Upcoming Webinar, 19th July, What is New in Tungsten Replicator 5.2 and Tungsten Clustering 5.2?

Continuent Tungsten 5.2 is just around the corner. This is one of our most exciting Tungsten product releases for some time!

In this webinar we’re going to have a look at a host of new features in the new release, including
Three new Replication Applier Targets (Kafka, Cassandra and Elasticsearch)
New improvements to our core command-line tools trepctl and thl
New foundations for our filtering services, and
Improvements to the compatibility between replication and clustering

This webinar is going be a packed session and we’ll show all the exciting stuff with more in-depth follow-up sessions in the coming weeks.


You’ll also learn about some more exciting changes coming in the upcoming Tungsten releases (5.2.1 and 5.3), and our major Tungsten 6.0 release due out by the end of the year.

So come and join us to get the low down on everything related to Tungsten Replicator 5.2 and Tungsten Clustering 5.2. on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 9:00 AM – 9:30 AM PDT at https://attendee.gotowebinar. com/register/ 4108437731342545667

Kafka Replication from MySQL and Oracle

Hello again everybody.

Well, I promised it a couple of weeks ago, and I’m sorry it has been so long (I’ve been working on other fun stuff in addition to this). But I’m pleased to say that we now have a fully working applier that takes data from an incoming THL stream, whether that is Oracle or MySQL, and converts that into a JSON document and message for distribution over a Kafka topic.

Currently, the configuration is organised with the following parameters:

  • The topic name is set according to the incoming schema and table. You can optionally add a prefix. So, for example, if you have a table ‘invoices’ in the schema ‘sales’, your Kafka topic will be sales_invoices, or if you’ve added a prefix, ‘myprefix_schema_table’.
  • Data is marshalled into a JSON document as part of the message, and the structure is to have a bunch of metadata and then an embedded record. You’ll see an example of this below. You can choose what metadata is included here. You can also choose to send everything on a single topic. I’m open to suggestions on whether it would be useful for this to be configured on a more granular level.
  • The msgkey is composed of the primary key information (if we can determine it), or the sequence number otherwise.
  • Messages are generated one row of source data at a time. There were lots of ways we could have done this, especially with larger single dumps/imports/multi-million-row transactions. There is no more sensible way. It may mean we get duplicate messages into Kafka, but these are potentially easier to handle than trying to send a massive 10GB Kafka message.
  • Since Zookeeper is a requirement for Kafka, we use Zookeeper to record the replicator status information.

Side note: One way I might consider mitigating that last item (and which may also apply to some of our other upcoming appliers, such as the ElasticSearch applier) is to actually change the incoming THL stream so that it is split into individual rows. This sounds entirely crazy, since it would separate the incoming THL sequence number from the source (MySQL binlog, Oracle, er, other upcoming extractors), but it would mean that we have THL on the applier side which is a single row of data. That means we would have a THL seqno per row of data, but would also mean that in the event of a problem, the replicator could restart from that one row of data, rather than restarting from the beginning of a multi-million-row transaction.

Anyway, what does it all look like in practice?

Well, here’s a simple MySQL instance and I’m going to insert a row into this table:

mysql> insert into sbtest.sbtest values (0,100,"Base Msg","Some other submsg");

OK, this looks like this:

mysql> select * from sbtest.sbtest where k = 100;
| id     | k   | c        | pad               |
| 255759 | 100 | Base Msg | Some other submsg |

Over in Kafka, let’s have a look what the message looks like. I’m just using the console consumer here:

{"_meta_optype":"INSERT","_meta_committime":"2017-05-27 14:27:18.0","record":{"pad":"Some other submsg","c":"Base Msg","id":"255759","k":"100"},"_meta_source_table":"sbtest","_meta_source_schema":"sbtest","_meta_seqno":"10130"}

And let’s reformat that into something more useful:

   "_meta_committime" : "2017-05-27 14:27:18.0",
   "_meta_source_schema" : "sbtest",
   "_meta_seqno" : "10130",
   "_meta_source_table" : "sbtest",
   "_meta_optype" : "INSERT",
   "record" : {
      "c" : "Base Msg",
      "k" : "100",
      "id" : "255759",
      "pad" : "Some other submsg"


Woohoo! Kafka JSON message. We’ve got the metadata (and those field names/prefixes are likely to change), but we’ve also got the full record details. I’m still testing other data types and ensuring we get the data through correctly, but I don’t foresee any problems.

