MySQL Expo – Day 1

(As with most of my conference posts, this is a bit more stream of consciousness and a bit less proofread than is typical. Such is the result of posting during small coffee breaks.)

With the recent Sun acquisition of MySQL, I expected quite a bit out of the MySQL Conference and Expo this year. With a record setting 2,000+ attendees, it looks like I wasn’t alone. Marten kicked things off this morning (The 8:30 start was a snap back to reality after the 10:45-11 start of LRL) explaining a bit about the acquisition, including the fact that he felt Sun and MySQL AB had an “alignment of culture and vision”. Marten is always both entertaining and forthcoming, so the comment he joking made about now having a bunch of Sun PR reps and lawyers listening to what he said was quite apropos. He did not cover the recent announcement that moving forward some feature will only be available in MySQL Enterprise. I’m sure I’ll cover more on that later, but it looks like more and more companies are moving toward what is usually called the RHEL/Fedora model…and I’m not sure how I feel about that. I’d be curious if this change was already in the pipeline or if it was a result of the Sun acquisition (if I had to guess, it would be on the former). Another interesting fact I picked up, is that all Sun database initiatives are now under Marten. This includes Postgresql.

Next up was Jonathan Schwartz. He has an extremely good sense of humor, especially for a CEO of such a large company. He opened with a comment like “OK, enough of this Open Source stuff”. He briefly covered some of the conspiracy theories around why Sun made the acquisition, but the real reasoning he cited looks sound to me. He commented on a recent trip to the Texas Advanced Computing Center, which among other items houses the 62,976 CPU core Ranger Sun Constellation Cluster. There is not a single piece of proprietary software in the entire stack. When Jonathan asked one of the researchers if any proprietary software remained in the supercomputing space, he couldn’t think of a single instance. As Jonathan pointed out, the Constellation Cluster (which consists of Sun hardware) didn’t come cheap. Contrary to the comment I heard at LRL, he also alluded to the fact that a GPL version of ZFS may not be far off. He also mentioned the possibility of Sun doing something in the mobile space. It’s clear mobile is going to be a hot topic for the near future. Also interesting to me, he mentioned a single Linux distribution by name. It was CentOS.

Last up in the morning was Amazon CTO Werner Vogels. He explained some of the history of Amazon, including the origin of obidos in the URL and a screenshot of the very first version of the site. He covered the technology progression that lead Amazon to release AWS and noted the absolute importance of incremental scalability. Amazon really is doing some cool stuff.

The rest of the sessions I attended have been interesting, with topics including memcached, PDO, performance and replication. “The future of MySQL” covered what we can expect out of 5.1, 6.0 and 6.x. 5.1 definitely contains some items that will be useful to LQ and the new storage engines in 6.0 (Maria and Falcon) should be beneficial to everyone. There seems to be a tacit distancing from Innodb, but that really comes as no surprise. The MySQL monitoring piece that’s part of MySQL Enterprise looks quite good. I’ll have to see if I can get my hands on it. EC2 and SOA will likely round out the rest of my sessions for the day. I think I’m off to the Exhibit Hall Reception and Mindtouch party after that. If you’ll be attending either, see you there. More to come tomorrow.