597.48
12 9477.92 9487.93
16 12117.12 12149.17
20 13934.27 13933
24 15265.1 15152.74
30 16846.02 16061.16
36 18488.88 16726.14
42 20493.57 17360.56
48 22217.47 17906.4
56 22564.4 17931.83
64 22590.29 17902.95
72 22472.75 17857.73
80 22421.99 17766.76
90 22300.09 17773.57
100 22275.24 17646.7
128 22131.86 17411.55
192 21750.8 17134.63
256 21177.25 16826.53
512 18296.61 17418.72

 

This is where the result surprised me: on Ubuntu 18.04 with SystemD running Percona Server for MySQL as a service the throughput was up to 24% better than if Percona Server for MySQL is started from a bash shell. I do not know exactly what causes this dramatic difference—systemd uses different slices for services and user commands, and somehow it affects the performance.

Baseline benchmark

To establish a baseline, I ran the same benchmark on my Intel box, running Ubuntu 16, and I tried two kernels: 4.13 and 4.15

Threads Ubuntu 16, kernel 4.13, systemd Ubuntu 16, kernel 4.15, systemd
Ubuntu 16, kernel 4.15, NO systemd
1 820.07 798.42 864.21
2 1563.31 1609.96 1681.91
4 2929.63 3186.01 3338.47
8 6075.73 6279.49 6624.49
12 8743.38 9256.18 9622.6
16 10580.14 11351.31 11984.64
20 12790.96 12599.78 14147.1
24 14213.68 14659.49 15716.61
30 15983.78 16096.03 17530.06
36 17574.46 18098.36 20085.9
42 18671.14 19808.92 21875.84
48 19431.05 22036.06 23986.08
56 19737.92 22115.34 24275.72
64 19946.57 21457.32 24054.09
72 20129.7 21729.78 24167.03
80 20214.93 21594.51 24092.86
90 20194.78 21195.61 23945.93
100 20753.44 21597.26 23802.16
128 20235.24 20684.34 23476.82
192 20280.52 20431.18 23108.36
256 20410.55 20952.64 22775.63
512 20953.73 22079.18 23489.3

 

Here we see the opposite result with SystemD: Percona Server running from a bash shell shows the better throughput compared with the SystemD service. So for some reason, systemd works differently for AMD and Intel CPUs. Please let me know if you have any ideas on how to deal with the impact that systemd has on performance.

Conclusions

So there are some conclusions from these results:

  1. AMD EPYC shows a decent performance scalability; the new kernel helps to improve it
  2. systemd shows different effects on throughput for AMD and Intel CPUs
  3. With AMD the throughput declines for a high concurrent workload with 512 threads, while Intel does not show a decline.

The post AMD EPYC Performance Testing… or Don’t get on the wrong side of SystemD appeared first on Percona Database Performance Blog.

Feb
14
2018
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Update on Percona Platform Lifecycle for Ubuntu “Stable” Versions

Percona Platform Lifecycle

Percona Platform LifecycleThis blog post highlights changes to the Percona Platform Lifecycle for Ubuntu “Stable” Versions.

We have recently made some changes to our Percona Platform and Software Lifecycle policy in an effort to more strongly align with upstream Linux distributions. As part of this, we’ve set our timeframe for providing supported builds for Ubuntu “Stable” (non-LTS) releases to nine (9) months. This matches the current Ubuntu distribution upstream policy.

In the future, we will continue to shift as necessary to match the upstream policy specified by Canonical. Along with this, as we did with Debian 9 before, we will only produce 64-bit builds for this platform ongoing. It has been our intention for some time to slowly phase out 32-bit builds, as they are rarely downloaded and largely unnecessary in contemporary times.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Percona Support or post on our Community Forums.

Jul
31
2017
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Platform End of Life (EOL) Announcement for RHEL 5 and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

End of Life

End of LifeUpstream platform vendors have announced the general end of life (EOL) for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (RHEL 5) and its derivatives, as well as Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. With this announcement comes some implications to support for Percona software running on these operating systems.

RHEL 5 was EOL as of March 31st, 2017 and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS was end of life as of April 28th, 2017. Pursuant to our end of life policies, we are announcing that these EOLs will go into effect for Percona software on August 1st, 2017. As of this date, we will no longer be producing new packages, binary builds, hotfixes, or bug fixes for Percona software on these platforms.

We generally align our platform end of life dates with those of the upstream platform vendor. The platform end of life dates are published in advance on our website under the page Supported Linux Platforms and Versions.

Per our policies, Percona will continue to provide operational support for your databases on EOLed platforms. However, we will be unable to provide any bug fixes, builds or OS-level assistance if you encounter an issue outside the database itself.

Each platform vendor has a supported migration or upgrade path to their next major release.  Please reach out to us if you need assistance in migrating your database to your vendor’s supported platform – Percona will be happy to assist you.

Apr
05
2017
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Canonical ends development of its phone to focus on cloud and IoT

 Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux distribution, long had aspirations to become a player in the mobile phone and tablet world, too. You can’t easily buy an Ubuntu-powered phone today (at least not in the U.S.), but over the years, a few have come and gone. As Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth announced today, however, the company will end its investment in the phone… Read More

Oct
13
2016
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Update the Signing Key for Percona Debian and Ubuntu Packages

signing key for Percona Debian and Ubuntu

signing key for Percona Debian and UbuntuIn this blog post, we’ll explain how to update the signing key for Percona Debian and Ubuntu packages.

Some of the users might have already noticed following warning on Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus):

W: http://repo.percona.com/apt/dists/xenial/InRelease: Signature by key 430BDF5C56E7C94E848EE60C1C4CBDCDCD2EFD2A uses weak digest algorithm (SHA1)

when running apt-get update.

Percona .deb packages are signed with a key that uses an algorithm now considered weak. Starting with the next release, Debian and Ubuntu packages are signed with a new key that uses the much stronger SHA-512 algorithm. All future package release will also contain the new algorithm.

You’ll need to do one of the following in order to use the new key:

  • If you installed the Percona repository package as described here, this package is automatically updated to a new package version (percona-release_0.1-4). This package currently contains both the old and new keys. This helps make the transition easier (until all packages are signed with the new key).
  • Install the new Percona repository package as described in the installation guide.
  • Manually download and add the key from either keys.gnupg.net or keyserver.ubuntu.com by running:
    apt-key adv --keyserver keys.gnupg.net --recv-keys 8507EFA5 or
    apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys 8507EFA5

It’s important that you add the new key before the next release. Otherwise you’ll see the following warning:

W: GPG error: http://repo.percona.com xenial InRelease: The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY 9334A25F8507EFA5

Leave any questions about updating the signing key for Percona Debian and Ubuntu packages in the comments below.

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