Drizzling away

I have been reading more and more about the Drizzle project these past few weeks and it looks like a very interesting project. The project itself started off from MySQL, lots of bits got ripped out and new bits are being added in. You can track progress on Planet MySQL and on the project home page.

Talking about the project home page, here is what it says:

A Lightweight SQL Database for Cloud and Web

The Drizzle project is building a database optimized for Cloud and Net applications. It is being designed for massive concurrency on modern multi-cpu/core architecture. The code is originally derived from MySQL.

While Jay Pipes does not think that this will ever make it out of the lab, I think there is a gap in the market for a lightweight, SQL-based, networked DBMS. At one end of the spectrum you have MySQL, a fairly complete and heavyweight RDBMS, further along you have SQLite and eventually BerkeleyDB from (Oracle, originally SleepyCat).

As an application grows and there is more and more data to manage, a switch has to be made from a monolithic database to a sharded database, which means that a lot of the work that was being done in the monolithic database server (referential integrity, joins, etc…) has to move to a middleware layer (this is documented ad nauseam so I am not going to expand on that.)

So if you are using MySQL in this scenario, you wind up not using 80% of the features that MySQL offers which just makes them overhead. Trouble is that at the other end of the spectrum (touched on above) there isn’t anything which does the 20% you need.

So I think (hope!) that this is where Drizzle is heading, because it really just makes sense.

Updated August 8th, 2008 – Drizzle is the subject of the current FLOSS Weekly podcast over on the TWIT network.

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