There are a couple of niggles still to be resolved:

  • The Zookeeper interface which is used to store state data needs addressing; although it works fine there are some occasional issues with key/path collisions.
  • Zookeeper and Kafka connection are not fully checked, so it’s possible to appear to be up and running when no connection is available.
  • Some further tweaking of the configuration would be helpful – for example, setting or implying specific formats for msg key and the embedded data.

I may add further configurations for other items, especially since longer term we might have a Kafka extractor and maybe we want to use that to distribute records, in which case we might want to track other information like the additional metadata and configuration (SQL mode etc) currently held within the THL. I’ll keep thinking about that though.

Anything else people would like to see here? Please email me at mc.brown@continuent.com and we’ll sort something out.


Percona Live 2017

So glad to have had a successful Percona Live last week. Continuent were Diamond Sponsors and now that we are back into a company and not part of VMware we have a little more freedom to get back into the MySQL community.

I had two primary sessions, both on the replicator/ But one was looking specifically at the replicator and how we get data into Big Data targets, the other on general problems of replicating between heterogeneous sources. After the first of those, David from Percona interviewed me to understand a bit more about what I was talking about

I was also on the keynote panel where we discussed a variety of different topics and you can see the full video of that through the link.


Replicating Oracle Webinar Question Follow-up

We had really great webinar on Replicating to/from Oracle earliest this month, and you can view the recording of that Webinar here.

A good sign of how great a Webinar was is the questions that come afterwards, and we didn’t get through them all. so here are all the questions and answers for the entire webinar.

Q: What is the overhead of Replicator on source database with asynchronous CDC?

A: With asynchronous operation there is no substantial CPU overhead (as with synchronous), but the amount of generated redo logs becomes bigger requiring more disk space and better log management to ensure that the space is used effectively.

Q: Do you support migration from Solaris/Oracle to Linux/Oracle?

A: The replication is not certified for use on Solaris, however, it is possible to configure a replicator to operate remotely and extract from a remote Oracle instance. This is achieved by installing Tungsten Replicator on Linux and then extracting from the remote Oracle instance.

Q: Are there issues in supporting tables without Primary Keys on Oracle to Oracle replication?

A: Non-primary key tables will work, but it is not recommended for production as it implies significant overhead when applying to a target database.

Q: On Oracle->Oracle replication, if there are triggers on source tables, how is this handled?

A: Tungsten Replicator does not automatically disable triggers. The best solution is to remove triggers on slaves, or rewrite triggers to identify whether a trigger is being executed on the master or slave and skip it accordingly, although this requires rewriting the triggers in question.

Q: How is your offering different/better than Oracle Streams replication?

A: We like to think of ourselves as GoldenGate without the price tag. The main difference is the way we extract the information from Oracle, otherwise, the products offer similar functionality. For Tungsten Replicator in particular, one advantage is the open and flexible nature, since Tungsten Replicator is open source, released under a GPL V2 license, and available at https://code.google.com/p/tungsten-replicator/.

Q: How is the integrity of the replica maintained/verified?

A: Replicator has built-in real-time consistency checks: if an UPDATE or DELETE doesn’t update any rows, Replicator will go OFFLINE:ERROR, as this indicates an inconsistent dataset.

Q: Can configuration file based passwords be specified using some form of encrypted value for security purposes to keep them out of the clear?

A: We support an INI file format so that you do not have to use the command-line installation process. There is currently no supported option for an encrypted version of these values, but the INI file can be secured so it is only readable by the Tungsten user.

