Velocity 2010 – Drizzle

Monty Taylor from Rackspace talked about Drizzle, a MySQL variant “built for operations“. My thoughts will be in italics so you can be enraged at the right party.

Drizzle is “a database for the cloud”.  What does that even mean?  It’s “the next Web 2.0”, which is another away of saying “it’s the new hotness, beeyotch” (my translation).

mySQL scaling to multiple machines brings you sadness.  And mySQL deploy is crufty as hell.  So step 1 to Drizzle recovery is that they realized “Hey, we’re not the end all be all of the infrastructure – we’re just one piece people will be putting into their own structure.”  If only other software folks would figure that out…

Oracle style vertical scaling is lovely using a different and lesser definition of scaling.  Cloud scaling is extreme!  <Play early 1990s music>  It requires multiple machines.

They shard.  People complain about sharding, but that’s how the Internet works – the Internet is a bunch of sites sharded by functionality.  QED.

“Those who don’t know UNIX are doomed to repeat it.”  The goal (read about the previous session on toolchains) is to compose stuff easily, string them together like pipes in UNIX.  But most of the databases still think of themselves as a big black box in the corner, whose jealous priests guard it from the unwashed heathen.

So what makes Drizzle different? In summary:

  • Less features
  • Ops driven
  • Sane config
  • Plugins

Less features means less ways for developers to kill you.  Oracle’s “run Java within the database” is an example of totally retarded functionality whose main job is to ruin your life. No stored procedures, no triggers, no prepared statements.  This avoids developer sloppiness.  “Insert a bunch of stuff, then do a select and the database will sort it!” is not appropriate thinking for scale.

Ops driven means not marketing driven, which means driven by lies.  For example, there’s no marketdroids that want them to add a mySQL event scheduler when cron exists.  Or “we could sell more if we had ANSI compliant stored procedures!”  They don’t have a company to let the nasty money affect their priorities.

They don’t do competitive benchmarks, as they are all lies.  That’s for impartial third parties to do.  They do publish their regression tests vs themselves for transparency.

You get Drizzle via distros.  There are no magic “gold” binaries and people that do that are evil.  But distros sometimes get behind.  pandora-build

They have sane defaults.  If most people are doing to set something (like FRICKING INNODB) they install by default that way.  To install Drizzle, the only mandatory thing to say is the data directory.

install from apt/yum works.  Or configure/make/make install and run drizzled.  No bootstrap, system tables, whatever.

They use plugins.  mySQL plugins are pain, more of a patch really.  You can just add them at startup time, no SQL from a sysadmin.  And no loading during runtime – see “less features” above.  This is still in progress especially config file sniblets.  But plugins are the new black.

They have pluggable protocols.  It ships with mySQL and Drizzle, but you can plug console, HTTP/REST or whatever.  Maybe dbus…  Their in progress Drizzle protocol removes the potential for SQL injection by only delivering one query, has a sharding key in the packet header, supports HTTP-like redirects…

libdrizzle has both client and server ends, and talks mySQL and Drizzle.

So what about my app that always auths to the database with its one embedded common username/password?  Well, you can do none, PAM, LDAP (and well), HTTP. You just say authenticate(user, pass) and it does it.   It has pluggable authorization too, none, LDAP, or hard-coded.

There is a pluggable query filter that can detect and stop dumb queries- without requiring a proxy.

It has pluggable logging – none, syslog, gearman, etc. – and errors too.

Pluggable replication!  A new scheme based on Google protocol buffers, readable in Java, Python, and C++.  It’s logical change (not quite row) based.  Combined with protocol redirects, it’s db migration made easy!

Boots!  A new command line client, on  It’s pluggable, scriptable, pipes SQL queries, etc.

P.S. mySQL can lick me! (I’m paraphrasing, but only a little.)

1 Comment

Filed under Conferences, DevOps

One response to “Velocity 2010 – Drizzle

  1. Pingback: Drizzle @ Velocity (seemed to go well) | Ramblings

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.