Master MySQL in the Amazon cloud

Amazon Web Services offer new challenges and flexibility for database admins -- here's how to avoid the pitfalls and tune for performance

By Sean Hull, InfoWorld |  Cloud Computing, Amazon Web Services, MySQL

$ rpm -Uhv http://www.percona.com/downloads/percona-release/percona-release-0.0-1.x86_64.rpm$ yum install -y Percona-Server-shared-compat$ yum install -y Percona-Server-server-55$ yum install -y Percona-Server-client-55$ yum install -y libdbi-dbd-mysql

Set the root password on your new MySQL instance, and you're ready to begin.

Perhaps the most difficult shift you'll make in adapting your thinking to cloud computing is around virtual machines themselves. AWS instances are built on virtualization technology, and although they sit on top of physical hardware that behaves much like the servers you're used to, the virtual machines are not as reliable as physical ones. These machines can disappear out from under you and your application without notice. As such, redundancy, high availability, and scripted automation are key. Such pressures also put disaster recovery front and center. Now no longer relegated to a best practices list of tasks you'll get to when other pressing problems are resolved, disaster recovery becomes an urgent priority.

Take, for example, what the operations team at Netflix decided to do. They wanted to meet this server reliability question head on, so they built a piece of software that would play Russian roulette with their servers. The resulting Chaos Monkey randomly knocks out servers in their production environment in the middle of the day. What's more incredible is how this illustrates two sides to the AWS cloud coin. On one hand, the servers aren't as reliable; on the other, Amazon provides the tools with which to build in all the redundancy you need.

For example, Amazon makes using multiple data centers seamless. They organize the objects (AMIs, snapshots, instances, and so forth) around the availability zones and regions in the environment. There are currently seven regions to choose from outside of AWS GovCloud, including Virginia, Oregon, California, Ireland, Singapore, Japan, and Brazil. Each region includes multiple data centers. Replicate your database data between these regions, build and keep fresh your server images, and automate push-button rebuilds to run with the most robust and fault-tolerant infrastructure possible.

Beware disk I/O variabilityRelational databases often appear as unnecessarily complex beasts. But they've evolved the way they have to provide an array of great features. We can load them full of data, then mix and match that data asking complicated questions and selecting slices based on an endless set of conditions.


Originally published on InfoWorld |  Click here to read the original story.
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