Posts Tagged ‘red hat’

RHEL7 now with MariaDB

Congratulations to the entire team at Red Hat, for the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 (RHEL7). The release notes have something important, under Web Servers & Services:

MariaDB 5.5

MariaDB is the default implementation of MySQL in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. MariaDB is a community-developed fork of the MySQL database project, and provides a replacement for MySQL. MariaDB preserves API and ABI compatibility with MySQL and adds several new features; for example, a non-blocking client API library, the Aria and XtraDB storage engines with enhanced performance, better server status variables, and enhanced replication.

Detailed information about MariaDB can be found at

This is a huge improvement over MySQL 5.1.73 currently shipping in RHEL6. I’m really looking forward to welcome more MariaDB users. Remember if you are looking for information, find it at the Knowledge Base. If you’ve found a bug, report it at Jira (upstream) or Bugzilla (Red Hat). If you want to chat with friendly developers and users, hop on over to #maria on And don’t forget we have some populated mailing lists: maria-discuss and maria-developers.

Amazon EC2 Linux AMIs

If you use Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), you are always given choices of AMIs (by default; there are plenty of other AMIs available for your base-os): Amazon Linux AMI, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Enterprise Server and Ubuntu. In terms of cost, the Amazon Linux AMI is the cheapest, followed by SUSE then RHEL. 

I use EC2 a lot for testing, and recently had to pay a “RHEL tax” as I needed to run a RHEL environment. For most uses I’m sure you can be satisfied by the Amazon Linux AMI. The last numbers suggest Amazon Linux is #2 in terms of usage on EC2.

Anyway, recently Amazon Linux AMI came out with the 2014.03 release (see release notes). You can install MySQL 5.1.73 or MySQL 5.5.36 (the latter makes the most sense today) easily without additional repositories.

The most interesting part of the release notes though? When the 2014.09 release comes out, it would mark 3 years since they’ve gone GA with the Amazon Linux AMI. They are likely to remove MySQL 5.1 (its old and deprecated upstream). And:

We are considering switching from MySQL to MariaDB.

This should be interesting going forward. MariaDB in the EC2 AMI would be a welcome addition naturally. I do wonder if the choice will be offered in RDS too. I will be watching the forums closely

Some MariaDB related news from the Red Hat front

This is a followup to my early post a month ago titled: MariaDB replaces MySQL in RHEL 7 (lots of stuff in the comments). It’s clear that MariaDB’s role is in Software Collections, which is new in RHEL.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols writes Red Hat will switch from Oracle MySQL to MariaDB, reports.

Sean Michael Kerner has a video (and writeup) with Denise Dumas, RHEL team leader, who talks about Software Collections, MariaDB, and how we’re all friendly (Red Hat + SkySQL + MariaDB). There will be 3 years of support for Software Collections. Indemnification applies as always, its just support cycle per collection is reduced. New MySQL ships in Software Collections too. Its available for 6.4/6.5 (probably as a GA as its beta now), and will be in RHEL7 too.

Also, if you’re using OpenShift, there is now a new cartridge: the OpenShift MariaDB Cartridge.

MariaDB in Red Hat Software Collections

Towards the end of last year, I was asked to investigate the Red Hat Software Collections by someone that popped by one of my talks. SkySQL has been working heavily with Red Hat, and with Fedora 19 shipping MariaDB as a default, it seems like MariaDB is getting even more distribution. The Red Hat Software Collections 1.0 Beta is now available for users of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.

From a database standpoint, users now get MariaDB 5.5. I encourage all to try it, as it is an in-situ upgrade. It is described as:

MariaDB version 5.5, which introduces an easy-to-adopt alternative for MySQL for Red Hat Enterprise Linux users. Binary compatibility allows MySQL users to drop-in MariaDB without converting data files.

Sweet. But for database users, it also includes MySQL 5.5 (better than 5.1.69), and PostgreSQL 9.2 (better than 8.4.13). After listening to Rasmus Lerdorf talk about PHP 5.4, I’m glad that I can now use it with RHEL6.

I wonder if there will be CentOS Software Collections as well?

