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OblakSoft Newsletter

OblakSoft Cloud Storage Newsletter, January 2012

OblakSoft is ready to fly!

ClouSE v1.0 Beta is now available for public use

ClouSE is the Cloud Storage Engine for MySQL that can utilize cloud storage such as Amazon S3 to store user data. ClouSE provides transactional and ACID-compliant relational data management on top of cloud storage.

Databases powered by ClouSE enjoy all the benefits of cloud storage – scaling cost with usage, high storage availability and reliability, quick and easy disaster recovery, etc.  ClouSE can provide direct cloud storage URLs so content can be served directly from cloud storage relying on its enormous power to make serving the content highly scalable.

ClouSE uses military grade AES-256 encryption to guarantee full data confidentiality in the cloud.  The customers are in full control of who has access to their data; the cloud provider does not automatically get access to the data as it happens with other cloud-based database management technologies.

ClouSE is the first and only relational database technology that overcomes cloud storage adoption barriers that prevented databases from using cloud storage. Designed and optimized for cloud storage from the ground up, ClouSE implements strict consistency enforcement, compression and caching (both read and write) techniques to smooth out cloud storage adoption bumps such as eventual data consistency, high-latency storage access, and higher storage access failure rate due to network failures. With ClouSE, cloud storage can be just plugged into a database server seamlessly and securely.

Cloud storage meets SQL

With ClouSE, many MySQL-based applications won’t require changing any application code. The decision to leverage cloud storage for the application data could be made by the DBA as part of application database deployment, much like tablespace management decisions. Unlike Database-as-a-Service technologies, ClouSE does not require database access to happen over high-latency and less reliable network, so the applications can enjoy the standard topology where an application server and a database are deployed on the same machine or over fast reliable LAN.

The programming model for ClouSE is the one of MySQL. Once the ClouSE plugin is installed storing new data in the cloud is just a matter of specifying the ENGINE=CLOUSE option in the CREATE TABLE statement, for example:

mysql> CREATE TABLE t1 (id INT KEY, data VARCHAR(64)) ENGINE=CLOUSE;

To create all new tables in ClouSE by default, the default-storage-engine configuration option can be used on the command line or in the [mysqld] section of the my.cnf file. If this option is set to ClouSE then all newly created tables without an explicit engine specification will have their data stored in the cloud storage.

Moving existing data to the cloud is as easy, for example:

mysql> ALTER TABLE t2 ENGINE=CLOUSE;

The secure cloud-based database technology

To guarantee data confidentiality in the cloud ClouSE encrypts the data using military grade AES-256 encryption before it puts the data to the cloud storage. This ensures that the data is visible neither over the wire nor to the cloud storage provider.

The data confidentiality is fully controlled with the encryption key that the customer provides to ClouSE. Customers are in charge of encryption key management and fully control who has access to their data, if anyone.

As it stands today, ClouSE is the only cloud-based relational data management technology available on the market that solves the problem of data confidentiality in the cloud. This overcomes a very important cloud adoption barrier and opens the cloud to workloads that previously wouldn’t be able to take advantage of the cloud for security reasons.

Your way to the cloud – your way

ClouSE supports a variety of topologies and configurations. ClouSE can run on the company premises, in the private cloud or in the public cloud. You have flexibility of choosing the topology and location for the configuration of the database management site that best fits your unique requirements to enforce data confidentiality, optimize for latency between the application and the database, minimize cost, address regulatory requirements, etc.

ClouSE supports both public (Amazon S3 http://aws.amazon.com/s3) and private (Eucalyptus Walrus http://www.eucalyptus.com/) cloud storage utility providers.

The variety of configurations enabled by ClouSE and its non-disruptive programming model provide a full spectrum of smooth and natural cloud computing adoption paths: the adoption can be both gradual and partial to fit unique company needs.

With ClouSE the application topology can easily evolve as the company needs advance; there is no necessity to commit to the “One True Cloud Platform” for years ahead. Even the ClouSE technology itself requires no commitment: migrating data out of ClouSE is as easy as migrating into ClouSE.

All in all with ClouSE your way to the cloud can really happen your way.

Scale out to the cloud

Much data is unstructured, such as images, video, audio, etc. Many RDBMS have support for blobs (stands for Basic / Binary Large OBject), however this support has been traditionally suboptimal and thus many applications have continued to store unstructured data as files on the file system. Using files provides reasonable performance, but file access is not transactional; further on files are not protected by the database backup / replication.

To address the problems of unstructured data and leverage the cloud scalability, ClouSE supports direct access to blob content stored in the cloud. This feature is called “weblobs”. ClouSE provides URLs that can be used by the client (e.g. a web browser) to download the weblob content directly from the cloud storage utility provider relying on the enormous power of cloud storage to make serving the content highly scalable. Weblobs provide a simple and powerful model for a relational database developer to leverage the cloud to scale out content delivery. For some classes of applications (for example image / video / audio sharing web applications) this could lead to a significant workload scale-out.

Weblobs provide the following advantages over using files on the file system:

  • weblobs are stored under the same level of protection as the relational data;
  • weblobs can leverage the cloud power to scale out content delivery because weblob content is served by the cloud storage utility provider which takes load off the application server;
  • weblob access is ACID-compliant so weblobs can be updated in a transaction along with the associated relational data and this transaction can commit or roll back as a whole.

In MySQL a weblob is expressed via a pair of BLOB fields that have a special naming convention: field_name$wblob and field_name$wblob_info. The following example shows how to create the pictures table that is keyed by the id and has a picture weblob:

mysql> CREATE TABLE pictures (id BIGINT KEY, picture$wblob LONGBLOB, picture$wblob_info BLOB) ENGINE=CLOUSE;

picture$wblob is going to store the actual picture while picture$wblob_info is going to return the URL of the picture in the cloud storage. The URL can be used by the client (e.g. a web browser) to download the picture directly from the cloud storage.

Ready for business

We are excited to launch our first product that is ready for everyday challenges.

The full ClouSE documentation is available at http://www.oblaksoft.com/docs/clouse.pdf.

The ClouSE Beta software can be downloaded at http://www.oblaksoft.com/downloads/ for FREE.

The ClouSE Beta release is just the beginning! OblakSoft team is vigorously working on making the product better every week. We are will be happy to walk you through your real-life scenarios, answer any of your questions, help with designing or tuning of your applications to work with ClouSE as well as address any obstacles that might come your way as soon as possible.

Looking forward to hearing from you, please email us at feedback@oblaksoft.com or through http://www.oblaksoft.com/about-us/email-us/.

We hope ClouSE will help you to find your way to the cloud – your way.

OblakSoft Team

newsletters@oblaksoft.com

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