10 years of MySQL User Conferences

In preparing for this month’s Percona Live MySQL Conference and Expo, I’ve been reminiscing about the annual MySQL User Conference’s history – the 9 times it previously took place in its various reincarnations – and there are a lot of good things, fun things to remember.

2003 MySQL Users Conference and Expo2003 was the year that marked the first MySQL user conference independently organized by MySQL AB. It was called the “MySQL Users Conference” and took place at the Double Tree hotel near the San Jose airport with an estimated 500-600 people attending. Monty and David kicked-off the show with keynotes and I recall one of them saying something like, “12 full-time engineers are working on MySQL server.” The MySQL Certification program was announced. MySQL 4.0.12 was just released as its first GA release in the MySQL 4.0 series, and for the first and only time in a MySQL version you could buy MySQL in a box with a CD inside, the same way you’d have bought any other software at the time. MySQL 4.1.0 was also available as an early alpha.

2004 MySQL User Conference2004 was the second year the event was independently organized by MySQL AB. It took place in Orlando, Florida at the Peabody hotel. It was a fun place to visit though it attracted a smaller crowd and this is why I think the conference never left California again afterward. Partnership with SAP was hot at this event and MaxDB database looked like it had a solid future. MySQL Cluster and MySQL Press were announced during this event; “High Performance MySQL” 1st edition written by Jeremy and Derek was also available. MySQL 4.0.18 was GA and 4.1.1 as alpha – perhaps the smallest-ever change in MySQL versions for the year.

2005 MySQL Conference and Expo2005 was the first year O’Reilly partnered with MySQL to put on an amazing conference with O’Reilly’s style of mixing fun with business. The conference name changes to “MySQL Conference and Expo” that year and moves to its current location at the convention center in Santa Clara, California. MySQL celebrated its 10th birthday at the conference. Some 1,300 reported to have attended. This is perhaps the time of the brightest hopes for MySQL to date at the time, and everyone had a “lets change the world” mentality. MySQL 4.1.11 was available as GA at the time on the conference and a lot of hopes were pinned on MySQL 5.0, which was supposed to target the enterprise customer, and which was available as non-GA 5.0.4 version at the time of event.

2006 MySQL User Conference2006 was the last year that I was attending the conference as a MySQL employee. I would attend all others, too, but now as part of Percona. It was the conference following the first shock to the MySQL Ecosystem – Oracle acquired Innodb in October of 2005. It was not very clear what that would mean for the MySQL ecosystem. A lot of focus was placed on the storage engine API diminishing importance of the Innodb storage engine. The Falcon storage engine was announced as a potential Innodb successor. A “MySQL Network” commercial subscription product was announced in what later evolved into “MySQL Enterprise,” and MySQL 5.0 is finally available as GA with version 5.0.20a… MySQL 5.1 is in development (5.1.9)

2007 MySQL User Conference2007 is the year when the “State of the Dolphin” previously delivered by Monty and David is gone, signaling some early tensions… the State of MySQL AB is delivered by Marten Mickos. It is truly a year of storage engines, focused on showing what is on top is what really matters. Falcon, SolidDB, NitroSecurity, PBXT, StorageEngine for S3 and IBM DB2 integration were all present at this show. Marten reports revenues of almost $50 million in 2006, preparing for an IPO, and MySQL 6.0 was to ship the next year. MySQL releases are split between the MySQL Community, and MySQL Enterprise is released with different versions on different schedules. MySQL 5.0.37 GA and 5.1.17 nonGA were the latest version at the conference.

2008 MySQL User Conference2008 Here comes the second shock to the MySQL ecosystem: No IPO. MySQL is now owned by Sun Microsystems. Monty goes public with his critique of MySQL Management. Monty is working on the Maria storage engine to replace Innodb for a number of use cases. The first “open core” plans are announced for MySQL Server – the online backup in MySQL 6.0, it’s to ship in commercial version only. An Innodb Plugin is announced and will be separate from MySQL Server, providing a more scalable Innodb version with more features. Gearman and MemcacheD storage engine plugins are available for MySQL. Facebook mentions they have over 1,800 MySQL Servers. MySQL Enterprise provides Monthly Rapid Updates [MRU] while Community MySQL versions updated every quarter or so. MySQL 5.0.51a is GA and 5.1.24 is nonGA

