Superuser Reader app for Android available now

Thank you to everyone that has downloaded the OpenStack Superuser Reader for iOS. The OpenStack ecosystem continues to grow, and I hope this app is helping organizations learn about the successes of others as well as where the technology is going in the future.

Download stats

Since the release of the iOS app last December, the OpenStack Superuser Reader has been downloaded over 400 times. The top 5 countries that have brought the most downloads over the last 60 days are:

  1. US – 32%
  2. China – 19%
  3. Germany – 5%
  4. France – 4%
  5. Brazil – 4%

While the average daily downloads is a little over 4, the app has had a few strong days helped by the OpenStack Foundation with mentions on the Superuser blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I update the download stats every few days and anyone is welcome to view.

Android version available now

Since the app has just crossed the 400 downloads mark, I’d like to celebrate by sharing the OpenStack Superuser Reader for Android. It’s available now for free from the Google Play Store and I hope you like it.

In addition to a convenient way to read the latest Superuser articles, you’ll find links to Summit information, Planet OpenStack,, and the ever-growing OpenStack Marketplace.

I’ve tested the app on devices with the help of AppThwack so if you have any problems, or even feature suggestions, please open an issue on GitHub.

Thank you

This app wouldn’t have been possible without the help of many fine people including Lou Franco, Allison Price & the OpenStack Foundation, Sean Roberts, and Nate & Corey at Jones-DilworthAppThwackAppFigures, Bitly, and Buffer also played important roles in development, reporting, and promotion.

A very special thanks goes out to everyone that has downloaded the OpenStack Superuser Reader app as well as shared it with others. If you haven’t installed the app, grab it now from the iTunes App Store and the Google Play Store.

Keep working away on Kilo and I’ll see you in Vancouver!

OpenStack Superuser Reader for iOS

OpenStack Superuser

I’m always interested in hearing about individuals and organizations running OpenStack clouds. Like many, I follow Superuser, the OpenStack Foundation’s news resource which focuses on topics such as how-tos, case studies, organizational culture, and vendor management related to OpenStack.

My smartphone is what I most frequently use to read news, but I find that I’m more likely to keep checking an online publication if they have a dedicated app rather than a mobile-friendly version of the content accessible using a mobile browser. Since the Superuser site only provided a mobile-friendly version of the articles, I didn’t check it frequently and sometimes missed posts. Sean Roberts shared similar views at an OpenStack event earlier this year.

Starting today, it’s easier to stay up to date on Superuser articles. Anyone with an iOS device can now read the latest Superuser news using a dedicated app called the OpenStack Superuser Reader.

OpenStack Superuser Reader iOS

I built this app for two reasons:

  • I wanted to learn more about Cordova
  • I wanted an easier way to keep up with the Superuser articles and help others to as well

If you’re interested in OpenStack, here are a few reasons why you should use this app:

I’m planning more enhancements soon including versions for Android and Ubuntu (always looking for testers). If you have any feature suggestions, please submit an issue. You can also contact me on Twitter or irc (mattgriffin on freenode).

Thanks to the early testers of the app, Sean for reinforcing the need, and the OpenStack Foundation for their support.

RDS for Aurora unveiled at AWS re:Invent

Originally posted on the MySQL Performance Blog.

One of the big announcements at the Amazon Web Services re:Invent 2014 conference this week was the unveiling of Aurora. The result of years of internal work, Aurora, currently in preview, is a MySQL 5.6-compatible option that “combines the speed and availability of high-end commercial databases with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of open source databases” on the AWS infrastructure. The Aurora database engine will be made available through the Amazon RDS for Aurora service. This new database option is another example of the vibrant innovation coming from the MySQL ecosystem and key role that relational databases play in applications of today and tomorrow.

Integration with other AWS components

Since the Aurora relational database engine will only be made available as a service via RDS, Amazon Web Services can do some interesting new things including:

  • Fully leveraging available compute, memory and networking resources
  • Automatically growing the size of database volumes as storage needs grow
  • Tighter integration with AWS monitoring and restore capabilities
  • Moving from RDS for MySQL to RDS for Aurora will be enabled by a migration tool

Aurora performance

In the keynote, Amazon Web Services shared that Aurora delivers up to five times the performance of stock MySQL 5.6 without requiring any changes to most MySQL applications. Their FAQ reveals some insights into their testing methodology: “Amazon Aurora delivers over 500,000 SELECTs/sec and 100,000 updates/sec, five times higher than MySQL running the same benchmark on the same hardware.”

