Percona Live Featured Session with Evan Elias: Automatic MySQL Schema Management with Skeema

Percona Live Featured SessionWelcome to another post in the series of Percona Live featured session blogs! In these blogs, we’ll highlight some of the session speakers that will be at this year’s Percona Live conference. We’ll also discuss how these sessions can help you improve your database environment. Make sure to read to the end to get a special Percona Live 2017 registration bonus!

In this Percona Live featured session, we’ll meet Evan Elias, Director of Engineering, Tumblr. His session is Automatic MySQL Schema Management with SkeemaSkeema is a new open source CLI tool for managing MySQL schemas and migrations. It allows you to easily track your schemas in a repository, supporting a pull-request-based workflow for schema change submission, review, and execution.

I had a chance to speak with Evan about Skeema:

Evan EliasPercona: How did you get into database technology? What do you love about it?

Evan: I first started using MySQL at a college IT job in 2003, and over the years I eventually began tackling much larger-scale deployments at Tumblr and Facebook. I’ve spent most of the past decade working on social networks, where massive high-volume database technology is fundamental to the product. I love the technical challenges present in that type of environment, as well as the huge potential impact of database automation and tooling. In companies with giant databases and many engineers, a well-designed automation system can provide a truly enormous increase in productivity.

Percona: Your talk is called Automatic MySQL Schema Management with Skeema. What is Skeema, and how is it helpful for engineers and DBAs?

Evan: Skeema is an open source tool for managing MySQL schemas and migrations. It allows users to diff, push or pull schema definitions between the local filesystem and one or more databases. It can be configured to support multiple environments (e.g. development/staging/production), external online schema change tools, sharding, and service discovery. Once configured, an engineer or DBA can use Skeema to execute an online schema change on many shards concurrently simply by editing a CREATE TABLE statement in a file and then running “skeema push”.

Percona: What are the benefits of storing schemas in a repository?

Evan: The whole industry is moving towards infrastructure-as-code solutions, providing automated configuration which is reproducible across multiple environments. In extending this concept to database schemas, a file repository stores the desired state of each table, and a schema change is tied to simply changing these files. A few large companies like Facebook have internal closed-source tools to tie MySQL schemas to a git repo, allowing schema changes to be powered by pull requests (without any manual DBA effort). There hasn’t previously been an open source, general-purpose tool for managing schemas and migrations in this way, however. I developed Skeema to fill this gap.

Percona: What do you want attendees to take away from your session? Why should they attend?

Evan: In this session, MySQL DBAs will learn how to automate their schema change workflow to reduce manual operational work, while software engineers will discover how Skeema permits easy online migrations even in frameworks like Rails or Django. Skeema is a brand new tool, and this is the first conference session to introduce it. At this relatively early stage, feedback and feature requests from attendees will greatly influence the direction and prioritization of future development.

Percona: What are you most looking forward to at Percona Live 2017?

Evan: Percona Live is my favorite technical conference. It’s the best place to learn about all of the recent developments in the database world, and meet the top experts in the field. This is my fifth year attending in Santa Clara. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with old friends and making some new ones as well!

Register for Percona Live Data Performance Conference 2017, and see Evan present his session on Automatic MySQL Schema Management with Skeema. Use the code FeaturedTalk and receive $100 off the current registration price!

Percona Live Data Performance Conference 2017 is the premier open source event for the data performance ecosystem. It is the place to be for the open source community as well as businesses that thrive in the MySQL, NoSQL, cloud, big data and Internet of Things (IoT) marketplaces. Attendees include DBAs, sysadmins, developers, architects, CTOs, CEOs, and vendors from around the world.

The Percona Live Data Performance Conference will be April 24-27, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara & The Santa Clara Convention Center.

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