Percona Live Data Performance Conference 2016

I’m sitting in the San Fransisco airport trying to get enough caffein in me to feel alive again.  A sure sign of a great conference.  Last year I live blogged the conference but this year there was so much stuff that I wanted to absorb that I failed to make time for that.  There were a ton of great sessions.  It did feel like there were fewer folks in attendance, but that only made the learning feel more personal.  This year the folks at Percona opened up the conference to encourage content across all platforms.  I wonder if that made some of the MySQL folks worry that the conference didn’t have anything to offer them.  I can tell you that there was plenty of great MySQL content.

Working in an enterprise database administration shop, the expanded content was perfect for me.  While we have historically only supported 2 platforms, we currently support 4 (about to be 5) and are constantly being pushed to support more.  This is a natural extension of modern application design and have a conference where we can hit on several platforms really helps.  We all have tight budgets these days and its almost like having 3-4 conferences in one.  But the soul of the conference is still very much MySQL.  With content geared towards first time DBAs through sessions on the InnoDB and the new MySQL Document Store, you can’t go wrong with this conference to expand your MySQL knowledge.

I am coming home with a bunch of great ideas.  The hard part now is to pick which things to work on implementing first.  Some will be changes my team can make ourselves and others will need to involve change in other teams as well.  I was very intrigued by the “chatops” idea.  I will try to see how we can integrate the concept into our operations.  I similarly was interested in the rise of integrating chat bots into database automation.  We are hitting database automation real hard right now.  Thus far our focus has been on self service APIs, but I think we will add a natural text interface into these APIs to further improve the experience for our customers.

Well, I am out of coffee so I need to run and refill the cup.  More to come on Percona Live and all the projects that come out of it.

It’s Been Awhile

We’ll life happens, and like everyone else I’ve been busy.  I have, however, been working on some exciting stuff so I thought it was time to get back to blogging to share all the cool stuff going on.  First, I have been working in management.  This means that I have to steal cycles to do the techie stuff these days.  Second, my son has started playing travel soccer which stills most of my early evenings and a good part of my weekends.  I do love to see him compete however, so no complaints here.  All this is to say that I have had to be more deliberate in what I have been working on.

I plan for this to be the first in a series of blogs and I thought it best to go over some of the topics that have been taking up my time.  I will list out both technical and non-technical issues that I have been wrestling with and provide a little context.  My hope is this information with help me to prioritize my subsequent blog posts as well as give some context to them when they come out.


Last year, my team stepped up to the plate and went from zero to fully supporting Highly Available MySQL in about 9 months.  We spent time learning the platform, sharing knowledge and testing different configurations.  We also worked with Percona to have an independent expert come out and verify that we were on the right track.  When it was all said and done we not only have a handful of production applications on stand-alone MySQL instances and an application running on top of Galera, we also realize that MySQL provides us the ability to control data platform much better than our primary platforms (Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server).  My technical contribution to this project was providing a one day hands on Galera training for the team so they could better understand that technology.


After spending last year rolling out MySQL,  I had planned to spend this year cleaning up some remaining issues and working on standardizing our Oracle and SQL Server environments more.  Life has a way of changing my priorities.  Our company had a major initiative that required the use of MongoDB as the data store.  I had been reading up on MongoDB and had attended some local user group meetings, but as a team we were basically at ground zero as far as MongoDB was concerned.  Once again, we leaned on Percona to help us get some replica sets up in support of the aggressive project goals, and I had two of my folks work through the wonderful online training provided by MongoDB Inc.

We are still very much in the middle of this project, but so far I am excited by what I have seen.  I think that developers here are going to love somethings about MongoDB, and it will help us solve some issues we have in being more agile with our data stores.

Database as a Service

Another big initiative my team has going on right now is transitioning to a true Database as a Service provider.  We currently have a self-help website I built years ago that lets our customers spin up development and test databases, copy databases between instances, as well as deploy code without worrying about the documentation needed in the CMDB (the application handles all that).  It has served us well, but it was built without an API.  In order to integrate with other automation initiatives within the company we need to provide all this and more via an API.

We looked at Cloud Foundry and Trove as options to “buy” our way out to this.  But with all the other change going on we decided that it would be best to implement our own API and allowing others to plug in as needed.  This allows us to better control the back-end services and keep our existing investments in monitoring, backups, and other processes.  I am working with another member of my team to build a Restful API for this.  We have chosen to leverage NodeJS as our development platform.  For a “.Net” guy this is a steep learning curve, but so far I am digging it.

I’ll try to keep you up to speed on these areas.  I apologize in advance if post come at you in a seemingly random way from here on out.  I just hope to make the time to share and with all this going on the topics are bound to blend together.