Joining Continuent

I’ve just completed my first month here at Continuent, strangely back into the MySQL ecosystem which I have been working in for some time before I joined CouchOne, and then Couchbase, two and half years ago. Making the move back to MySQL is both an experience, and somehow, comfortable…
Continuent produce technology that makes for easier replication between MySQL servers and, more importantly, more flexible solutions when you need to scale out by providing connector and management functionality for your MySQL cluster. That means that you can easily backup, add slaves, and create complex replication scenarios such as multi-master, and even multiple-site, multiple-master topologies. This functionality is split over two products, Continuent Tungsten, which is the cluster management product, and the open source Tungsten Replicator, which provides the basic replication functionality.
Those who know me well will know that I am no fan of the native MySQL replication, and that’s almost entirely because of the complexities of first of all getting it to work, followed by keeping it working, and ultimately because of the variability of the replication in the first place. There’s no reliable way to know if the replication stream has successfully been applied to the slaves or, from a client perspective, how far behind slaves are so that you can make an educated guess about which slave you should be talking to. Let’s not even get into the complexities of having to handle the read/write splitting required to make the master/slave relationship work in the first place.
Continuent solves this problem by using the binary log stream from MySQL, but handling the transfer and application of those bin log entries. Using this method enables Continuent to monitor and manage the replication process. Continuent knows when a statement has been applied to a slave, and it can work to ensure that the application of the changes is applied. With Continuent Tungsten, we go a stage further and provide a connector that sits between your application servers and your MySQL servers. Because Continuent Tungsten handles the replication, it knows the cluster topology, and can redirect queries to the master or the slave, and handle failures by directing the client queries to working slaves. Like all good software, it’s simple, but very very effective, and ergo very powerful.
So what am I doing at Continuent? Building out the documentation and helping users to help themselves, in combination with working with the developers to make sure that the software is as easy, intuitive, and foolproof to use as possible. In the short term, that means ensuring we have the core documentation required to get Continuent working for you.
If there’s more information you need, or something you specifically want in the documentation, let me know.

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