Monday, August 29, 2011

VMware vFabric Data Director, VMware vFabric Postgres and CloudFoundry

Today I am finally pleased to see that we are finally moving out of stealth mode.

VMware announced vFabric Data Director at VMworld 2011 along with vFabric Postgres (vPostgres).  You will find lot of information already in the press release.

VMware vFabric Data Director

vFabric Data Director is a new VMware software product that enables enterprises to offer Database-as-a-Service. vPostgres is the the first database supported on vFabric Data Director.
It is  a self-service product which  takes the repetitive tasks of setting up a database right from virtual bare-metal to a fully running databases in minutes with features that you expect with an Enterprise quality database (deploying, monitoring, backup, restore, resizing, cloning and many other features). It helps to reduce the database sprawl and increases DBA productivity to handle large number of databases. It extends the vSphere platform to now include a data tier.

You can find the product document, a product-demo and other information on the resource page of  vFabric Data Director.

VMware vFabric Postgres (vPostgres)

vFabric Postgres is VMware's version of PostgreSQL. vPostgres is optimized for running on vSphere platforms. It is based on PostgreSQL 9.0. However there are some transparent changes which are significant in overall user experience.  Lets go over few of these key features

  • vFabric Postgres Elastic Database Memory: vPostgres Elastic database memory allows dynamic and seamless adaption of bufferpool in response to changing workloads on the hypervisor.  In traditional implementation, if you take out memory, the guest VMs  performance will goes down the drain. Most cloud users will have seen the symptoms for sure.  With vPostgres Elastic database memory , the effective bufferpool shrinks based on memory pressure dynamically and allows the overall system to be more graceful to this changing memory pressures.  This feature reduces the   over-the-cliff drop in performance observed frequently in Cloud deployments of  databases.
  • Dynamic Checkpoint Tuning: In vPostgres, the priority is given to checkpoint_timeout which is referred to as Recovery Time Objective. In order to do the right balance between this Recovery Time Objective and overall performance, it dynamically shifts checkpoint_segments to keep a fine balance of adherence to RTO, performance and diskspace for WAL Logs. This allows reduction of manual tuning of checkpoints and allow the database server to dynamically find an optimum point based on changing workload.
  • vPostgres also has some specific features when used with vFabric Data Director. vFabric  Data Director allows to change resources (vCPU, memory) set for a particular database. vData Director can then auto-tune the database based on the changed resources minimizing significantly the time to re-tune database. This allows DBAs to focus on more "business goal related tasks rather than day-to-day maintenance tasks.

Currently vPostgres will be only available for download as part of  vFabric Data Director. However there is a vPostgres Service available on for Cloud Applications. It is free for use by all applications that support the Cloud Application programming which includes Java, Ruby, node.js  in

$ vmc services

============== System Services ==============

| Service    | Version | Description                   |
| mongodb    | 1.8     | MongoDB NoSQL store           |
| mysql      | 5.1     | MySQL database service        |
| postgresql | 9.0     | PostgreSQL database service   |
| rabbitmq   | 2.4     | RabbitMQ messaging service    |
| redis      | 2.2     | Redis key-value store service |

During a cloud deployment, you could select the "postgresql" service for your application.
More on CloudFoundry services  in a subsequent blog posts.

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