Why has MySQL taken on this type of [for an open-source company] atypical technology, and can we expect more leading-edge technology to appear in MySQL going forward?
Clustering is not significantly more complex than other solutions provided by open source. An operating system is not a simple piece of software, and the same goes for a database, Web server and the other numerous applications you can find in the open-source space. The general thinking has been that clustering is uniquely complicated—and therefore expensive. MySQL Cluster shows that this is not the case. You can do clustering in a simple, efficient manner that anyone can understand and use.
MySQL historically has been used in Apache-driven server farms for providing online access to data. Thats good scalability for read-only access, but for full database scalability, you need clustering of some kind. With that in mind, what kind of new ventures, usage, industry sectors, etc. will clustering set MySQL up for?
MySQL was originally created to solve problems both in the data-warehousing space and for the Web, but it has never been limited to those areas. Our user base has implemented MySQL to solve every thinkable database need, but I can agree that the Web usage has probably been one of the most visible areas.
MySQL has always been used by leading-edge companies [Sabre Inc., Hoovers Inc.] that have wanted to access their data in the fastest possible manner. And because clustering maximizes high availability and high speed, this is something they have been asking for [for] a long time. Clustering will help MySQL be even more widely adopted in critical markets like banking and telecom, where there are extreme demands from the database server.