Read an article in PCWorld about Software Collections (see a press release too). There’s some developer documentation from Red Hat, and some draft documentation from Fedora too.

Thanks SkySQL, Team MariaDB and Red Hat!

Support Management Escalation

Red Hat Management Escalation Contacts

Wow. “Need to raise a concern to Red Hat Support management? Use the contact information.” These are all contact details (work, mobile, and email) of directors, and senior managers from Global Support Services, at Red Hat.

I value this openness. I value good customer service. I wonder how many calls or emails management actually gets, though, from irate customers?

This should be a model for all support organisations, no matter how large or small.

Lessons from Mozilla, that apply to other communities

John Lilly, CEO of Mozilla, shares some insights and thoughts on Mozilla, and its a most interesting presentation to go through. The insights are (drizzled with some of my comments):

  1. Superior Products Matter – Without excellent experience and utility, the rest is meaningless. This is true, even with MySQL – our aims and values have always been performance, reliability and ease of use.
  2. Push (most) decision-making to the edges – I understand that as make sure your community has a significant voice (kind of like Wikipedia’s anyone edits policy, but there’s patrolling). He also suggests that on a regular basis, you need to have surprising innovation – things that blow people’s minds. In Mozilla’s case, there are a set of core values that everyone agrees too; decision making is with the module owners (very much like how the Linux kernel, tends to run), after all, groups have different ways of working. Mozilla has decision makers, that are even outside the “official” organisation – i.e. community has a voice. And communication, is key.
  3. Communication will happen in every possible way (so make sure it’s reusable) – this means via Wikis, blogs, the bug tracker, IRC, forums/newsgroups, mailing lists, audio, video, Skype chat, real-life get-togethers, and probably more. Writing notes, and sharing them, might be useful – I’ve found that the Mozilla Weekly Progress Reports on Planet Mozilla (and especially from Zak Greant) to be really useful. I’m thinking of something similar, in the MySQL (and other Sun open source communities) scope. A lot of decisions tend to be taken up on IRC, and people go on hacking on stuff, without writing documentation (worklogs/blueprints), or consulting with the mailing lists – I guess we all have communication improvements in us.
  4. Make it easy for your community to do the important things – Here the highlights are SpreadFirefox, Mozilla QA, localisation and more. A focus “to help others do more” should be the mantra of every community! I see it as very easy to translate Drizzle now, that its on Launchpad, but its not the same with MySQL. Translation, documentation, non-code related tasks tend to increase community contributions – though, what do you do when you already have an excellent manual?
  5. Surprise is overrated – John suggests that surprise is the opposite of engagement, which is true – no one likes surprises, and everyone wants to feel they’re important and had a role to play when something has happened. The “inner circle” needs more participation. I remember back in the days of Red Hat Linux to Fedora… there was something called the “Fedora Merge” group, and this allowed externals to provide significant decisions towards the direction of the Fedora Project. This was eventually eclipsed by fedora-maintainers, and the various boards like FESCO, and so on. As a participant in the Merge group, I felt like I had a voice, and was part of the “cabal” (there is no cabal), or the inner circle, so to speak – decisions I made, mattered. The inner circle grew, so that everyone (a maintainer, i.e. a person who “deserved” a voice) could feel included. Similar things happened for documentation, marketing, and so on, with various members and boards.
  6. Communities are not markets: members are citizens – John stats that citizens are more than consumers, bystanders and stake-holders – we are all citizens in the community (whether you’re a paid staff member, or an external). The best citizens even challenge the status quo, propose improvements and make the conversation richer – I think we have this, via Planet MySQL. The question though is, are we as Sun, listening to the citizens?
  7. The key is the art of figuring out whether & how to apply each of these ideas – John suggests experimenting, trying new things, and then measuring the reaction.

Of course, back to point #6, engaged citizens are noisy is highly true. But the old adage of people complaining because they care, is probably a good thing to remember. Expect noise, demands, threats, contradictions, and more. You can’t please everyone in a healthy community, but they will help you make decisions.

A most interesting presentation, and there’s a lot to learn from Mozilla, for other communities to apply.