Widenius: MySQL Ready to Take on the World

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2004-04-16 Print this article Print

MySQL co-founder and CTO Michael "Monty" Widenius says the open-source database company is on the move. It recently added 10 new developers, took on enterprise-class capabilities in its new MySQL Cluster technology and is keeping a sharp eye o

On the last day of MySQL ABs second-annual user conference, eWEEK.coms Database Center Editor Lisa Vaas caught up with MySQL co-founder and chief technology officer Michael "Monty" Widenius to find out whats on the technology roadmap for the open-source database maker. In the interview, Widenius tells us that his vision for the open-source database is to spread it as far and wide as possible, both geographically and in a wide range of devices, such as PDAs.
To get there, the small Swedish company has added 10 new developers and has taken on enterprise-class capabilities such as the MySQL Cluster technology rolled out this week in Orlando, Fla. And perhaps most importantly, MySQL is keeping a sharp eye on an evolving database market that it sees as being well-primed for its mantra of lean, mean, no-frills commodity databases.
How are attendees of the MySQL conference responding to the rollout of MySQL Cluster? The cluster sessions were extremely well-attended, which shows that its not just for the enterprise, but addresses a range of database uses. Why clustering? I like solutions that provide more speed because Ive worked my whole life making fast software. Cluster will be a solution that gives users much more speed for certain kinds of applications. The way cluster works is a natural extension to what we do already. The nice thing with our cluster solution is that its extremely simple to use, so it doesnt put a big burden on the user. It fits perfectly into the MySQL philosophy to add new things but to keep them simple. Open source is powering databases and data marts in a large percentage of deployments. Click here to read highlights from the Forrester report. Why is high availability so important to enterprises now? If you want to have a solution for the enterprise, a key factor is high availability. We have a lot of users who are demanding this, and we want to continue keeping them happy. Other things we are working on for high availability in MySQL [include] extending replication and improving online backups. Whos going to benefit from using clustering? Any organization or individual can benefit from our clustering. It can be used with inexpensive hardware, and its trivial to set up and use. What is unique with our cluster solution is that it can be used both as a fast, in-memory table backed up on disk [on the master machine] or as a fast, global storage to give ultimate speed and high availability. Its a very flexible solution. Next page: Moving from absorbing old features to swallowing new technologies.

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for eWEEK.com and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on eWEEK.com, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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