10 Reasons Why Tungsten Clustering Beats the DIY Approach for Geo-Distributed MySQL Deployments

Why does the DIY approach fail to deliver vs. the Tungsten Clustering solution for geo-distributed MySQL multimaster deployments?

Before we dive into the 10 reasons, note why commercially-supported enterprise software is less risky and in fact less costly:

  • The labor time spent building and maintaining a DIY solution costs more than a supported solution that just works.
  • There is documentation, training, support, so your mission-critical process is never dependent upon an irreplaceable individual.
  1. Tungsten Clustering is a complete solution, comprised of the Replicator, Manager and Connector components

    • With DIY, you must first decide the architecture, then select the individual tools to handle each layer of the topology. Each part must be installed, configured, maintained, monitored and fixed separately.
    • With DIY, you must craft scripts to connect everything together. In Tungsten Clustering, the three core components, Manager, Connector and Replicator, handle all of the messaging and control in a seamlessly-orchestrated fashion.
    • Tungsten Clustering has more than ten (10) years of development maturity. No DIY solution can match the depth of enterprise experience we bring to the table.
    • Tungsten Clustering is designed from the ground up to provide 24x7 data access
  2. Development of Database High-Availability Solutions

    • DIY requires significant in-house investment of time, money and human resources to build a full solution, and even then it could not come close to matching what Continuent offers based on ten years of development efforts.
    • Creating a simple solution is relatively fast, but managing and correctly automating all the possible corner cases that a geo-distributed multi-master solution exposes is very difficult to master. It is often the corner cases that lead to downtime.
    • DIY also requires extensive institutional knowledge to maintain the multiple portions of the chosen architecture. If the staff are lost, often a DIY solution becomes impossible to manage and maintain.
    • Tungsten Clustering is a complete, proven and supported solution with significant resources including extensive documentation, release notes, white papers and instructional training videos & webinars.
    • Tungsten Clustering is under continuous development with new features and bug fixes. It covers all the changes in the environment (MySQL version, OS version, etc.)
  3. Database Administration (DBA)

    • DIY requires that your DBA do a lot of manual work. Properly automating local failover is an enormous task, especially when trying to avoid split-brain situations.
    • With DIY, scripting a cohesive solution for a geo-distributed active-active highly-available definitely is a non-trivial task. Tungsten Clustering provides a global mesh right out of the box.
    • With DIY, recovering failures is time consuming and laborious. Tungsten Clustering automates most normal operations.
    • With DIY, almost all updates and upgrades (MySQL version, schema changes, etc.) will require down-time. Tungsten Clustering allows continuous operation during all changes.
    • With Tungsten Clustering, you can add new sites/clusters by following standard, easy-to-follow instructions
  4. Monitoring

    • All solutions must be monitored to be fully effective, so Tungsten Clustering includes various monitoring scripts as part of the core product.
    • We offer a cron-based watcher script that alerts via email if you do not already have a monitoring system.
    • The included shell scripts are very easy to read, understand and modify to suit your needs.
    • We include Nagios and Zabbix support as part of the base product.
  5. Backup/Restore/Provisioning

    • Re-provisioning a slave can be handled using a single command.
    • All enterprise databases need to be backed up on a regular basis regardless of the number of slave replicas to prevent data vulnerability from replicated errors.
    • Tungsten Clustering fully supports and is tightly integrated with both MySQL's mysqldump command along with the excellent and free XtraBackup by Percona.
    • A configurable cron-based backup script is also provided as part of the core distribution, powerful enough to select an appropriate node and perform automated backups.
    • Backup and Restore may also be handled via the Manager's cctrl command-line interface.
  6. Multi-master Replication (strength of Tungsten Replicator)

    • Tungsten Replicator handles complex topologies with ease.
    • Tungsten Replicator can switch roles very easily (i.e. master becomes a slave, or a slave becomes a master).
    • Tungsten Replicator is cluster-aware and can automatically switch to another THL source if the current one becomes unavailable.
  7. Management (zero downtime maintenance, etc.)

    • We have already engineeered the rules and communications and tools needed to control the entire clustering process end-to-end.
    • With Tungsten Clustering, there is a unified view of all the cluster resources. With DIY, there is no such view.
    • With Tungsten Clustering, it is very easy to change the role of a node, with DIY there are many different moving parts to control individually.
    • With DIY, failures may not be handled correctly because one layer does not know what another layer is doing.
    • With Tungsten Clustering, a node may be taken down for maintenance without impacting operations, then easily returned to the cluster and re-synced.
  8. Connectivity/Intelligent Proxy and Router (multisite aware proxy, etc.)

    • Connector is able to intelligently pause and resume client traffic during switches and failovers.
    • Connector is able to load-balance in multiple ways, including across sites using intelligent proxying and query redirection
    • Connector gets status updates and signals from the manager, and is therefore integrated into the management process.
    • Connector is able to reconnect to another manager if it loses connection with the current one.
    • Tungsten Connector has a full view of all nodes.
    • Connector Bridge mode provides full-speed performance with very low latency
  9. Support (can’t beat our 24/7 support)

    • All layers are supported by the same team end-to-end. Rapid response for urgent cases. Our SLA is 1 hr max. For urgent cases, we average 6 minutes.
    • For a DIY solution, there is no single place to go for help. Many of the tools/solutions have no available support, or require support contracts from multiple vendors.
    • Staff spread out over the globe for follow-the-sun support around the clock.
    • 24x7x365 enterpise-level support is included in all term licenses.
    • You are supported by mature, knowledgable staff, with decades of experience.
    • Built-in diagnostics-gathering and submission tools covering all layers including the OS and database.
  10. Tungsten Replicator has features that are not available with native MySQL replication

    • Easy management – no need to log into MySQL to manage replication.
    • Global Transaction ID (GTID) for ANY version of MySQL.
    • Off-the-shelf MySQL support (MySQL Community/Enterprise, Percona Server and MariaDB)
    • Inspect every event in detail, including the event source, timestamp and time zone using simple commands.
    • Easy to query to get performance data, latency, status, and errors.
    • High tolerance for network outages, automatically picks up where it left off.
    • Able to use either a master or another slave as a THL source. Use a slave to reduce load on the master!
    • Can automatically switch to another THL source if the current one becomes unavailable.
    • Dedicated replicator log files to help quickly diagnose issues.
    • Ability to skip transactions as needed with a single intuitive command.
    • Ability to replicate to other targets in addition to MySQL: Hadoop, Oracle, AWS Redshift, Kafka, HPE Vertica, Cassandra, Elasticsearch and others, with the same single extraction from the MySQL source(s).
    • Over 40 filters available! Replicate subsets of schemas, tables, columns, and even do data transformation.
    • Create time-delayed replicas so that roll-back to a known good state is easy.
    • Implement complex topologies, such as fan-in.
    • Parallel apply support, based on schema.

About the Author

Eric M. Stone
COO and VP of Product Management

Eric is a veteran of fast-paced, large-scale enterprise environments with 35 years of Information Technology experience. With a focus on HA/DR, from building data centers and trading floors to world-wide deployments, Eric has architected, coded, deployed and administered systems for a wide variety of disparate customers, from Fortune 500 financial institutions to SMB’s.

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