The MySQL database is headed to the cloud, thanks to software vendor Xeround. Starting this week the Xeround cloud database is being made available as a public beta.
While Xeround leverages components of the open source MySQL database, the cloud solution itself is not open source. Xeround also includes its own proprietary components which exapand the elasticity of the database and combines the benefits of a NoSQL database with a SQL database.
“Our service underneath the hood is a replaceable data storage engine and what we have done is plugged into the MySQL data storage engine API, so on the front end it remains MySQL,” Xeround CEO Razi Sharir told InternetNews.com. “On the backend we’re using our own core technology to allow for the high-availability and scalabilty.”
Sharir added that the Xeround solution is cloud agnostic and is currently available on Amazon. In terms of the MySQL database, Xeround is using the open source version and does not have any kind of commercial agreement with Oracle.
Running MySQL databases in the cloud often involve the use of the memcached open source project for distributed caching, but that’s not the route that Xeround is taking.
“Our solution is a full blown in-memory structure – that is what enables us to be fully scalable on the fly,” Sharir said. “We don’t have the notion of masters and replicas, we don’t need any replicas for scalability as we run the solution in memory.”
Sharir added that the in-memory aspect of Xeround does not impact the available table size of the database either. He noted that Xeround can serve a two terabyte database in the cloud, thought the typical use case for databases is between two and ten terabytes.
From a latency perspective, geography does matter, which is why Xeround is leveraging cloud infrastructure in the U.S. and in Europe. Sharir noted that Xeround had been in a private beta last year with cloud infrastructure available only in the U.S. Users who came in from Europe experienced latency as high as a few hundred milliseconds, which is why Xeround decided it was critical to have multiple geographies for their cloud infrastructure.
While Xeround is leveraging the MySQL database, it’s also taking advantage of NoSQL technology approaches as well. Sharir explained that NoSQL databases are often perfect solutions for the cloud. NoSQL databases do not have the same SQL data capabilities of SQL databases, which is also a limitation for traditional enterprise applications. NoSQL databases including MongoDB, CouchDB and Cassandra have become increasingly popular in recent years.
“In a sense underneath the tables we are a NoSQL database, but on top we are a fully flexible MySQL flexible interface,” Sharir said. “We enjoy the capabilities of a NoSQL database by having no limitations on scale and distribution, while still keeping the solid full blown SQL taxonomy on top of it – so in a sense we’re enjoying the best of both worlds.”
While Xeround benefits from the use of open source technology, including MySQL, the cloud database solution itself is not open source and has no plans to go open source either.
“We don’t need to contribute anything because we’re using the free, open source version of MySQL,” Sharir said. “There is no real requirement for us to add anything into the loop, though we might be required down the road to publish a small piece that does the connectivity on the server side between us and the front end.”
The public beta of Xeround is now available and Sharir expects the cloud database service to be generally available by the middle of the year.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.