Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Continuent Product Management Newsletter, February 2017

Welcome to the first newsletter in 2017 for Continuent. 

Hope everybody has had a good start to the new year. We did at Continuent, starting off with another developer meeting while we pin down our plans for the coming year.


In this Continuent Product Newsletter we cover:
General Information
  • London Developer Meeting
  • Continuent Release Schedule
  • New Replicator Appliers
  • Ask Continuent Anything -- on Thursday 23rd, Feb at noon PST/3pm EST
New Releases
  • Release 5.0.1 Coming Soon
  • Release 4.0.7 and Net::SSH

London Developer Meeting

We had a customer meeting in London in January where we got the opportunity to spend a couple of hours with one of our customers and understands their needs and concerns. That was useful, partially because they love our product (which we obviously like to hear!) but also because their ideas for improvements match with our future vision of changes we are planning. That also gave us the opportunity to discuss in the dev management team a little more about our medium to long term goals.

Continuent Release Schedule

One of the many decisions we made at the London meeting was to change our release schedule. Our new schedule is designed to get fixes updates and new features into customer hands as quickly as possible. To achieve that, we’ve started by specifying our release levels first. They follow the traditional x.y.z model, where:


  • Z-releases contain bug fixes and minor improvements
  • Y-releases contain all previous bug fixes and mid-level functionality improvements and new features
  • X-releases will contain major new functionality, for example a new replicator source, cluster solution, or major improvements to core components.


In line with that basic overview, we’re aiming to to release:


  • Z-releases will happen every 6 weeks
  • Y-releases will happen every 3 months
  • X-releases will happen at least once a year


We’ll also be stricter about our version support process. All releases will be supported for a maximum of two-years from each Z release. All existing customers and versions will be supported up until the end of this year (2017). After that, we’ll start enforcing the time limits. Since we will have a new major version out of every year, a customer should never be more than two years and ergo two versions behind with a release.


More importantly overall, of course, it should mean that our customers can plan their updates knowing when the next release will come out. It should also mean that if you are waiting for a fix after reporting a bug, and we haven’t given you an explicit patch, you should have to wait a maximum of six weeks before the next release.

New Replicator Appliers

Continuent currently offers the following heterogeneous replication solutions:
  • Extraction of the real time transaction feed: from MySQL, AWS RDS and Oracle
  • Applying in real-time into following databases: to Oracle, MySQL, Hadoop, Redshift, and Vertica


One of the other topics that came up at the meeting was the need for additional appliers into a variety of other databases and targets, including, but not limited to, Kafka, Flume, Couchbase, MongoDB (we support it already, but improvements have been requested) and some improvements to our Hadoop applier environment. We’re open to further requests and suggestions and I’m collecting information right now. If you want to discuss it, please contact me (mc.brown@continuent.com) directly.

Online Q&A -- Ask Continuent Anything

Eric Stone, our COO, will be hosting an ‘Ask Continuent Anything’ session on Thursday 23rd, Feb at noon PST/3pm EST.


You can ask us anything here, technical, business, product specific, product requests, history lessons. We’ll try to answer any questions you have, and if we can’t provide an answer, we’ll follow up with you after the session. We’ll include a summary of those questions in the next newsletter.


Please join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone:


You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: +1 (571) 317-3116; France: +33 (0) 170 950 590; Germany: +49 (0) 692 5736 7206; United Kingdom: +44 (0) 20 3713 5011
Access Code: 548-812-605


Continuent Release 4.0.7 and Net::SSH

Release 4.0.7 should be out within a week of this newsletter and is going through final testing right now. We’ll announce it accordingly when it’s ready.


Before the end of last year, we released 4.0.6 which contained many fixes, but most importantly tried to address the issues with compatibility of the Ruby Net::SSH modules used both during staging installs and within some of the command-line tools.


Unfortunately, this proved to be more complex than we expected. To summarize (from the Net::SSH docs):


  • Ruby 1.8.x is supported up until the net-ssh 2.5.1 release.
  • Ruby 1.9.x is supported up until the net-ssh 2.9.x release.
  • Current net-ssh releases require Ruby 2.0 or later.


This presents a problem when we are trying to work with a wide range of Ruby versions, made more complex by the fact that even relatively new releases of Linux OS distributions still work with old (and outdated) versions of Ruby. We have originally bundled Net::SSH to make the distribution easier to work with. Unfortunately, customers using a distribution that includes, say, Ruby 1.9.x as standard (Ubuntu, including 16.10 LTS) then have compatibility issues.


To address that, in both 4.0.7 and 5.0.1 we are no longer including Net::SSH. Instead, you’ll need to install the right Net::SSH version according to your installed Ruby and Linux distribution for the Tungsten tools to use. Full instructions will be included in the release notes.