More RDS for Aurora details coming soon

We’re very excited about Amazon pushing the boundaries in relational databases for the enterprise and look forward to see what we, as a MySQL community, can learn from their new cloud-centric and cross-service approach.

Like many, Percona is looking forward to trying out Aurora. We’ll definitely do some benchmark testing to compare additional database options such as a tuned Percona Server 5.6. Additionally, we’ll share our expert advice and ideas for improvement that we uncover from our testing of RDS for Aurora back to the team at AWS so the service becomes better for all.

Percona at AWS re:Invent and events around the world

Originally posted on the MySQL Performance Blog.

November is a busy month of events for Percona. Conferences in Moscow, London, Paris, Las Vegas, Buenos Aires, and Montevideo mean our experts are racking up the frequent flyer miles meeting users of Percona software from around the world, sharing our insights on MySQL performance and operations, and learning how others are growing and scaling their applications.

Percona started the month in Moscow attending and speaking at Highload++. This event from October 31 to November 1 welcomed thousands of experts from the biggest and brightest companies in Europe and around the world with a keen interest in developing large scale web applications.

From Moscow we traveled to London to host the annual Percona Live London event from November 3-4. If you missed the keynotes, tutorials, sessions, and general MySQL camaraderie, we’re meeting again April 13-16, 2015, in Santa Clara, CA, at the Percona Live MySQL Conference & Expo, the premier event for the rich and diverse MySQL ecosystem. Based on growing demand, we’ve expanded the conference with OpenStack Live, a unique event for learning key considerations for cloud strategies, how to improve overall performance, and operational best practices for managing OpenStack and maximizing the MySQL core. The Call for Papers for both Percona Live and OpenStack Live close soon so submit your speaker proposals today!

The next stop was Paris to attend, exhibit, and speak at the OpenStack Summit. This event, which ran from November 3-7, drew over 4,000 developers, users, and administrators of OpenStack cloud software seeking to learn about the technology and plan future development. Percona is pleased to play a part in the OpenStack community by participating in the Trove project for DBaaS as well as supporting those that need help with the MySQL core of the technology. In their keynote presentation, Time Warner Cable even featured Percona as a key partner helping them to radically change their business using OpenStack.

Percona at AWS re:Invent and events around the worldThis week we’re in Las Vegas for AWS re:Invent at The Venetian running from November 11-14. AWS re:Invent will welcome thousands of developers and operations experts interested in maximizing the power of cloud infrastructure. We want to meet organizations that are creating applications on the Amazon Web Services platform using MySQL and Percona open source software.

Visit us in the Venetian Expo Hall at booth 553 by the Developer Lounge and tell us about your application. We’ll be located next to Heroku and the team from Atlassian. Stop by and enter for a chance to win a Kindle Fire HDX 8.9!

After Las Vegas, Percona MySQL experts will be speaking at two more events, both in South America.

At the MySQL, NoSQL and Cloud 2014 Latin America Conference, Percona Support Engineer Marcos Albe, Percona Consultants Francisco Bordenave and Daniel Guzman, and Senior Remote DBA Max Bubenick will speak on topics ranging from MySQL performance, TokuDB, and best operational practices for database backup and data recovery. At TechMeetup v2014, Percona Consultant Fernando Ipar will lead workshops focused on Big Data Analytics and using the Go programming language. Percona is sponsoring both of these events so visit us at our booths.

We’re looking forward to meeting many users of Percona software as well as some of our customers. If you’re at these events, keep a look out for our team in the Percona shirts. Remember to visit us at AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas this week at booth 553 and enter our drawing to win a Kindle Fire HDX 8.9!

Expect more posts soon about all of our presentations at these events so stay tuned.

Rackspace doubling-down on open-source databases, Percona Server

Originally posted with Tom Diederich on the MySQL Performance Blog.

Rackspace doubling-down on OpenStack TroveFounded in 1998, Rackspace has evolved over the years to address the way customers are using data – and more specifically, databases. The San Antonio-based company is fueling the adoption of cloud computing among organizations large and small.

Today Rackspace is doubling down on open source database technologies. Why? Because that’s where the industry is heading, according to Sean Anderson, Manager of Data Services at Rackspace. The company, he said, created a separate business unit of 100+ employees focused solely on database workloads.

The key technologies under the hood include both relational databases (e.g., MySQL, Percona Server, and MariaDB) and NoSQL databases (e.g., MongoDB, Redis, and Apache Hadoop).

Last July Rackspace added support for Percona Server and MariaDB to their Cloud Databases DBaaS (Database-as-a-Service) product, primarily at the request of application developers who had been requesting more open source database support options.

