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