2009 MySQL User Conference2009 The first and the only conference organized by Sun and O’Reilly from the ground up. The third shock comes to the MySQL ecosystem when Oracle announces the purchase of Sun during the conference. Both Monty and Marten are no longer with the company (having left in February), and the State of the Dolphin talk is back but now delivered by Karen Padir, the new manager responsible for MySQL business at Sun. A lot of Sun hardware and Solaris focused talks this year. It is the first year that the Drizzle project participates in the conference. Percona runs Percona Performance Conference as a free event going concurrently with the conference and announced Percona XtraDB as improved and extended Innodb Plugin version, MySQL 5.1 is FA with 5.1.34 and MySQL 5.4.0 is in a nonGA version. The MySQL Enterprise model is changed… now MySQL Community versions are released monthly and Enterprise versions come in form of Quarterly Service Packs [QSP]

2010 MySQL User Conference2010 The deal between Oracle and Sun is now closed after overcoming a number of bottlenecks, including strong opposition by Monty. There is a lot of FUD and Drama over the conference, with the conference’s future itself now uncertain. The State of the Dolphin is now delivered by Edward Screven, the new boss of the MySQL business, now at Oracle. Monty changes his focus from Maria (storage engine) to MariaDB (complete MySQL replacement). There is a lot of “MySQL Community” focused keynotes. Good coverage of MySQL Alternatives including keynotes for Drizzle and MariaDB. MySQL 5.5 replaced MySQL 5.4 as next planned GA release. Percona releases GA version of Percona Xtrabackup – open source alternative to Innodb Hot backup. MySQL 5.1.46 is GA and MySQL 5.5.4 is not GA at the time of the conference.

2011 MySQL Conference2011 The conference is now independently organized by O’Reilly with Oracle providing a keynote and a few sessions. The conference is extended to include a lot of other databases and technologies in NoSQL and BigData space – PostgreSQL, EnterpriseDB, Hadoop,Hbase, MongoDB, CouchBase providing compliments and alternatives to MySQL. The MySQL Community awards are presented by Monty and David in the conference keynote. Percona XtraDB becomes Percona Server and is now a full-scale MySQL alternative and not just replacement for the Innodb Plugin. MySQL 5.5 is now GA with no more funky version differences for MySQL Enterprise, just certain features available only in Enterprise edition as plugins. Early preview of plans for MySQL 5.6 more in the form of a code drop than promises what the final version will contain. MySQL 5.5.11 is GA and MySQL 5.6.2 is nonGA.

Percona MySQL Conference and Expo 20122012 marks the first year the annual conference is organized by Percona, with technical content selected by an independent committee. The conference is refocused back on MySQL and the needs of the MySQL community covering other technologies, as it is relevant to MySQL users. MySQL, MariaDB, Percona Server, Drizzle are all well represented at the conference. No talks from Oracle. Marten Mickos is back with a keynote, “Making LAMP a Cloud.” He’s now CEO of Eucalyptus. Percona announces Percona XtraDB Cluster as GA – the new approach to MySQL High Availability in and out of the Cloud. MySQL 5.5.23 is GA and 5.6.5 is nonGA at the time of the conference.

The event’s 10th anniversary begins in less than two weeks. We’re yet to make history about what will be remembered the most about it. It’s great so see momentum going stronger and strong, and I’m very happy to see the very broad participation by the MySQL ecosystem – with Oracle coming back to the conference, providing a keynote from Tomas Ulin, vice president of Oracle’s MySQL engineering team, along with some technical talks directly from the Oracle MySQL engineers who brought us MySQL 5.6. MariaDB and Percona products are also very well covered at this year’s Percona Live MySQL Conference and Expo.

Forgot to register ? You can do it now with “Peter15” discount code and get 15% off.

P.S I also would very much like to know what memorable moments do you have from you attending MySQL Conference over last 10 years. Please leave comment and share your experiences! Thank you.

Additionally, I’d like to offer readers the chance to win a free pass to this year’s Percona Live MySQL Conference and Expo in Santa Clara, Calif., April 22-25. Share a memory you have from past MySQL user conferences on Twitter – directing it to @Percona and with hashtag #mysqlmemories. We’ll pick a winner at random next Tuesday.Good luck!

