MySQL Conference 2007, Santa Clara, CA
This is my first trip to Silicon Valley and the first thing that struck me as I approached the hotel was that I am certainly in one of the foremost tech havens on the planet.
On the way down Great America Pkwy towards the hotel I passed buildings owned by Sun Microsystems, Yahoo!, Citrix, Foundry Networks and much more. I thought that Herndon, Virginia (a suburb of Washington D.C. and also where the iEntry servers live) was a tech playground with buildings owned by such recognizable names as Microsoft and Oracle; it doesn't hold a candle to "The Valley". In fact, Santa Clara is the home to Transmeta, the former employer of Linus Torvalds of Linux kernel fame, along with the Intel microchip museum and many, many more leading technology industry corporations.
The MySQL Conference, 2007, is a 4 day conference discussing all aspects of the open source MySQL database software. I really mean all aspects, whether you are looking for information about designing your own storage engine(!), or high-availability clustering, database replication, applications that work with MySQL, platforms that run MySQL and more. There is no way that you could possibly absorb all the available information even if you could attend the multitude of simultaneous lectures.
Today, Monday, is tutorial day and I opted for the all day, 2 part course on MySQL clustering (MySQL Cluster: The Complete Tutorial Parts I+II) to occupy my day and was not at all disappointed. This course was given by none other than Stewart Smith, one of the main MySQL cluster developers and a name you will be sure to recognize if you have done any research into MySQL clustering. I know in my early experiments with MySQL cluster I was constantly referring to the developers forums and the bug database found on the dev.mysql.com site. Stewart Smith is a name you will see all over the place there and it was a great pleasure to meet him in person. I would also like to mention that Stewart is a phenomanal speaker and a very personable guy.
A word of caution; this course had a pre-requisite homework assignment. You needed to show up with a Linux laptop with MySQL 5.1 installed. MySQL clustering technology is not available on Windows operating systems and you will be building a cluster during this class. This wasn't a problem for me being that I run Linux on my laptop anyway, however, just a little heads up for those of you that may be planning on attending next years conference tutorials.
I was very impressed by the course structure as well. You will be building a MySQL cluster as part of the class and there is really no better way to learn how the clustering technology offered by MySQL works. Stewart has the class break themselves up into smallish groups (4-6 people/group) for this exercise and you will be working with your group for the remainder of the day. My group had a 6 node cluster operating before our first coffee break!
Another little caveat to be aware of. Being that this tutorial was considered to be of a more technical nature than some of the others, it is expected that you have some background with SQL and MySQL in particular. If you do not know what a "join" is or don't know the syntax of an INSERT statement, this course is probably not for you. On the other hand, if you are familiar with MySQL and really want some insight into the theory of high availability clusters along with the hands-on practical experience of building one, this course will be right up your alley.
This particular course was only one of over a dozen offered and I really wish that I could have cloned myself a few times so that I could have attended some of the other offerings. I suppose I will just have to come back next year to attend some of the others.
All in all, I am going to give today a 10 on the old 1-10 scale and I very much look forward to the rest of the week. Some of the highlights for tomorrow (Tuesday) include a keynote speech by Marten Mickos (CEO of MySQL AB) first thing in the morning followed by a discussion by Redhat Linux' CTO, Brian Stevens, discussing MySQL server virtualization on Redhat Enterprise platforms. I can't wait.
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About the Author:
Jay Fougere is the IT manager for the iEntry network. He also writes occasional articles. If you have any IT questions, please direct them to Jay@ientry.com.
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