How We Enable Open Source Databases for Business-Critical Apps

Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover

One misconception about Continuent is that since Tungsten is not open source itself, we do not support open source. In fact, quite the opposite. The whole purpose of Tungsten Clustering is to empower teams that build business-critical apps on open source databases.

This leads us to the subject of this blog: how Tungsten is designed for openness - through extensive compatibility, the ability to integrate your data and operations with external tools, and free and easy migration on and off, including for testing.

The Challenge: Data Ownership without Exorbitant Cost, Labor, or Lock-in

For many business-critical apps, data is the most important asset. Keeping tight control of data and operations comes at an increased cost and involves endless staff and support time setting up and managing the system - especially to grab the last 9’s of data availability.

Keeping tight control over data using an open source database can mean an inordinate amount of work, little consistency, and no guarantees of success. The alternatives for achieving the level of guarantees needed for business-critical availability, security, stability - are sparse, and expensive (eg. big red).

Acting as a bridge for open source databases to be used for business-critical use cases, Continuent makes many decisions in order to support the freedom of our customers. That’s how most customers are able to customize Tungsten deployments to meet unique requirements and preferences. Below are a few examples of the breadth of options - keep in mind, you may use any of these Operating Systems, Databases, or tools - and switch between them without bringing the database down.

Platform Independence

We conduct complete and thorough testing of Tungsten software with a multi-dimensional matrix of combinations of Linux, MySQL, Java. For example, we currently test with the following Operating Systems:

  • Amazon Linux 2
  • CentOS 7
  • CentOS 8
  • Rocky Linux 8
  • Oracle Linux 8
  • RHEL 7
  • RHEL 8
  • Debian 9
  • Debian 10
  • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15

We test and enable switching between any MySQL Server vendor and version:

  • Oracle MySQL, community or enterprise, any version
  • MariaDB, community or enterprise, any version
  • Percona Server for MySQL, any version

Add in the different Javas and - that’s a lot of testing! If you’re interested to learn more about how we achieve this, our QA lead, Patrik Michalak, wrote a fantastic white paper on QA for Mission-Critical Software.

Database Administration Tools

In addition to the suite of Tungsten DBA tools available out of the box, you are free to use your own or integrate with others as well. For example, you may integrate with Nagios and other monitoring and alerting tools. This is even more expansive with our new REST API (being released with Tungsten Version 7.0.0 here in Q1 2022) including built-in exporters for Prometheus. We also have pre-built dashboards for Grafana (also integrated in the Tungsten Dashboard, if you choose to use our free GUI). For alerting, you may set up your own and we are happy to assist you, or you may integrate with Pagerduty or other tools. You may use whatever backup tools you’re familiar with, such as xtrabackup. Our Support team encourages you to use the right tool for the job and can advise you given the scale and other aspects of your deployment. You may integrate with Ansible and other automation tools for quick deployment or other automated procedures.

Replicate Your Data to Different Data Stores

Different databases have different use cases, and most of our customers use more than one. That’s why we offer real-time data replication streaming to different targets, so that you’re not constrained to the MySQL world. Below are a few examples of supported replication targets:

  • MongoDB and MongoDB Atlas
  • PostgreSQL
  • Vertica
  • Kafka
  • AWS RDS MySQL and Aurora MySQL
  • Amazon Redshift
  • GCP MySQL
  • Azure MySQL

The list of tools and customizations that our customers use is endless. Each Tungsten deployment is unique.

We’re Open - Come and Go as You Please!

Tungsten Clustering makes powerfully resilient MySQL operations work out-of-the-box, without constraining you in any way. That is why we have such a long-running relationship and satisfaction rate with our customers. We go to lengths to communicate transparently and ensure we do not take their trust with their business-critical databases for granted. And we guarantee satisfaction via fast, 24/7/365 enterprise Support from highly experienced experts.

Last but not least, while our license is not open source, customers are free to leave - migrating on and off Tungsten is free and easy; nonetheless, our customers average at least 7 years with us. If your concern is that you cannot test for free as you would a software with an open source license - we provide free Proof-of-Concepts (POCs) including 24/7 support so that you can test our software and services without worrying about any commitment.

It’s part of our open source roots. Reach out to us if you’re interested to learn more!

About the Author

Sara Captain
Director of Product Marketing

Sara has worn various hats at Continuent since 2014. Listening to Continuent customers over the years, Sara fell in love with the Continuent Tungsten suite of products. She started learning Linux and MySQL administration with the support of Continuent's amazing team, so she can help with keeping Customers happy. Prior to Continuent she worked in consulting with a focus on leveraging data.

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