Tesora's CEO, Ken Rugg, stopped by to discuss the ninth release of OpenStack, Icehouse, the concept of Database as a Service (DBaaS), and the newest release of Tesora's own Database Virtualization Engine (DVE). Tesora's goal is to help organizations create and deploy database-based OpenStack applications without their having to have a great deal of expertise with database administration; in short, to make database just another service rather than a central focus.
In the words of OpenStack:
OpenStack Icehouse, the ninth release of the open source software for building public, private, and hybrid clouds, has nearly 350 new features to support software development, managing data, and application infrastructure at scale. The OpenStack community continues to attract the best developers and experts in their disciplines with 1,202 individuals employed by more than 120 organizations contributing to the Icehouse release.
OpenStack describes the features of the Icehouse release in the following way:
- Compute (Nova) — New support for rolling upgrades minimizes the impact to running workloads during the upgrade process.
- Object Storage (Swift) — Object Storage released discoverability, which dramatically improves workflows and saves time by allowing users to ask any Object Storage cloud what capabilities are available via API call.
- Block Storage (Cinder) — Block Storage added backend migrations with tiered storage environments, allowing for performance management in heterogeneous environments.
- Networking (Neutron) — Networking introduced tighter integration with Compute in Icehouse that includes improved consistency with bulk instance creation and improved provisioning.
- Dashboard (Horizon) — OpenStack Dashboard again expanded its multi-lingual support and now includes 16 languages with the addition of German, Hindi, and Serbian. Additional improvements to the general user interface and experience were also implemented such as a more self-guided navigation, inline table editing and extensibility.
- Identity Service (Keystone) — The first iteration of federated authentication is now supported allowing users to access private and public OpenStack clouds with the same credentials.
- Orchestration (Heat) — Automated scaling of additional resources across the platform, including compute, storage, and networking is now available.
- Telemetry (Ceilometer) — Telemetry features improved access to metering data used for automated actions or billing/chargeback purposes.
- Database Service (Trove) — A new capability included in the integrated release allows users to manage relational database services in an OpenStack environment.
- Image Service (Glance) — The Image Service features improved calculation of storage quotas, and the project moved to using 0-based indices for location entries.
Database as a Service and the Database Virtualization Engine
Tesora explains Database as a Service as putting a buffer between OpenStack's MySQL interfaces and instances of database engines. This allows administrators to use a single web-based user interface to manage multiple database instances, to add new servers without having to move data around beforehand, and to allow database capability to be scaled out by adding new instances.
The goal, Rugg pointed out, is allowing developers to develop database-based applications without having to know where the database is running or which database engine is being used. The newest release of Tesora's Database Virtualization Engine supports MySQL, MongoDB, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, and Oracle.
Tesora is also standing up to be the support center for the OpenStack Trove feature.
Database engines have been a very important tool for making handling of many different types of data simpler and so developers need not rebuild data management facilities each time they develop a new application. Furthermore, developers using database engines are less likely to create data corruption by using different formats for the same data.
As the industry moves database engines first into virtualized environments and next into cloud instances, management of the data and the database engines themselves has become challenging. OpenStack's Trove and Tesora's Database Virtualization Engine are designed to reduce the challenge and make databases easier to use in the OpenStack environment.
The ability to support many different database implementations can also reduce the complexity seen by database administrators. They can address business requirements without also having to be experts in many different databases. The Database Virtualization Engine makes things appear uniform and applications can be developed and deployed on whatever database is best suited for the task at hand.