Tricks and Tradeoffs of Deploying MySQL Clusters in the Cloud

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Launching MySQL databases in the cloud makes many DBA’s dreams come true, but it can also also challenge basic assumptions, such as the durability of disk storage. Setting up MySQL in the cloud requires rethinking, which can result in a more complex set-up on day one, but the reward is more flexibility. This session will explore lessons learned at RightScale in deploying thousands of production MySQL databases on the cloud for real customers and will help attendees understand why the flexibility of running databases in the cloud is worth more than the loss of control over the hardware.

For example, attendees can learn about the special characteristics of Amazon EC2 and how to set-up MySQL with replication and continuous backups to S3. We will examine configurations used by a number of startups on EC2. Also, Amazon has recently launched the Elastic Block Store (EBS), providing a virtually infinite SAN storage array in the sky. This has changed the way MySQL can be deployed and managed dramatically. Deploying MySQL in the cloud is now far more flexible than using traditional hosting. It is far easier to set up replicas for special purposes, to run slave databases in other datacenters for availability purposes, or to move the database to larger machines as the load increases. In the talk, we can explain how to set up MySQL using EBS and all the little tradeoffs and tricks it takes, such as how to move a database to a larger machine with minimal downtime and how to set-up mysql redundantly to allow failover to a different datacenter.

RightScale is the leader in cloud computing management and has already launched thousands of MySQL clusters in the cloud. The MySQL management automation provided on the RightScale dashboard enables push-button management of a master/slave MySQL deployment, from deploying the initial master and slave, promoting a slave to master after a failure, to setting up a new slave. This level of automation enables new ways of using servers to simplify the overall database management. Cloning the entire multi-server MySQL deployment to set up a staging or scalability test system turns into only minutes of work. Adding a slave to run some one-off reports or to perform consistency checks is similarly easy, and when the job is done, it takes only a click to make it go away again. In many ways this is a DBA’s heaven, but only as long as the tasks are automated!

Photo of Thorsten von Eicken

Thorsten von Eicken

RightScale, Inc

Thorsten von Eicken is founder and CTO of RightScale, Inc. Before joining RightScale, Thorsten was Chief Architect at and Citrix Online, makers of GoToMyPC, GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar, and GoToAssist. He was responsible for the overall architecture of these online services and also managed the 24/7 datacenter operations which allowed him to acquire deep knowledge in deploying and running secure scalable online services. Thorsten received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley and was a professor of computer science at Cornell University.

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Sheeri K. Cabral
07/30/2009 2:13am PDT

Watch the full video on YouTube (much easier) at

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Sheeri K. Cabral
07/06/2009 9:34am PDT

People have reported that the “play” link loads for 15-20 minutes before actually streaming the content; however, the download link works just fine. I apologize for any inconvenience.

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Sheeri K. Cabral
06/25/2009 12:34am PDT

Play the video directly in your browser at or download it at

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