Continuent Release 5.0.1 Coming Soon

As per the above release schedule, and our promise in the last product newsletter, release 5.0.1 is going through final testing right now and we hope to release it within a week of this newsletter. It contains a variety of fixes and improvements from the 5.0.0 release, while making it simpler and easier to install and upgrade from previous versions.  

NOTE: Release 5.0.1 will also be our standard expected release for all customers going forward.  

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Continuent Product Management Newsletter, December 2016

Welcome everybody to the new Continuent. In case you have somehow missed it, Continuent has been split off from VMware and is now it’s own independent company.

This newsletter is the first of a regular, monthly, communication giving you the inside information on what is going on here at Continuent with respects to product development.

In this Continuent December 2016 Newsletter we cover:
  • Re-introduction
  • Webinar from December 7th Recording available
  • Continuent Road Map
  • Customer Advisory Board and other customer interactions
  • Release 4.0.6 is here!


Re-Introductions

The creation of a new Continuent Ltd also means that we have full control over our products and features, and we also know that our customers and users would like to know a lot more about what we are working on, what will come up in the future, and better information on when products will be released, and updated.

As VP/Products, MC Brown (me) I will be keeping you up to date. Many of you I have met or spoken to over the years, whether during sales calls, conferences, or support calls. Some of you I am still yet to meet or speak to, but I’m sure we will have lots of opportunities to do so over the coming months and years.

In the same way as the old Continuent (and the group within VMware) we are a well-spread team, which has the advantage of helping us to provide the 24/7 support coverage. It also means that we like to get together regularly and have some face-to-face time and meetings so that we can agree, and that’s what we did when the company first started.

Road Map Meeting

Back in October, our brand new team met up in Boston, MA, USA to give a good kick off for the company, choose our new path, discuss the pain points and issues most affecting our customers and what we would focus on in the short, medium, and longer term.

We discussed some really good ideas as part of that meeting, and we also built-up a tentative plan for what we are doing. I’ll be describing and discussing that in more detail in the coming months but here are some of the highlights and themes that came out of our discussions:

  • We hate to do this, but hopefully it will be the last time, we’re renaming the products. In short we have two products:
    • Tungsten Replicator (previously known as VMware Replication for MySQL, Oracle, and Data Analytics)
    • Tungsten Clustering (previously known as Continuent Tungsten and VMware Clustering for MySQL)
  • Release v4.0.6; this release has been in production for some time, but obviously during the changes at VMware earlier this year, we didn’t release. This is our top priority (see below).
  • Release v5.0.1; this release will include our new Oracle replication capability (as did v5.0.0) within the replicator, and end-to-end security improvements for replication and clustering. We’ll be simplifying this, and removing ‘security by default’
  • We’ve agreed to some medium-term goals for the product:
    • Ensure we have full MySQL 5.7 support as quickly as possible, including support for new datatypes
    • Move to a shorter, and fixed, release schedule, so we get more releases, and more frequent fixes and improvements.  
    • Support for Java 8
    • New OS version support (such as CentOS 7, SUSE and others)
    • Reduce the amount of ‘noise’ in the logs so that it’s easier to identify real issues
    • Improve the quality of debug information so that we can fix and resolve bugs quicker

Furthermore, we will of course be keeping you as customers more in the loop on exactly what we are doing.


Regular Talks, Customer Advisory Board, and Customer Portal

A few things are going to change in the short term - specifically, all of our customers will get an email like this from me every month letting you know what is going on. I’m going to try and make the emails as informative and lightweight as possible.

In addition to this, I will personally be doing three more things over the coming months:
  • Calling and speaking to some of you directly. I know some of you have already had health check calls, and these will continue, but I also want to speak to as many of our top and key customers as I can. As time goes on, we’ll repeat the process as new products and functionality and work continues. Your needs will change, and we want to work with you to achieve the results you need.
  • Setting up a customer panel where a selection of our customers will be able to talk to us, and to each other, about the way they use our software, what they want and need for the future, and how we can help them with their replicating and clustering needs.
  • Setting up a new customer-focused website where you can all get info on what’s happening, discuss things, and get more detail on the features and functionality we are building.

The aim here is not to overload you with information, but we do specifically want you to be more involved with the company and product features and have more freedom of communication with us so we can get the products and functionality you want.


Webinar - Continuent Tungsten 4.0.6

On the 8th December, I held a Webinar where I went over the new features and functionality of our first release as the new Continuent, v4.0.6. It includes some of the information I’ve covered in this email, as well as more detail on the specifics of the release and our upcoming roadmap and other plans.

