Tony Barbagallo, Clustrix CMO, reached out to me to discuss how scale-out databases can address MySQL limitations. Clustrix believes that their patented, database sharding technology —that is breaking up the database into smaller, distributed pieces — combined with their sophisticated data synchronization technology addresses problems such as:
- Difficulty handling reads, writes and updates
- Slow analytics and reporting
- Frequent downtime
- High developer costs
- Maxed out servers
Scale-out versus scaling up
Clustrix believes that its scale-out approach is much more capable of supporting an organization’s ability to process and analyze large amounts of data quickly and accurately than being forced to purchase larger and larger single systems to support database-based applications.
During our discussion of Clustrix's scalability, Barbagallo discussed how customers are seeing nearly linear scaling as they add systems. Customers also find the idea of a "LAN focused" view of distributed data easy to understand and use.
Another point Barbagallo made was that this approach increases levels of availability and reliability. Clustrix assures that all data items are stored on at least two different systems. If one fails, work simply continues as before. Customers also have the ability to adjust the number of database shards to which data items are replicated.
Furthermore, the company has gone to great lengths to make their database highly compatible with off-the-shelf MySQL software. That way, customers can use familiar development and reporting tools and Clustrix doesn't need to take on the task of developing all of those tools.
Clustrix is taking the approach of building upon familiar tools to provide customers with highly scalable, reliable computing environments for database-based workloads. This approach appears quite similar to that offered by GenieDB. Both companies started with MySQL as a foundation. TransLattice, on the other hand, built their distributed database capability on the foundation of PostgreSQL.
Clustrix appears to be focused on offering the midmarket a set of tools for their Web-scale transactional systems or Big Data applications. Their focus on familiar development and reporting tools should be attractive to companies using MySQL today that need greater scalability or reliability.