ScaleBase's sharding technique is not a novel concept, but it is one of the first implementations of the technology in databases, and specifically MySQL databases, says Burns, the Neovise analyst. "These databases haven't traditionally been something that you break up, but ScaleBase takes a sharding algorithm to it and makes multiple copies of the data on different servers," he says. "They've made sharding easy to do and automated it." The technology could be helpful for anyone running a MySQL database, which is common in the open source world, and it could be especially helpful when those databases begin to scale to large sizes, Burns says.
Cabral and Burns have some reservations, though. The open source community has very much of a do-it-yourself attitude. Some open source MySQL database administrators may not be interested in purchasing a product to handle the functionality and would instead build solutions in-house or rely on an open source community to supply the technology. Cabral says she explored that option, but there just weren't open source community tools available with the functionality that ScaleBase had. To expand, ScaleBase does have an opportunity to support other open source databases, or it could even branch out to managing other types of databases, including tackling the growing big data problem of unstructured data.
Network World staff writer Brandon Butler covers cloud computing and social collaboration. He can be reached at BButler@nww.com and found on Twitter at @BButlerNWW.
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