Percona Live Featured Session with Luís Soares: The New MySQL Replication Features in MySQL 8

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 Luís Soares, Principal Software Engineer at Oracle. His session is The New MySQL Replication Features in MySQL 8 (with fellow presenter Lars Thalmann, Development Director at Oracle). The most popular high availability (HA) techniques deployed are based on making services redundant, in particular by means of replication. This fits quite naturally in the MySQL universe, as MySQL server has provided a mature replication solution for over a decade now. Moreover, the new replication developments (and their roadmap) show that MySQL is also catering for the requirements posed by popular environments such as the cloud.

I had a chance to speak with Luís about MySQL 8.0 replication:

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

Luis SoaresLuís: My background is in distributed systems, particularly in database replication, message passing technologies and fault-tolerance. It all started while I was taking my BSc in computer science. As I finished it, I felt very much drawn towards these subjects. That alone made me enroll in a Master’s course that allowed me to focus almost full time on database replication using group communication technologies. I continued to study this field for years, and further deepened my knowledge on this area. That was great fun and quite a learning experience!

Years went by, and eventually I ended up working at MySQL on the replication team. This happened after I came to a MySQL user conference to present some of the work that I was doing at the time.

These are very fond memories! But I digress!

Back to the point. In general, the thing I love about working on database replication is that I am constantly facing new and interesting problems. Data replication in itself is hard. Add to that the semantics and requirements of a database server, and complexity increases quite a bit. Also, building a generic database replication service that fits in a large set of use cases requires a lot of discipline and careful thinking when designing new features. And let’s not forget the Web itself, which is constantly changing. New technologies come and go at a fast pace. The volume of data that has to be handled, year after year, increases considerably. This poses scalability and integration challenges that need to be addressed.

All in all, these are very exciting times to work with high availability, data replication and data integration.

Now specifically about MySQL, I love the fact that I work on a popular database technology that embraced replication very early in its life cycle. Replication awareness runs deep in the product and in its ecosystem. Consequently, MySQL has an extensive user base exploring many different use case scenarios around replication. And this is extremely motivating, rewarding and exciting. I can honestly say that my day-to-day work is never boring!

Percona: Your talk is called The New MySQL Replication Features in MySQL 8. What are the key replication features in MySQL 8.0, and why are they important?

Luís: It was a huge amount of work to get the MySQL Group Replication plugin out with MySQL 5.7.17. Group Replication is a new plugin that gives the user some replication nice properties by resorting to group communication and state machine replication. This makes the system able to protect data against split brain situations, enables fault-tolerance and high availability and provides coordination between servers committing transactions that change the data.

In addition to Group Replication, the team has also invested quite a bit on core replication features. Some of these features were already released, and others will be released at some point in time in a MySQL DMR.

In the first 8.0 DMR (MySQL 8.0.0) replication has better instrumentation for row-based replication. The user can observe the row-based replication applier progress by querying performance schema tables. There is also an enhanced global transaction identifier.

GTIDs history management let’s the user set the variable GTID_PURGED in scenarios other than those where the server has an empty GTID execution history. And the user can now specify the stop condition when starting the relay log applier, even if there are multiple applier threads started.

All these features combined are of great help, since they reduce operations overhead through automation, better observability and coordination between servers.

Work continues on many fronts: performance, availability, scalability, efficiency and observability. Stay tuned!

Percona: How do these features make DBAs lives easier? What problems do they solve?

Luís: As mentioned above, the features in MySQL 8.0.0 take some of the operations burden from the DBA. Moreover, they allow the user to better observe what is happening inside the replication pipeline. This alone is quite interesting, since DBAs need to make decisions both when designing new deployments and when tackling issues, possibly having to meet very tight deadlines.

Simply put, these features will help DBAs to diagnose and fix problems faster.

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

Luís: Our session is primarily about the shiny new replication features already in MySQL 8. This is the first takeaway. To know, first hand, what is in MySQL 8 replication-wise. But there is another takeaway, and quite an interesting one. Part of the session is dedicated to presenting the overall ideas around MySQL replication. So attendees will get an overview of the roadmap, and will be able to participate and provide feedback along the way. They will learn more about the big picture, and we will bring together some of the hot MySQL technologies that we keep hearing about nowadays: Group Replication, InnoDB Clusters, Multi-Threaded Replication and more!

It will be fun.

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

Luís: As a conference participant, I look forward to doing some networking with the vibrant MySQL community. I must say, that I really enjoy engaging in nice technical discussions about my favorite topics: fault-tolerance, replication, dependability and distributed systems overall. The conference gives me a great opportunity to do this.

As a MySQL developer, and one that has been developing MySQL replication for quite some time now, I look forward to talking about the recent work that my team has done and getting all the feedback I can.

As a bystander, conferences like Percona Live make me realize how much MySQL has grown, and how much it has evolved. Replication, for instance, has had so many interesting features, release after release over the last eight or nine years. The community has embraced and deployed them, often worked/interacted with the developers to improve them by providing feedback, feature requests or contributions. And this means that they are part of the story too!

These conferences are always a great learning experience! After spending a week with the MySQL community, I always feel refreshed, energized, extra motivated and with lots of food for thought when I get back home.


Register for Percona Live Data Performance Conference 2017, and see Luís present his session on The New MySQL Replication Features in MySQL 8 (with fellow presenter Lars Thalmann, Development Director at Oracle). 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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