Red Hat Releases Fedora 19 With MariaDB As Default DBMS Over MySQL

On Tuesday, Red Hat announced the general availability of Fedora 19, its Linux operating system codenamed Schrodinger’s Cat. Fedora 19 packages a variety of open source technologies that have been integrated into its Linux distribution and are subsequently available for download and modification. Because Fedora represents the testing platform for Red Hat’s flagship Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) distribution, the distribution’s evolution is watched closely since it provides insight about the future of RHEL, one of the most widely used enterprise-grade distributions of Linux.

For development purposes, Fedora 19 features functionality such as 3D printing capabilities through support for OpenSCAD, Skeinforge, SFACT, Printrun and RepetierHost. In addition, this release includes Developer’s Assistant, a tool designed to assist developers code using pre-built templates and samples. Other notable additions include Node.js, a Javascript language used specifically for scalable network applications or applications that run across distributed devices, as well as Ruby 2.0.0. OpenShift Origin, Red Hat’s OpenStack-based Platform as a Service infrastructure, represents another important component of Fedora 19. Finally, MariaDB is now the default version of MySQL in Fedora.

With respect to ongoing deployment, monitoring and management functionality, Fedora 19 contains OpenStack Grizzly, the latest version of the popular open source IaaS collaboration of which Red Hat is a Platinum Board Member and vigorous contributor of code. This release also includes virtual storage migration that empowers users to move virtual machines without requiring shared storage between host machines. Finally, Fedora 19 boasts “Systemd Resource Control” and “Checkpoint & Restore” functionality to dynamically update service settings and baseline and restore processes and system parameters.

Robyn Bergeron, Fedora Project Leader, noted that agility was the defining attribute of Fedora 19 as follows:

In this release, the Fedora Project community has absolutely demonstrated that agility matters. From high-level features for enabling cloud and virtualization infrastructure, all the way down to process-level and virtual-machine level portability, combined with the newest developer toolchains, Fedora 19 contains cutting-edge technologies that enable scalability, resilience, and flexibility that are vital in a technology world increasingly focused on rapid delivery of solutions, services, and information.

Here, Bergeron touches upon the release’s compatibility with “cloud and virtualization infrastructure” as evinced by OpenStack Grizzly and OpenShift PaaS as well as the “flexibility” inherent to its developer tools and improved everyday experience by means of CUPS enhancements that enable faster printing, federated Voice-over-IP (VoIP) that allows users to make calls using a user@domain address, in addition to desktop choices such as GNOME 3.8, KDE Plasma Workspaces 4.10 and the MATE 1.6 desktop environment.

The most significant innovation of Fedora 19, however, concerns its use of MariaDB as opposed to Oracle’s MySQL out of concern that MySQL lacked sufficient transparency and openness. Jaroslav Reznik, Fedora’s Project Manager, elaborated on Fedora concerns about MySQL’s transparency in January of this year as follows:

The original company behind MySQL, MySQL AB, were bought out by Sun which was then bought by Oracle. Recent changes made by Oracle indicate they are moving the MySQL project to be more closed. They are no longer publishing any useful information about security issues (CVEs), and they are not providing complete regression tests any more, and a very large fraction of the mysql bug database is now not public.

MariaDB, which was founded by some of the original MySQL developers, has a more open-source attitude and an active community. We have found them to be much easier to work with, especially in regards to security matters.

MariaDB is a MySQL fork whose development was led by the original developers of MySQL over concerns about the stewardship of MySQL by Oracle. MariaDB is intended as a “drop-in” replacement of MySQL and supports MySQL’s open source storage engines and additional storage engines and features as well. Returning to Fedora 19, future versions of Fedora may not even feature MySQL alongside MariaDB as noted by Jaroslav Reznik:

MySQL will continue to be available for at least one release, but MariaDB will become the default. Also, we do not intend to support concurrent installation of both packages on the same machine; pick one or the other.

MySQL may well be gone from Fedora 20 or Fedora 21, but the more interesting question concerns whether RHEL 7.0 will be released with MariaDB as its default database management system (DBMS). In an interview with ZDNet, Senior Director of Product Marketing for RHEL Mark Coggin refused to confirm that RHEL 7.0 would be shipped with MariaDB as its default DBMS, although he did specify that Red Hat Software Collections 1.0, which has been offered in Beta to RHEL 6 customers, contains MariaDB version 5.5, MySQL version 5.5, and PostgreSQL version 9.2. Red Hat intends to offer the languages featured in Red Hat Software Collections 1.0 in RHEL 7.0, although the question of the default DBMS remains. If Red Hat does decide to ultimately dispense with MySQL, however, it will be significant news for Oracle, which has thus far been used to being involved in the powering of LAMP technology stacks, especially as the meaning of “LAMP” undergoes redefinition.

