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Introducing NuoDB Swifts Release 2.1 Beta
Sep 29 2014
About a year ago, we issued NuoDB Starlings Release 2.0, a major release for NuoDB. Since then, we’ve issued several point releases, most recently 2.0.4 in May.
With NuoDB Swifts Release 2.1, we’re shipping a number of important enhancements and performance, scalability, and quality improvements.
Connecting the dots through these releases, you’ll see a number of common themes. And with this release, we’re also plotting a path forward for the next year.
The first theme that we’ve been refining is the concept of Automation. First introduced in 2013, Automation is a high-level requirements-oriented approach to managing databases. For instance, suppose your goal is to “operate a database that is minimally redundant”. With Automation, you’d apply the supplied “Minimally Redundant” Automation Template when you create the database. NuoDB does the rest, spinning up Transaction Engines and Storage Managers on a minimum of two hosts. Furthermore, Automation ensures that if a host goes offline, another will be automatically selected on which to start replacement Transaction Engines (TEs) and Storage Managers (SMs) as necessary to sustain the Template requirements.
In this way, you can think of a Template as a Service Level Agreement (SLA) that expresses and enforces your deployment goals, and Automation as a way of “putting the datacenter on autopilot”.
Based on this foundation, Release 2.1 brings significant improvements and updates to Automation:
- NuoDB management layer improvements for detection & enforcement of Automation Template SLAs
- New REST API and command-line support for creating and managing databases and other aspects of system operation
- New REST API, SQL interface, and JMX support for metrics and alerts
- Enhanced Automation Template parameterization capabilities
You’ll also notice Swifts’ updated browser-based management tools. These offer interactive access to the capabilities supported via API and command line. The unified tool suite provides 1-click access to:
- Admin home page: up-to-date content and online resources
- Automation Console: new interactive tool for creating, managing, and monitoring managed databases
- SQL Explorer: browse databases, schemas, and submit SQL queries
- Documentation, Forums, Tech Blog, Feedback, Code samples
- Built-in Quickstart and Storefront demos, both of which have been updated for 2.1
- Admin Console: our original tool for administering unmanaged (non-Automated) databases.
Another continued theme: the “basics” that every software company can never stop working on: performance, scalability, and stability. The numbers (~450 fixes and improvements since 2.0.4) alone do not paint the full picture; here are some highlights to call out:
- Introduction of a cost-based SQL optimizer
- Improvements and extensions to SQL indexing, in multi-TE and batch scenarios
- Parallelized Database Migrator Tool
- Affinity-based load balancer
Customers tell us that they love how different NuoDB is from traditional RDBMS solutions – the ability to scale out horizontally on commodity hardware, or configure a single logical database across multiple data centers, for instance.
But in one area they really need NuoDB to be just like other enterprise software: it has to integrate into the datacenter and its existing systems.
With this in mind, we’re pleased to announce that we’re adding preview support for these popular monitoring solutions and interfaces:
- Java Management Extensions (JMX)
- New Relic: A SaaS tool to help cross-functional teams tackle the challenge of monitoring complex production software.
- Zabbix: Open-source software designed for monitoring availability and performance of IT infrastructure components. (Available at 2.1 GA)
We’ve also finalized our support for hosting Drupal, the immensely popular and capable Open Source CMS, atop NuoDB. This was a fun exercise for the team to take on. NuoDB enables a highly-available site right out of the box with a two host configuration, or a multi-region setup with just a little more effort, side-stepping the usual complexity of a, say, replicated MySQL configuration. We’ll soon be running our own corporate site (nuodb.com) on it.
About The Beta
Our goal is to ensure that when 2.1 reaches General Availability (targeting early to mid November), it’s where it needs to be for existing and new customers. As we fix issues, we’ll roll out updates to the Beta. Not all of the features and updates listed in this post are available with early versions of the Beta. Watch this space for updates and maybe a note or two about other new capabilities.
You’ll also notice that we’re taking a fresh look at our online documentation (available here). We will be actively updating the documentation throughout the 2.1 Beta. We’d love your feedback on this new approach.
Browse the Release Notes, where you’ll find all sorts of details about what’s new and different about this release. There are some important disclaimers and constraints you should know about. And then go here (http://go.nuodb.com/beta-request.html) to request a download. Thank you in advance for giving 2.1 a spin - we’d love to know what you think (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
Release 2.1 bridges our work over the past year – performance, scalability, reliability – with key investments in themes that you’ll see us revisiting again in coming releases.
We believe our concept of Automation is a key differentiator for NuoDB, and you’ll see us continuing to invest in it. We think that it is a fundamental enabler for bringing the database into the vision of a fully-managed, self-healing “Autopilot” datacenter.
Another theme: Enterprise. Customers see NuoDB as a webscale distributed SQL database that can play a central role in an enterprise’s data architecture. Our new support for Enterprise monitoring tools is an important step in that direction. We’ll be sharing our plans for new features and capabilities to more fully take on that role.
We’ve been working closely with a few customers to test early versions of 2.1, gaining invaluable experience as they move through dev and test phases and into deployment, putting the code through its paces in the deep end of the pool, so to speak. We’re constantly in awe of the amazing things customers do with our software. Thank you!