Archive for April, 2008

Slides from Zmanda keynote today (Online MySQL Backup)

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

Final slides from keynote delivered this morning at the MySQL user conference. Topic was protecting live MySQL databases.

(Slides render well in both OpenOffice and PowerPoint)

Wow! What a Great First Day at MySQL UC

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

You have to have been living under a rock, if you did not know that today is the first day of MySQL Users’ Conference and Expo. We at Zmanda are so proud and privileged to have been awarded the “Partner of The Year”. The award is very meaningful to our vision of Simplified, Easy to use, commercial Open Source Backup and Recovery. We appreciate the award and are committed to making the life of the MySQL DBA hassle free. We have had a ton of visitors from all walks of MySQL user community talk to us today. Its fascinating to talk to customer and prospects on how they leverage the power of MySQL. To learn more about how Zmanda provides the Best in Class Backup and Recovery solution for MySQL, you can attend Zmanda’s sessions at the MySQL Conference & Expo include:
What: “Radically Simple Backup & Recovery for Live MySQL”
When: Thursday, April 17, 2008, 10:00 a.m. PT
Where: Santa Clara Convention Center, Ballroom E

In this keynote presentation Zmanda CEO and founder Chander Kant will discuss the most critical task for database administrators - protecting corporate data using online backup and recovery solutions. He will explain how Zmanda enables MySQL DBAs to take advantage of the latest advancements in snapshot technologies and storage engines to take on mission-critical online transaction processing challenges with confidence.

What: “Zmanda Recovery Manager for MySQL”
When: Wednesday, April 16 at 5:15 p.m. PT
Where: Santa Clara Convention Center, Ballroom H

We will present a session on Zmanda Recovery Manager (ZRM) for MySQL and how DBAs can deploy ZRM to protect their MySQL databases. In this session, we will discuss in detail how DBAs can use ZRM to select the right types of backup (e.g. logical, raw, snapshot, full or incremental), optimize backup performance, and activate point-in-time granular recovery right from the MySQL Visual Log Analyzer. we will also outline how ZRM can dramatically simplify and streamline day-to-day backup management tasks via its built-in administration tools, reports, monitoring and alerts.

What: “Top 5 Considerations While Setting up Your MySQL Backup”
When: Wednesday, April 16 at 4:25 p.m. PT
Where: Santa Clara Convention Center, Ballroom G

Protecting CFD (and making more money as a MySQL DBA)

Monday, April 14th, 2008

No, this is not a blog about Computational Fluid Dynamics - my least favorite subject in college. This is about a more exciting (sorry mechanical engineers!) CFD: Customer Facing Data. This is the data that is typically available on the website of an organization that their customers interact with. CFD can range all the way from profiles of users on a social networking site such as Facebook to the customer information database of an e-commerce company such as Travelocity.

CFD represents today’s data protection challenge. Probably the biggest challenge while planning a backup solution for CFD is that it is very hard to figure out what to plan for. You might be starting with a very small database which might grow much more rapidly than what you think. If the data can be segmented based on users or some other characteristic, then you will find that your databases may scale-out instead of scale-up. Also, rate of change can be very rapid, sometimes with lots of small changes (e.g. tags) or sometimes with big data changes (e.g. addition of user generated media content), very similar to the rather unpredictable viral growth pattern of the Internet.

Many organizations are keen to save and analyze behavior of users as they interact with CFD. This metadata can itself pose a data protection challenge of its own, since it may change very rapidly, while the actual data is not changing (e.g. tracking of customer intelligence metadata about which prospects downloaded which whitepapers from your corporate website, so that you can determine the best marketing & sales approach for these prospects).

MySQL is the DBMS of choice for CFD. Some skeptical press and analysts have said a few times that MySQL is not being deployed at the back-end of the enterprise (financials, billing etc.), but only on the web-tier. The implicit (sometimes explicit) implication being that web-tier applications are less important for the organization. I think this analysis fails to realize the actual importance of the data being stored in web-tier applications. Most of this is CFD, loss of which will cause huge pain and costs in the form of lost revenues, customers and reputation.

