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Drizzle: Big-Data-happy MySQL fork debuts

Not your enterprise relational database

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Drizzle – a lightweight fork of Oracle's MySQL database for cloud computing – has been released by open sourcers.

Drizzle tarball version 2011.03.13 has been released as general availability (GA) version. It comes nearly three years after the project was announced by Brian Aker, one of MySQL's key architects,.

Drizzle aims to be different from MySQL, stripping out "unnecessary" features loved by enterprise and OEMs in the name of greater speed and simplicity and for reduced management overhead.

Drizzle has no stored procedures, triggers, or views - three staples of MySQL and other relational databases - and, in a blow to a large chunk of the computing and IT establishment, it doesn't run on Microsoft's Windows. Also, there's no embedded sever.

Instead, Drizzle is a microkernel built using C++ that relies on plug-ins to expand its features. It has inherited plug-ins from MySQL for the storage engine API, logging in, authentication, replication, network protocols, and scheduling but these have all been re-written.

Drizzle has been optimized for "massively concurrent" environments and is designed for "modern" POSIX systems, and there aren't any installation scripts.

The GA includes log-based replication, the HailDB relational database engine instead of the Oracle-owned InnoDB, and "easy migration" from MySQL using the Drizzledump.

Aker started Drizzle in 2008 while still at Sun, working to build a light-weight version of MySQL. He thought that MySQL was headed in the wrong direction - the development and features were taking it down the path of the greater enterprise support. Features in MySQL 5.0 targeted OEMs and companies wanting a cheap alternative to Oracle for their SAP R/3 systems.

Aker, who left Sun with the Drizzle team following Oracle's 2010 acquisition, said his interest in Drizzle was more about the Facebooks and the Googles running large-scale, multi-core 64-bit systems.

He imagined Drizzle would serve developers building web-based apps, cloud components, and databases minus the business logic, and those working with multi-core architectures.

Bootnote

Xeround has announced the public beta for its MySQL add-on service to Ruby application host Heroku. The service is designed to give Ruby programmers a hosted version of Oracle's database that's theoretically easier to set up: the service is based on the community edition for MySQL and has been modified so devs only need register their database and then tell the system that they want to create a database, with the actually database's creation process automated. Xeround chief executive Razi Sharir said features like memcaching, sharding, setting of different database sets, and locations would be handled automatically.

MySQL is already an option on Amazon, the cloud Heroku floats on, but requires more knowledge of how and where to create your MySQL instance. Xeround's Heroku service is due to go live this summer.

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