VMware Tanzu SQL Relational Database-on-Demand Enhances MySQL for Developer Productivity and Enterprise Readiness

December 17, 2020 Judy Wang

While developers nowadays can choose from a variety of use case-specific data management systems (DBMSes), relational databases continue to be the workhorses of the enterprise. The top four databases? All relational, including MySQL, which is the second-most popular DBMS. So it’s only natural that VMware would offer developers a first-class MySQL experience on the VMware Tanzu Application Service platform.  

Our latest edition of MySQL, VMware Tanzu SQL with MySQL for VMs v2.10, marks an important milestone for enterprise readiness and developer productivity. New in this release is multi-site replication, which enables developers to provision a leader-follower instance across two Tanzu Application Service foundations in order to provide resilience to data center-wide outages. Initially released as a beta in Tanzu SQL (MySQL v2.7), this feature is now generally available in v2.10.0, v2.9.2, and v2.8.4.  

Additionally, Tanzu SQL includes the service-gateway access capability. Service-gateway access allows apps and other clients to connect to a Tanzu MySQL database from outside of the Tanzu Application Service platform. Service gateway access abstracts the lower-level networking and configuration details necessary for management tools like MySQL Workbench or apps running outside of Tanzu Application Service to connect to instances of the Tanzu SQL service.  

With that background, let’s now take a closer look at the new features in Tanzu SQL (MySQL v2.10.0). 

Why multi-site replication?

Multi-site replication is a disaster recovery (DR) solution in Tanzu SQL (MySQL) whereby a database replica is provisioned in a DR data center that replicates data from the primary in the main data center.  

It improves the recovery point objective (RPO) for data center-wide outages. This is valuable for both unplanned outages (e.g., a Google Cloud Platform region’s global DNS load balancer goes down) and planned outages, such as data center maintenance.  

Without multi-site replication, users would normally need to restore their database from backups when a data center outage occurs. Since time to restore increases with database size, not only is the process time-consuming, but the backup may contain an old dataset (depending on your backup schedule frequency), impacting the recovery point objective. With multi-site replication, you have a replica of your database that is fully in sync with your primary, and the failover process can be completed within minutes.  

Configuring and using multi-site replication 

The use of multi-site MySQL instances is fully automated by way of the CF CLI, which gives the developer full autonomy over provisioning and management. A multi-site MySQL instance is composed of a leader and follower instance, either of which can be placed on any Tanzu Application Service platform in any infrastructure or region, as long as there is network connectivity between the two sites. Once the instance is provisioned, a developer can bind an app instance to both the leader and follower and read from/write to the database as they normally would.  

 Demo: Setting up multi-site replication 

When an outage occurs in their primary data center, developers or platform operators can also perform failovers using the CF CLI. With a single command, they can promote the follower in their DR data center to a leader. Then they can start directing app traffic to the platform in their DR data center, reestablishing availability. Whenever the primary data center is revived, the user can configure the old primary to replicate data from the new primary in the DR site in order to catch up so that eventually they can switch back to their original configuration.  

 Demo: Performing failover 

For more information on how to configure, use, and manage multi-site replication MySQL instances, see our official documentation

Service Gateway 

Database administrators, developers, and other consumers of data need to access the database regularly from their workstations or other places external to the Tanzu Application Service platform. When enabled, Service Gateway assigns a publicly accessible TCP route to the database so that users, apps, and other clients can connect from anywhere. For an in-depth look at the Service Gateway feature, see Connect Your Workloads via VMware Tanzu RabbitMQ with Service-Gateway Access.

Platform operators can choose to turn on Service Gateway globally in the Ops Manager tile configuration pane. Afterwards, developers can enable the feature for individual service instances using the CF CLI. This allows certain service instances to stay closed off from the public internet while only the required service instances get publicly accessible TCP routes. If later on a developer wishes to turn off public accessibility they can do so for individual instances using the CF CLI, while platform operators can turn off the feature globally in the Ops Manager tile configuration pane.  

For more information on how to configure and use the Service Gateway feature for MySQL, see our official documentation

Other features and improvements 

Tanzu SQL (MySQL v2.10) continues to make strides in improving the database-as-a-service experience with a multitude of other smaller features and improvements. These include the ability to restrict client connections to TLS v1.2 and up, improving the backup-and-restore experience, as well as allowing platforms to scale past 500 Tanzu SQL (MySQL) service instances.  

For a complete summary of updates in Tanzu SQL (MySQL v2.10), please see the release notes

Want to learn more? 

VMware Tanzu SQL with MySQL for VMs is available via the Tanzu Network (it requires Tanzu Application Service for VMs and the VMware Tanzu Operations Manager). There’s comprehensive documentation and a playlist of videos featuring examples and best practices. To learn more about the different Tanzu SQL offerings, or how to start using Tanzu SQL in your organization, request more information or contact your VMware representative directly.  


About the Author

Judy Wang is a product manager for Tanzu MySQL.

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