Q: Our source DB is Oracle RAC with ~10 instances. Is coherency maintained in the replication from activity in the various instances?

A: We do not monitor the information that has been replicated; but CDC replicates row-based data, not statements, so typical sequence insertion issues that might occur with statement based replication should not apply.

Q: Is there any maintenance of Oracle sequence values between Oracle and replicas?

A: Sequence values are recorded into the row data as extracted by Tungsten Replicator. Because the inserted values, not the sequence itself, is replicated, there is no need to maintain sequences between hosts.

Q: How timely is the replication? Particularly for hot source tables receiving millions of rows per day?

A: CDC is based on extracting the data at an interval, but the interval can be configured. In practice, assuming there are regular inserts and updates on the Oracle side, the data is replicated in real-time. See https://docs.continuent.com/tungsten-replicator-3.0/deployment-oracle-cdctuning.html for more information on how this figure can be tuned.

Q: Can parallel extractor instances be spread across servers rather than through threads on the same server (which would be constrained by network or HBA)?

A: Yes. We can install multiple replicators and tune the extraction of the parallel extractor accordingly. However, that selection would need to be manual, but certainly that is possible.

Q: Do you need the CSV file (to select individual tables with the setupCDC.sh configuration) on the master setup if you want all tables?

A: No.

Q: If you lose your slave down the road, do you need to re-provision from the initial SCN number or is there a way to start from a later point?

A: This is the reason for the THL Sequence Number introduced in the extractor. If you lose your slave, you can install a new slave and have it start at the transaction number where the failed slave stopped if you know it, since the information will be in the THL. If not, you can usually determine this by examining the THL directly. There should be no need to re-provision – just to restart from the transaction in the THL on the master.

Q: Regarding a failed slave, what if it failed such that we don’t have a backup or wanted to provision a second slave such that it had no initial data.

A: If you had no backups or data, yes, you would need to re-provision with the parallel extractor in order to seed the target database.

Q: Would you do that with the original SCN? If it had been a month or two, is there a way to start at a more recent SCN (e.g. you have to re-run the setupCDC process)?

A: The best case is to have two MySQL slaves and when one fails, you re-provision it from the healthy one. This avoids setupCDC stage.

However, the replication can always be started from a specific event (SCN) provided that SCN is available in the Oracle undo log space.

Q: How does Tungsten handle Oracle’s CLOB and BLOB data types

A: Providing you are using asynchronous CDC these types are supported; for synchronous CDC these types are not supported by Oracle.

Q: Can different schemas in Oracle be replicated at different times?

A: Each schema is extracted by a separate service in Replicator, so they are independent.

Q: What is the size limit for BLOB or CLOB column data types?

A: This depends on the CDC capabilities in Oracle, and is not limited within Tungsten Replicator. You may want to refer to the Oracle Docs for more information on CDC: http://docs.oracle.com/cd/B28359_01/server.111/b28313/cdc.htm

Q: With different versions of Oracle e.g. enterprise edition and standard edition one be considered heterogeneous environments?

A: Essentially yes, although the nomenclature is really only a categorization, it does not affect the operation, deployment or functionality of the replicator. All these features are part of the open source product.

Q: Can a 10g database (master) send the data to a 11g database (slave) for use in an upgrade?

A: Yes.

Q: Does the Oracle replicator require the Oracle database to be in archive mode?

A: Yes. This is a requirement for Oracle’s CDC implementation.

Q: How will be able to revisit this recorded webinar?

A: Slides and a recording from today’s webinar will be available at http://www.slideshare.net/Continuent_Tungsten


Tungsten Replicator 3.0 is Cloudera Enterprise 5 Certified

One of the key platforms I’ve been testing on for the MySQL to Hadoop replication has been Cloudera, largely driven by customer requirements, but it’s also one of the easiest way to get started with Hadoop.