From its very inception, Zmanda has been focused on technologies powering CFD (MySQL, LAMP stack, and now increasingly Solaris). We have dug deeper than anyone else in understanding the needs of protecting this crucial part of any organization and very rapidly delivered products to address these needs. We are the data protection company for CFD. While we do protect back-end applications and platforms, our technology and business focus remains CFD.

I will be talking about deploying radically simple backup solutions for CFD on Thursday (April 17th, 10AM) at the MySQL user conference. I am in the unenviable position of making a Backup presentation sound interesting after the Facebook keynote (”A Match Made in Heaven? The Social Graph and the Database”). Well, I guess the point that conference organizers are trying to make is that if you have a radically simple MySQL backup and recovery solution, you will have more time to spend on Facebook!

Speaking of analysts, I recently read an analyst report which indicates that, on average, salaries offered to MySQL DBAs can be up to 40% lower than those offered to Oracle or DB2 DBAs. This ironically is considered one of the barriers for entry of MySQL in some environments. Per this report: higher paid database personnel have vested interest to keep MySQL out. Another claim is that somehow the lower salary to MySQL DBAs reflects the relative importance of the MySQL powered application for the business. Well if you are a MySQL DBA, you will do well to make your management realize that you are the keeper of their Customer Facing Data. Any business deploys its best resources for customer facing activities. Hopefully this will start reflecting on your paycheck soon.

If you would like to talk about your data protection challenges, or your salary as a MySQL DBA, stop by our booth #307 at the MySQL user conference.

Highly Scalable MySQL Backups using Snapshots (ZFS or NetApp)

Friday, April 11th, 2008

We have been focusing on providing the best possible backup solution for following scenario: 100 GB+ of data stored in MySQL database, Transaction intensive workload (i.e. rapid rate of change of data), with a business requirement to be able to perform point-in-time restoration of the MySQL database. Oh, the solution also needs to take into account that the database can grow to 1TB or more very quickly.

For such a scenario, we believe that the best possible solution today is a combination of:

  1. Storage level snapshots - a capability built into ZFS (Solaris), NetApp, LVM (Linux), VxFS, and VSS (Windows)
  2. Transaction logs generated by MySQL
  3. Point-and-click restore capability provided by Zmanda Recovery Manager for MySQL

Two reports came out today which go into nitty-gritty of above. First is a joint report written by NetApp and Zmanda engineers, titled “MySQL Backup and Restore Using Zmanda Recovery Manager and NetApp Snapshot Technology“. This report describes how NetApp Snapshot and Zmanda Recovery Manager can be used to back up and restore a MySQL database for NetApp storage systems. Specifically, this report covers the following topics:

  • Infrastructure required to deploy Zmanda Recovery Manager for MySQL with a NetApp storage system
  • Backing up a MySQL database using Zmanda Recovery Manager using NetApp Snapshot plug-in
  • Restoring a MySQL database using Zmanda Recovery Manager

Second one is a how-to blog written by Paddy on O’Reilly Databases: MySQL backups using ZFS snapshot. A key observation is sub-second time spent holding the read lock on the database while the snapshot was being taken.

While performing point-in-time recovery of their MySQL databases, DBAs don’t have to search for specific snapshots and manually combine them with database transaction logs. Zmanda Recovery Manager takes care of that behind the covers. DBAs simply key-in (or point-and-click) the timestamp to which they want to recover to.

Amanda 2.6.0 Community Edition Released

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

Today, Amanda community released Amanda 2.6.0. (And no, it is not a April fools joke!). Amanda 2.6.0 represents a huge step forward in Amanda’s evolution - improving ease of installation and configuration, security, scalability and robustness. I am particularly excited about the steps this release is taking to make Amanda a development platform for building advanced backup and archiving applications. First signs of which are Amanda’s support for backing up to Amazon S3, using the new Device API.

Amanda 2.6.0 is available for download both in source and binary form here.

Congratulations to Amanda developers and testers.