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Oracle Partners With Cloudera For Newly Available Big Data Appliance

On Tuesday, Oracle declared the availability of the Big Data appliance that it introduced to the world at its October conference Oracle Open World. The appliance runs on Linux and features Cloudera’s version of Apache Hadoop (CDH), Cloudera Manager for managing the Hadoop distribution, the Oracle NoSQL database as well as an open source version of R, the statistical software package. Oracle’s partnership with Cloudera in delivering its Big Data appliance goes beyond the latter’s selection as a Hadoop distributor to include assistance with customer support. Oracle plans to deliver tier one customer support while Cloudera will provide assistance with tier two and tier three customer inquiries, including those beyond the domain of Hadoop.

Oracle will run its Big Data appliance on hardware featuring 864 GB main memory, 216 CPU cores, 648 TB of raw disk storage, 40 Gb/s InfiniBand connectivity and10 Gb/s Ethernet data center connectivity. Oracle also revealed details of four connectors to its appliance with the following functionality:

• Oracle Loader for Hadoop to load massive amounts of data into the appliance by using the MapReduce parallel processing technology.
• Oracle Data Integrator Application Adapter for Hadoop which provides a graphical interface that simplifies the creation of Hadoop MapReduce programs.
• Oracle Connector R which provides users of R streamlined access to the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS)
• Oracle Direct Connector for Hadoop Distributed File System (ODCH), which supports the integration of Oracle’s SQL database with its Hadoop Distributed File System.

Oracle’s announcement of the availability of its Big Data appliance comes as the battle for Big Data market share takes shape in a landscape dominated by the likes of Teradata, Microsoft, IBM, HP, EMC, Informatica, MarkLogic and Karmasphere. Oracle’s selection of Cloudera as its Hadoop distributor indicates that it intends to make a serious move into the world of Big Data. For one, the partnership with Cloudera gives Oracle increased access to Cloudera’s universe of customers. Secondly, the partnership enhances the credibility of Oracle’s Big Data offering given that Cloudera represents that most prominent distributor of Apache Hadoop in the U.S.

In October, Microsoft revealed plans for a Big Data appliance featuring Hadoop for Windows Server and Azure, and Hadoop connectors for SQL Server and SQL Parallel Data Warehouse. Whereas Oracle chose Cloudera for Hadoop distribution, Microsoft partnered with Yahoo spinoff Hortonworks to integrate Hadoop with Windows Server and Windows Azure. In late November, HP provided details of Autonomy IDOL (Integrated Data Operating Layer) 10, which features the ability to process large-scale structured data sets in addition to a NoSQL interface for loading and analyzing structured and unstructured data. In December, EMC released its Greenplum Unified Analytics Platform (UAP) marked by the ability to load structured data, enterprise-grade Hadoop for analyzing structured and unstructured data and Chorus, a collaboration and productivity software tool. Bolstered by its partnership with Cloudera, Oracle is set to compete squarely with HP’s Autonomy IDOL 10, EMC’s Greenplum Chorus and IBM’s BigInsights until Microsoft’s appliance officially enters the Big Data doohyoo (土俵) qua sumo ring as well.

Report: Microsoft To Support Linux and Persistent Virtual Machines On Windows Azure

Unconfirmed reports from the All About Microsoft blog by ZDNet’s Mary-Jo Foley suggest that Microsoft is gearing up to support Linux on its Windows Azure cloud platform in 2012. The blog claims that Microsoft will launch a persistent virtual machine on the Azure platform that enables customers to run Windows or Linux “durably,” meaning, without suffering any loss of data due to rebooting on the Azure platform. Support for the persistent virtual machine on Windows Azure will additionally enable customers to host applications using SharePoint and SQL Server. While the conjunction of Linux and Windows might seem unthinkable given Microsoft Corporation’s historical antipathy toward Linux and open-source computing, Linux support on Azure would represent a huge coup for Azure customers that would like the flexibility to run Linux-based instances in the vein of Amazon Web Services. Moreover, Linux support on Azure enables Azure to compete more squarely with VMware. Microsoft reportedly conceded to customer requests for persistent virtual machines because customers demanded the ability to host applications such as SharePoint within a persistent virtual environment.