Despite the truths that lie behind why live production data exists in multiple and diverse locations, there are efforts to create technologies that will successfully span, straddle, and splice the disconnected nature of data in the real world.
Fortunately, multiple database options exist to fill in the gaps for applications which may not be able to work with large databases. Moreover, some application data needs to be “physically” separated for reasons relating to compliance, and some database work may involve heavy experimental prototyping, meaning it shouldn’t also be a location for mission-critical data.
More fundamentally, having more database options means there are more choices when it comes to vendor service agreements, performance optimizations, stability, and other core structural factors.
However, in some scenarios, having multiple database options can create disconnects, fragmentation of data, deduplication chores, and integration issues.
Unifying Database Functions in a Single Product
While there are benefits to having more database options, the drawbacks have led to efforts toward creating a more unified platform that will mitigate or lessen some of the issues caused by databases’ disconnected natures. One such company working to deliver something of a bridge in this space is Percona, a Raleigh-based open source database specialist.
With plans to go to General Availability (GA) in early 2022, Percona Platform aims to bring together database distributions, support expertise, services, management, and automated insights into a single product. The company has specific expertise with databases including MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MongoDB.
Percona Platform is designed to simplify the process through which users monitor, manage, and optimize their database instances across any infrastructure. This is based on Percona’s thinking that businesses should be given the choice to use the right database function for the job at hand, rather than picking one database platform to try and do everything—even tasks that it is not suited for. It also enables developers and database administrators to run their own private database-as-a-service (DBaaS) instances.
According to senior vice president of product at Percona Donnie Berkholz, three of the biggest challenges database administrators (DBAs) have are standardization, performance (achieving it and monitoring it), and avoiding downtime to ensure availability. According to the company’s last research report, 59% of developers lost sleep at night over these issues.
Offering What Developers and DBAs Want
“Developers just want things to work, and they want self-service support, so they can iterate faster and more independently,” said Berkholz. “Equally, database administrators want help to manage multiple database instances in a consistent approach, so they can deliver a highly available and performant database platform for their development teams as well as their customers.”
Now moving to market availability, Percona Platform is positioned as a means of allowing users to unify the “entire database experience” in the workplace, covering the entire process from database provisioning, setup, and deployment all the way to backup, monitoring, and management. Compared to other enterprise-focused products based on open source databases, Percona will support multiple databases at the same time, which is where it will start offering services.
According to Berkholz and team, Percona brings together distributions of MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MongoDB, including a range of open source tools for data backup, availability, and management. It also includes Percona Monitoring and Management (PMM), the company’s open source offering for database management, monitoring, and automated insights for managing database deployments.
Unified Visibility and Control
“Percona Platform brings our distributions, expertise, and services together in one place,” said Ann Schlemmer, president at Percona. “By consolidating all our products this way, developers get unified visibility and control of their entire database environment.
“At Percona, we have years of experience helping customers deliver consistent availability, performance, and security for their applications and data, and our new Platform approach makes it easier than ever for them to access that expertise within our products.”
A forthcoming platform preview will have no up-front commitments or fees to use, and Percona Platform will cover all deployment configurations, from internal data center deployments to public, private, and hybrid cloud instances.
Diversity will logically continue to persist across the database landscape and, in general terms, it should largely be celebrated for the competitive choice that it offers. Although there will always be operational episodes featuring disparities, disconnects, and downtime, the move to unify at this kind of level does arguably represent good news for DBAs and developers around dealing with data. After all, Percona is open source at heart, so its company mantra has to champion diversity and choice in all its forms.
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