If you’d like to watch the Webinar again, we’ve made a version available for download and viewing here: http://continuent-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Continuent_Release_Launch-20161208.mp4

The release includes a number of important bug fixes and features, including:

  • Basic MySQL 5.7 support; this means we now operate correctly against MySQL 5.7, including during installation. But this release specifically does not support the new MySQL 5.7 data types (JSON, or virtual/generated columns). We’re working on adding full support for this right now.
  • Fixes to installation that addresses some minor compatibility issues with MySQL 5.7
  • Fixes to the replicator in terms of reading and processing binary logs
  • Added more intensive checks for non-InnoDB tables and MySQL features

Thank You

Thanks for reading!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with me direct at mc.brown@continuent.com

MC

Coming Up

In the next Continuent January 2017 Newsletter we will cover:
  • Details on Continuent 5.0.x Release
  • Improved Documentation
  • Continuent Online Training series
  • Continuent to expand to offer Remote-DBA services

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Continuent is Back in Business (not that we ever left)!



Dear Continuent Customers,

I am pleased to inform you that we have found a solution to extend the life of the Continuent product family. 

VMware has just completed a spin-off of the Continuent operations to a new entity (also to be called Continuent) and led by Continuent’s original founder Eero Teerikorpi. We would like to thank you for your patience during the time we have been working to find an appropriate path for the Continuent products. 

I hope you will be pleased to hear that the team members taking over Continuent solutions are people you know very well and can trust.

A number of key development, product management and support engineers from the original team (CTO Edward Archibald who is the core developer of the clustering solution, VP Engineer Gilles Rayrat who is in charge of the connectivity development and VP Products MC Brown who is the product manager and replication/big data expert) will be joining Eero on this new venture. 

Eric Stone has accepted the role as COO. The team will also include excellent support engineers such as Director Professional Services (Americas) Matt Lang and Director Professional Services (EMEA and APAC) Chris Parker.

With this team in place, you can expect that Continuent will be able to provide the same excellent support coverage you have grown used to. You can also expect us to develop new features and functionality, thus significantly extending the lifespan and usefulness of Continuent products.  

From the operational point of view, there will be remarkably few changes for existing customers:  Continuent will continue to offer the same 24/7 support services via the same support portal handled by the same staff.

Eero Teerikorpi and his group will be in touch with you shortly to manage the smooth transition of existing software and support subscriptions. 

Smooth sailing,


Eero Teerikorpi
Founder, CEO of Continuent
e-mail: eero.teerikorpi@continuent.com
Mobile: (408) 431 3305



Tuesday, March 29, 2016

VMware Continuent at Collaborate 16

http://collaborate.oaug.org/Get ready for COLLABORATE 16 at Mandalay Bay, April 10-14, 2016! 5500+ Oracle users and community members converge on Las Vegas to share knowledge and get energized to achieve great results. Visit us in booth 947! #C16LV

VMware Continuent at The Percona Live Data Performance Conference

Percona Live 2016, Data Performance Conference Santa Clara, April 13-16, 2015VMware Continuent provides data replication between relational databases, and to data warehouses and analytics engines. In addition, VMware Continuent provides globally redundant disaster recovery, commercial-grade high availability and performance scaling. 

To learn more, come visit us at the Percona Live Data Performance Conference, booth # 104!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Introduction to VMware Continuent 5.0


Your replication solution for Oracle migration, disaster recovery, and real-time data loading into analytics. Visit vmware.com/products/continuent to learn more.

Monday, December 21, 2015

New VMware Continuent 5.0 - A powerful and cost efficient Oracle GoldenGate alternative!

VMware Continuent 5.0 is a complete data replication solution that includes all the functionality you need at one low price. In this webinar-on-demand, you’ll see how VMware Continuent delivers: 
  • Migration. Replicate from an old version of Oracle, often running on non-Linux platform (Windows, AIX, HP-UX, Solaris), to a new version of Oracle (often running in Linux). VMware Continuent supports heterogeneous environments. 
  • On-boarding to Cloud and Service Providers' data centers. Replicate from an old version of Oracle, often running on non-Linux platform, into a virtual or cloud-hosted environment. VMware Continuent is “cloud-ready”. 
  • Replication into Analytics (Hadoop, HP Vertica, Amazon Redshift). VMware Continuent offers real-time data loading into analytics and Big Data. This often includes Oracle running on Linux replicating into Hadoop/Vertica analytics.
  • Replication to MySQL (and PostgreSQL). There is a lot of interest by customers to save money with open source databases. VMware Continuent supports two-way replication between Oracle and MySQL, and allows off-loading workloads to cost-saving MySQL databases. VMware Continuent will soon allow migration from Oracle to PostgreSQL.