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GenieDB Makes MySQL Web-Scale & Always Available

It considers its solution to be “beyond failover” because the database exists in all regions or with all SPs all the time

Relational databases are notoriously ornery and resistant to being distributed across the cloud and the global cloud's multiple data centers, multiple regions in multiple countries stocked by multiple service providers - and that includes that popular favorite MySQL, used by some of the largest web-facing organizations for their mission-critical apps.

Well, a start-up by the name of GenieDB says it's been working on a commercial solution for MySQL for the last five years supported by $3.5 million in seed money and has just put out its GenieDB Enterprise 2.0 widgetry. It's a private preview with general availability due by the end of June.

The company says the release will let MySQL users avoid the alternative and do what Netflix, the victim of multiple Amazon outages last year, is doing in search of resilience, availability and failover, and that's migrate to a NoSQL database, a difficult and expensive passage.

Instead it will let MySQL applications stay up, even if the cloud they're on goes down and clouds are notoriously failure-prone creatures.

The start-up considers its solution to be "beyond failover" because the database exists in all regions or with all SPs all the time, a synchronous state that's not exactly natural to a database.

All of the data centers or SPs are used simultaneously to satisfy local users, a governance limitation often demanded by countries concerned about where the data is and what laws it's subject to.

CEO Cary Breese said that also means that cloud hardware isn't left idle waiting for disaster to strike.

GenieDB is architected as a pluggable storage engine - MySQL has a few of those. The MySQL user can replace his existing storage engine with GenieDB and get the additional algorithms that make MySQL distributable and let it thumb its nose at cloud outages.

The company has a handful of customers in production with GenieDB 1.0.

The 2.0 release, which works with the latest 5.6 MySQL release, is supposed to improve 1.0's performance, scalability and compatibility.

Following its sizeable seed round - referred to as more an avocado pit than seed - the start-up is now looking for an A round from new investors that amounts to $6 million-$8 million. That should last it 15-18 months, Cary said.

It will then seek another $10 million.

Current investors include Miramar Ventures, Frost Venture Partners and Hillcrest Venture Partners as well as angels and high net-worth individuals.

GenieDB 2.0 will cost either $3,500 per server a year or 45 cents per server an hour. The company has a free version available for test and evaluation, but going into production requires a license.

The company is represented in Rackspace's Cloud Tools Marketplace and HP's Cloud store and is negotiating with Amazon to be sold in its marketplace.

Although GenieDB might add some "insignificant" overhead to MySQL - something that the company is about to quantify - it also reduces latency at the same time.

It's advertised as "self-healing" and will reportedly support any MySQL application.

The proprietary, automated widgetry is patent-pending.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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