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jeremy 03-31-2014 01:30 PM

Google and Facebook Team Up to Modernize MySQL Database With Open Source WebScaleSQL

Released in 2006, the paper revealed an approach to data storage that did away with the traditional model used by relational databases, which are designed to store data in neat rows and columns on a single machine. Basically, BigTable made it easier to spread data onto hundreds or even thousands of computer servers. Along with a paper published by Amazon about its own adventures in data storage, the Big Table concept spawned dozens of open source imitators. These “NoSQL” databases play a big role inside the biggest names of on the web and beyond, including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, as well as Google.

But the need for old-fashioned relational databases never went away. To this day, all the big web companies still depend on the open source database MySQL and its variants, such as MariaDB. There are still cases where it makes sense to store data in neat rows and columns, so that you can very quickly retrieve it, slice it, and dice it. But because their operations are so large, such companies also need ways of running these databases across many machines.

That’s why Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google have teamed up to create what they call WebScaleSQL, a custom version of MySQL designed just for large scale web companies. Their changes to the database will be open sourced, meaning they’ll be freely shared with the world at large, and the companies plan to contribute their changes back to the original MySQL project. “Our goal in launching WebScaleSQL is to enable the scale-oriented members of the MySQL community to work more closely together in order to prioritize the aspects that are most important to us,” Facebook’s Steaphan Greene writes in a blog post announcing the project this morning.

Details are a scant, but the project includes new ways to stress test large-scale SQL databases and optimizations for certain types of information queries.
More at Wired...


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