Feeds

Drizzle plans to wash away DBMS past

Cloud database says 'no' to Windows and SQL compliance

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A new database management system (DBMS) designed for web applications and cloud computing could be the start of a new direction in DBMS development and, indeed, in software as a whole.

Drizzle - unveiled recently at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) by MySQL director of architecture Brian Aker - is described as a "slimmed down version of MySQL" and defined as much by what it doesn't do as by what it does.

It will have no unnecessary features, won't support Windows or be compatible with MySQL, and neither will it be "SQL relational compliant". The decision to fly in the face of convention could be either bold - or stupid.

Brian Aker at Oscon: Picture Gavin Clarke

Aker: features optional

Aker blogged that Drizzle is the result of discussions with a number of MySQL-interested parties on issues such as feature bloat and performance. The starting point is the creation of a micro-kernel which strips out many features, which are traditionally considered essential in a modern DBMS.

Specifically, Drizzle does not have stored procedures, views, triggers, query cache and prepared statements. Field-data types have been simplified and Aker also noted that SHOW command could be migrated to client environments. Aker argues that, if any of these facilities are needed, they can be provided externally through interfaces and libraries.

"We have taken to a very micro-kernel design where code is being removed from the center and pushed out to the edges via interfaces. We are taking a Linux/Apache tightly coupled design for modules," Aker wrote.

The main reason for stripping down Drizzle to the bare minimum is so it can deliver high performance in an environment defined by web applications based on "cloud" components and multi-core architectures. Currently, the performance goal has yet to be realized because - as noted by Aker on the Drizzle FAQ: "I certainly do not believe the code is production quality. Right now we are defaulting many configure operations to generate debugging code for us so our binaries are not optimal. "

While it is not an official project, it is sanctioned by Sun and some development is being carried out by MySQL employees. Aker described the open collaboration approach - involving both internal and external developers - as "organic open source'".

He expects this will lead to a rapid development cycle with regular releases. It also means that those frustrated with slow progress in development of MySQL will be able to get their hands on features quickly. As MySQL originator Michael "Monty" Widenius blogged Drizzle will have the latest versions of add-ons such as the InnoDB plug in.

The open development model has also helped to define the development technology and tools used to build Drizzle. The code is licensed under the GNU GPLv2 and Aker insists that development should be based on a GNU tool chain. The core development is based on C99 and Posix.

As a result of adopting a GNU tool chain, Drizzle will only be available for Posix based operating systems. Currently these include Linux (Fedora), Solaris Express and Mac OS X.

Greatest thing since data slices?

This means that there are no plans to support Windows. Aker defended the decision with the assertion that Microsoft is irrelevant to the future of software development and went on to compare it to Sony as a "non-innovator".

Drizzle moves into what is currently the most exciting space for DBMS development - large-scale databases that break with the established SQL relational model. If it is successful it could stack up against products such as Amazon's SimpleDB and Google's BigTable.

The big question, though, is whether moving away from the dominant DBMS model - not to mention eschewing support for Windows - will make or break Drizzle. If it works, Drizzle will certainly mean a sea change in DBMS development and could well become a model for a different approach to building software based on a minimalist model. If it doesn't, Drizzle will live up to its namesake by becoming something of passing and inconsequential interest.®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
Torvalds CONFESSES: 'I'm pretty good at alienating devs'
Admits to 'a metric ****load' of mistakes during work with Linux collaborators
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.