Matt Griffin, Percona director of product management, and I recently sat down with Sean and his colleague Neha Verma, product manager of Cloud Databases. Our discussion focused on the shift to DBaaS as well as what to expect in the future from Rackspace in terms of Cloud Databases, OpenStack Trove and more.

* * *

Matt: Why did you expand the Cloud Databases product this past summer?
Sean:  We launched cloud databases about a year and a half ago. Since then we’ve rolled feature after feature (backups, monitoring, configuration management, etc…) focused on simplifying our customers life, this backed by Fanatical support has made the product easier to use and more production ready than ever. We understand that features aren’t enough so in addition to all the features we have also made significant improvements to the hardware and network infrastructure. All this means that we’ve been very busy not just expanding the offering but also making the offering simpler to use, more complete and more scalable.

Our vision is to offer a robust platform that with the most popular Big Data, SQL, and NoSQL databases on dedicated, bare metal, and public cloud infrastructure.

Matt: What type of customer is your Cloud Databases offering aimed at?
Sean: Currently we have a variety of customers running multiple Cloud Database instances ranging from customers running a two-month marketing campaign to customers running web applications, ecommerce applications with highly transactional database workloads. Our customers prefer the simplicity and reliability of the service which allows them to focus on their business and not worry about the heavy lifting associated with scaling and managing databases.

Matt: How is your Cloud Databases offering backed-up?
Neha: We use Percona XtraBackup  to perform a hot copy of all databases on a instance and then stream the backups to Cloud Files for storage. A customer can anytime restore the backup to a new instance. Percona XtraBackup is the only option we offer customers right now.

Tom: In terms of security, how do you address customer concerns? Are cloud-based open source databases more secure?
Sean: Data security concerns are at an all-time high and we have a number of up and coming features that continue to address those concerns.   Today we offer a number of unique features specifically Cloud Databases can only be accessed on the private network so the database can only be accessed by systems on your private network. Additionally, we support SSL for communication between user application and database instance so that any data transfer is encrypted in transit.  These features along with the built in user controls and authentication mechanisms help significantly address customers security concerns.  Ultimately Cloud-based open source databases or no more or less secure than any other database, security is about more than features it is about the process and people that build and manage your database and we have those more than covered.

Matt: Is this for production applications or pre-production?
Sean: It’s very much production capable. While there’s a perception that this type of offering would only fit for use cases around test or dev, the truth is we are running hundreds of very large, fully managed instances of MySQL on the cloud. We don’t make any delineation between production or pre-production. However, we’re definitely seeing more and more production workloads come onto the service as people are getting educated on the development work that we’ve done around adding these new features. Replication and monitoring are the two most popular right now.

Matt: How are people accessing and using it?
Sean: A majority of our users either access the database via the Control Panel, API or a command-line utility.

Matt: Since the launch, how has the reaction been?
Sean: The reaction from the press standpoint has been very positive. When we talk with industry analysts they see our commitment to open source and where we are going with this.

OpenStack_PerconaTom: How committed is Rackspace to OpenStack?
Sean: We all live in OpenStack. We have tons of Rackers heading to the upcoming OpenStack Paris Summit in November. We’re looking forward to many years of contributing to the OpenStack community.

Tom: Last April, Rackspace hosted several sessions on OpenStack and Trove at the Percona Live MySQL Conference and Expo 2014 in Santa Clara, Calif. What are you looking forward to most at Percona Live 2015?
Sean: For us, Percona Live is about listening to the MySQL community. It’s our best opportunity each year to actually setup shop and get to learn what’s top of mind for them. We then can take that information and develop more towards that direction.

Tom: And as you know we’re also launching “OpenStack Live” to run parallel to the Percona Live MySQL conference. OpenStack Live 2015 runs April 13-14 and will emphasize the essential elements of making OpenStack work better with emphasis on the critical role of MySQL and the value of Trove. I look forward to hearing the latest news from Rackspace at both events.

Thanks Sean and Neha for speaking with us and I look forward to seeing you this coming April in Santa Clara at Percona Live and OpenStack Live!

On a related note, I’ll also be attending Percona Live London (Nov. 3-4) where we’ll have sessions on OpenStack Trove and everything MySQL. If you plan on attending, please join me at the 2014 MySQL Community Dinner (pay-your-own-way) on Nov. 3. (Register here to reserve your spot at the Community Dinner because space will be limited. You do not need to attend Percona Live London to join the dinner).