What I’m even more pleased about is the fact that we are proud to announce that Tungsten Replicator 3.0 is certified for use on the new Cloudera Enterprise 5 platform. That means that we’re sure that replicating your data from MySQL to Cloudera 5 and have it work without causing problems or difficulties on the Hadoop loading and materialisation.

Cloudera is a great product, and we’re very happy to be working so effectively with the new Cloudera Enterprise 5. Cloudera certainly makes the core operation of managing and monitoring your Hadoop cluster so much easier, while still providing core functionality from the Hadoop family like Hive, HBase and Impala.

What I’m really interested in is the support for Spark, which will allow much easier live-querying and access to data.  That should make some data processing and live data views much easier to build and query further down the line.

Continuent Replication to Hadoop – Now in Stereo!

Hopefully by now you have already seen that we are working on Hadoop replication. I’m happy to say that it is going really well. I’ve managed to push a few terabytes of data and different data sets through into Hadoop on Cloudera, HortonWorks, and Amazon’s Elastic MapReduce (EMR). For those who have been following my long association with the IBM InfoSphere BigInsights Hadoop product, and I’m pleased to say that it’s working there too. I’ve had to adapt Robert’s original script to work with the different versions of the underlying Hadoop tools and systems to make it compatible. The actual performance and process is unchanged; you just use a different JS-based batchloader script to work with different tools.

Robert has also been simplifying some of the core functionality, such as configuring some fixed pre-determined formats, so you no longer have to explicitly set the field and record separators.

I’ve also been testing the key feature of being able to integrate the provisiong of information using Sqoop and merging that original Sqooped data into Hadoop, and then following up with the change data that the replicator is effectively transferring over. The system works exactly as I’ve just described – start the replicator, Sqoop the data, materialise the view within Hadoop. It’s that easy; in fact, if you want a deeper demonstration of all of these features, we’ve got a video from my recent webinar session:

Real Time Data Loading from MySQL to Hadoop with New Tungsten Replicator 3.0

If you can’t spare the time, but still want to know about our Hadoop applier, try our short 5-minute video:

Real-time data loading into Hadoop with Tungsten Replicator

While you’re there, check out the Clustering video I did at the same time:

Continuent Tungsten Clustering

And of course, don’t forget that you can see the product and demos live by attending Percona Live in Santa Clara this week (1st-4th April).

Real-Time Data Loading from MySQL to Hadoop using Tungsten Replicator 3.0 Webinar

To follow-up and describe some of the methods and techniques behind replicating into Hadoop from MySQL in real-time, and how this can be combined into your data workflow, Continuent are running a webinar with me presenting that will go over the details and provide a demo of the data replication process.

Real-Time Data Loading from MySQL to Hadoop with New Tungsten Replicator 3.0

Hadoop is an increasingly popular means of analyzing transaction data from MySQL. Up until now mechanisms for moving data between MySQL and Hadoop have been rather limited. The new Continuent Tungsten Replicator 3.0 provides enterprise-quality replication from MySQL to Hadoop. Tungsten Replicator 3.0 is 100% open source, released under a GPL V2 license, and available for download at https://code.google.com/p/tungsten-replicator/. Continuent Tungsten handles MySQL transaction types including INSERT/UPDATE/DELETE operations and can materialize binlogs as well as mirror-image data copies in Hadoop. Continuent Tungsten also has the high performance necessary to load data from busy source MySQL systems into Hadoop clusters with minimal load on source systems as well as Hadoop itself.

This webinar covers the following topics:

– How Hadoop works and why it’s useful for processing transaction data from MySQL
– Setting up Continuent Tungsten replication from MySQL to Hadoop
– Transforming MySQL data within Hadoop to enable efficient analytics
– Tuning replication to maximize performance.

You do not need to be an expert in Hadoop or MySQL to benefit from this webinar. By the end listeners will have enough background knowledge to start setting up replication between MySQL and Hadoop using Continuent Tungsten.

You can join the webinar on 27th March (Thursday), 10am PDT, 1pm EDT, or 5pm GMT by registering here: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/225780945