One thing I like to tell people is that you shouldn’t view Percona as a “software” company, but as a “solution” company. Our goal has always been to provide the best solution that meets each customer’s situation, rather than push our own software, regardless of whether it is the best fit or not. As a result, we have customers running all kinds of MySQL “flavors”: MySQL, MariaDB, Percona Server, Amazon RDS and Google Cloud SQL. We’re happy to help customers be successful with the technology of their choice, and advise them on alternatives when we see a better fit.
One area where I have been increasingly uneasy is our advanced high availability support with Percona XtraDB Cluster and other Galera-based technologies. In 2011, when we started working on Percona XtraDB Cluster together with Codership, we needed to find a way to arrange investment into the development of Galera technology to bring it to market. So we made a deal, which, while providing needed development resources, also required us to price Percona XtraDB Cluster support as a very expensive add-on option. While this made sense at the time, it also meant few companies could afford XtraDB Cluster support from Percona, especially at large scale.
As a few years passed, the Galera technology became the mainstream high-end high availability option. In addition to being available in Percona XtraDB Cluster, it has been included in MariaDB, as well as Galera Cluster for MySQL. Additionally, the alternative technology to solve the same problem – MySQL Group Replication – started to be developed by the MySQL Team at Oracle. With these all changes, it was impossible for us to provide affordable support for Percona XtraDB Cluster due to our previous commercial agreement with Codership that reflected a very different market situation than we now find ourselves facing.
As a result, over a year ago we exited our support partnership agreement with Codership and moved the support and development function in-house. These changes have proven to be positive for our customers, allowing us to better focus on their priorities and provide better response time for issues, as these no longer require partner escalation.
Today we’re taking the next natural step – we will no longer require customers to purchase Percona XtraDB Cluster as a separate add-on. Percona will include support for XtraDB Cluster and other Galera-based replication technologies in our Enterprise and Premier support levels, as well as our Percona Care and Managed Services subscriptions. Furthermore, we are going to support Oracle’s MySQL Group Replication technology at no additional cost too, once it becomes generally available, so our customers have access to the best high availability technology for their deployment.
As part of this change, you will also see us focusing on hardening XtraDB Cluster and Galera technology, making it better suited for demanding business workloads, as well as more secure and easier to use. All of our changes will be available as 100% open source solutions and will also be contributed back to the Galera development team to incorporate into their code base if they wish.
I believe making the Galera code better is the most appropriate action for us at this point!