As the dog days of summer set in and temperatures rise, this year’s O’Reilly OSCON conference in Portland, OR offered the open source community a brief respite from the heat. However, if you’re thinking the event lacked sizzle, think again. The energy, the discussions and the opportunities to collaborate, plus the chance to learn from/ interact with customers and potential customers, made OSCON one of the highlights of July.

While I’ve attended previous OSCON conferences while at MySQL AB, this was the first time I’ve attended as the CEO of SkySQL. My new role provided a different perspective, as well as new kinds of opportunities to interact with the open source community. There were plenty of terrific, formal presentations and Birds of a Feather (BOF) sessions, however, those from MySQL, MariaDB and Drizzle were especially noteworthy and informative. Here were a few high points:


MySQL MHA – It was amazing to hear Yoshinori Matsunobu speak about the systems that he manages for DeNA, especially such high volume / high demand production systems. There were a number of people there to learn about his MHA tool – which had a 10-30 second recovery failover and the ability to switch masters in <1 second! Read more here. (SkySQL announced at OSCON that it has partnered with Yoshinori and will be the first to provide commercial support for MySQL MHA).


MariaDB — Our friends at MariaDB are to be congratulated on the launch of the 5.3 beta. The release has a lot of interesting new features, including a redesign of the optimizer and support for dynamic columns. And as always, the MariaDB BOF was lively. For how much of this liveliness could be attributed to Salmiakki, you’ll have to ask Monty… (grin)


Drizzle – There was a lot of buzz about Drizzle at OSCON, including quite a few questions from people that had already rolled it out or were on the verge of switching to it. The folks from Drizzle also noted that Drizzle 7.1 with multi-master replication is on the horizon, with the Fremont beta coming very soon.


MySQL – This was a great BOF that didn’t want to end. With Dave Stokes, Lars Thalmann, and Mats Kindahl present, the multi-threaded replication features were of particular interest. Another hot topic of discussion was Group Commit. With a number of versions (Facebook, MariaDB, and MySQL) available, it will be interesting to see which versions gain traction with users. As always, with Monty W. present, things were especially animated (more grins).

Interestingly, there was also some discussion about fears over doing business with Oracle. Many educational users, in particular, expressed dismay over the increasing costs of Oracle licensing and support. Educational institutions are dealing with budgets that are staying static, or worse, shrinking, and they simply cannot afford to expend that much on support.


Cloud, Cloud, Cloud – As is true in tech overall, anything cloud is hot. And to this point, there were a number of vendors contributing to and building alternative platforms and services to address cloud.


OpenStack Solutions – Of course, there were also quite a few companies – Dell, HP, Rackspace, to name a few – presenting their OpenStack services. Of particular interest in this field was Nebula, which hosted a hopping launch party during the expo. Their focus will be providing an appliance that will facilitate deploying private OpenStack clouds.


I could keep going, but you get the picture. These are just a handful of the topics trending at OSCON. The energetic discussions of new developments in open source, as well as new product and partnership announcements, just underscored how the open source community is not only alive and well, but also continuing to evolve. If the energy at OSCON is any indication, it’s clear that open source will continue to be a disruptive force in IT for some time. As always, it was great to connect with other leaders in open source at OSCON and I’m really excited for SkySQL to be part of such a vibrant community.


— Ulf Sandberg, SkySQL Founder & CEO