September 3, 2009

Continuent on clustering

Robert Hodges, CTO of my client Continuent, put up a blog post laying out his and Continuent’s views on database clustering. Continuent offers Tungsten, its third try at database clustering technology, targeted at MySQL, PostgreSQL, and perhaps Oracle. Unlike Continuent’s more ambitious. second-generation product, Tungsten offers single-master replication, which in Robert’s view allows for great ease of deployment and administration (he likes the phrase “bone-simple”).

The downside to Continuent Tungsten ‘s stripped down architecture is that it doesn’t solve the most extreme performance scale-out problems. Instead, Continuent focuses on the other big benefits of keeping your data in more than one place, namely high availability and data loss prevention (i.e., backup).

Continuent has been around for a number of years, starting out in Finland but now being based in Silicon Valley. For most purposes, however, it’s reasonable to think of Continuent and Tungsten as start-up efforts.

As you might guess from the references to Finland and MySQL, Continuent’s products are open source, or at least have open source versions. I’m still a little fuzzy as to which features are open sourced and which are not. For that matter, I’m still unclear as to Tungsten’s feature list overall …


3 Responses to “Continuent on clustering”

  1. Robert Hodges on September 3rd, 2009 5:06 pm

    Hi Curt!

    First of all, thanks for the mention!

    There is a full list of Tungsten features for availability, data protection, and performance scaling at Note that if you read the white paper carefully a couple of them like DRBD and parallel replication support have the helper verb “will” in front of them which means we are still implementing with release(s) expected over the remaining months of this year.

    Tungsten currently supports MySQL versions 5.0 and 5.1 with initial support for PostgreSQL due out in September. We are also working hard on Oracle.

    As for the open source vs. commercial–the simple answer is that most features in what our literature describes as the “Basic HA” category are also available in open source or will be shortly. I’ll have a short blog article on that later in the month when we release a full cluster build in open source.

    Cheers, Robert

  2. Some NoSQL links | DBMS2 -- DataBase Management System Services on March 13th, 2010 6:36 pm

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