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Comments (6)

  • Henrik Ingo


    Make sure you get the math right, as this is a common pitfall:
    – First MySQL conference was *10 years ago*
    – This year will be the eleventh conference 🙂

    (The difference is that babies are born at age zero, while the first conference was already number 1. Hence your age is calculated as a substraction of current time minus birth year, but an anniversary for an annual event is not.)

    April 12, 2013 at 1:57 am
  • Henrik Ingo

    I think all Europeans will remember 2010 as the year when Eyjafjallajokull volcano closed down European air traffic, leaving pretty much all Europeans stranded in California for up to a week. We jokingly called this even “from disruption to eruption”, and other funny things. In hindsight I think most of us remember this “shock” more than any of the previous ones as it formed a strong bond between those of us spending the extra week there. I remember a biking trip we took over the Golden Gate to Sausalito, led by Tomas Ulin I was welcome to join although I worked for Monty at the time.

    Bernd Ocklin from MySQL Cluster team was able to fly home via Iceland – ironically Reykjavik airport is North of the volcano and was the only airport in Europe that was not closed. He took a nice picture flying only a few km from the culprit: http://ocklin.blogspot.fi/2010/04/around-volcano-and-home-from-us-in-20.html Personally I got home via Mexico City and Madrid, quite a long detour for Helsinki, but I enjoyed 13 hours in Mexico City as I had never been there before.

    Finally, there’s an even more special bond between several of us that were in the position of “my wife is pregnant in Europe and I can’t get back home” aka the volcano babies club. In addition to myself I remember Timour Kauchanov and Johan Andersson being in this position, and recently heard of Kai Seidler (creator of XAMPP) had a son in coming too. I think there was someone more that I can’t remember. (Statistical probability makes me want to guess Roland Bouman 🙂 In Timour’s case it was quite close too, but he eventually got home 1-2 weeks ahead of the deadline.

    April 12, 2013 at 5:48 am
  • Peter Zaitsev


    Thanks. yes you’re right. It is 10 year anniversary but this is 11th event 🙂

    April 12, 2013 at 9:18 am
  • Giuseppe Maxia

    Thanks, Peter!
    I was there in 2003 (as a speaker), and I remember it as a wonderful conference!

    April 12, 2013 at 12:19 pm
  • Shlomi Noach

    Here’s my memory — not for prize.
    I started blogging late 2008. Till then I was doing MySQL consulting in Israel, but relatively unknown. In Feb 2009 I got an email from one Giuseppe Maxia, then community manager at MySQL/Sun. Oh, yeah, I knew who he was: he was the guy I contacted to have my blog aggregated into planet.mysql.com.
    He wrote how he likes my blogging and that he happens to have an unused free pass to the conference, which he’ll be happy to give me.
    I had little intention of flying to the US that year — but hey, someone just offered me a free pass, and two good friends of mine were living in Mountain View and Sunnyvale, so excellent sleepover terms. Got OK from my other half, bought the place ticket and got on my way.
    I didn’t know *anyone* really. I had a couple conversations with Roland Bouman on my blog, but that’s it. Ah! Met with an Israeli acquaintance: he attended my training a couple months before. Good companion.

    So I looked up Giuseppe who said “I don’t have time now, could you meet me tomorrow morning (Tuesday) just before the keynote?”.

    Weird. Spent my sleepless jetlag night wondering what that was about.

    So met him outside the ballroom before keynote; no time to talk to me, would you please come sit with us? OK, sitting next to Giuseppe & Dups. “Just how do you pronounce your name?” Sheeri asks. Weirder.

    So keynotes, …., community awards. And the community member of the year awards go to: “Marc Delisle, Ronald Bradford, Shlomi Noach” says on the screen. Giuseppe and Dups give me that “got you!” smirky look. Anyone sitting nearby can hear “h*ly sh*t!” coming from my direction. I was ambushed! And caught truly unexpected.

    April 13, 2013 at 1:40 am
  • Shlomi Noach


    This is all due to the stup1d SQL 1-based convention (e.g SUBSTRING(s,1))!

    April 13, 2013 at 2:06 am

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