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Oracle Releases MySQL Cluster 7.2

Oracle on Wednesday announced the general availability of MySQL Cluster 7.2, a high-availability, high-redundancy version of the open source MySQL database that has been adapted for distributed computing environments.

MySQL Cluster 7.2 is designed to run across multiple servers with a "shared-nothing" architecture, in which there is no shared memory or storage, and no single point of failure. The software lets users deploy a distributed DB with both SQL and NoSQL interfaces, and to perform both simple key-value and complex queries across the same data set within the same database.

MySQL Cluster is widely deployed in the communications and telecom space, with more than a billion mobile subscribers currently serviced through databases and/or equipment built around MySQL clusters, said Tomas Ulin, vice president of Oracle's MySQL Engineering group. But in the past 18 months, Ulin said, the software has been finding its way onto the Web.

"I think the reason for this is that the feature set that serves the Web grew in version 7.1, now in 7.2," Ulin told this site. "We're also seeing a convergence of Web services and communications." MySQL Cluster is appealing to both industries, Ulin says, because it boasts 99.999 percent availability, high write scalability and very low latency.

Among the more eye-catching enhancements in this release is a capability called "adaptive query localization," which delivers vastly improved performance when executing complex queries, according to Oracle. "If you have a two-way, eight-way, or eleven-way join toward your data sets, you can get anywhere from 10x to 140x improvement," Ulin said. "We think this is going to provide a huge boost for deploying clustering further into the Web space."

This release also provides NoSQL access to MySQL Cluster through the near ubiquitous Memcached API; multi-site clusters that allow users to locate individual data nodes in different data centers; synchronous replication; automated failover and recovery; and enhanced active replication. Oracle is also touting greater ease of use and administration in this release through the consolidation of user-privilege tables that had been distributed into the data nodes. "This new feature removes the need for administrators to define and maintain privileges on each SQL node accessing the cluster," the company says.

With this release, Oracle is also certifying the software to run with Oracle VM. MySQL Cluster is also certified with Oracle Linux and Oracle Solaris.

Back in 2010, Oracle promised to increase its investment in the open-source MySQL database, which it acquired with its purchase of Sun Microsystems. During his keynote at the 2010 MySQL Conference and Expo in Santa Clara, Calif., Oracle's chief software architect, Edward Screven, pointed to the release of MySQL Cluster 7.1 as an example of that commitment. "MySQL is part of Oracle's open strategy that drives our entire company," he said.

Although many in the MySQL community are now giving Oracle high marks for its development, promotion and support of MySQL, many others do not. Under Sun's stewardship, MySQL has forked into several projects, including Drizzle, a fork of MySQL 6.0, and MariaDB, a fork of the database that uses the Maria transactional storage engine. MySQL co-creator Michael "Monty" Widenius is one of the creators of MariaDB, has argued that forking is a sign of a robust community. (Widenius and co-MySQL creator David Axmark will be speaking at the first ever SkySQL and MariaDB: Solutions Day for the MySQL Database, scheduled for April 13 in Santa Clara, Calif.)

But Monica Kumar, Oracle's senior director of product marketing, argues that it is her company that is driving MySQL innovation. "In the last couple of years we have had more product releases than ever before in MySQL history in that time period," she said.

In December 2010, Oracle announced MySQL 5.5, which was then the latest release of the DB. The company announced the development milestone release of MySQL 5.6 last October. The company currently maintains the industry's largest engineering and support organization, Kumar claimed, and the MySQL support organization has been integrated into the Oracle support organization, which expands the scale and reach of the open-source DB globally.

MySQL Cluster is available in open source and commercial editions. The Community Edition is available under the free software/open source GNU General Public License (GPL). MySQL Cluster is provided as a separate download so that users can have access to builds from the latest source releases of the MySQL Cluster Carrier Grade Edition. More information about MySQL Cluster 7.2 is available online here.

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