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Posted June 13, 2011

Xeround MySQL Cloud Database Goes GA

By Sean Michael Kerner

After six months in a public beta, Xeround is declaring its MySQL in the cloud database generally available.

Xeround integrates elements of the open source MySQL database into an elastic database built for multi-tenancy and the cloud. Xeround debuted a public beta in January and has been evolving the service over the course of 2011. The beta period served to shake out bugs and introduce new features.

"During beta we encountered use case bugs our heavy duty automation didn't pick up," Xeround CEO Razi Sharir told InternetNews.com. "We have also gone to market incrementally, so not all features were made available in one step; auto-scaling was only made available a couple months back, for example. Putting it together, it is about maturity of the offering."

The auto-scaling feature debuted in April and enables the database to increase resources at user defined parameters.

"The beta has also helped clear MySQL design issues that are depicted from running DBaaS (Database-as-a-Service) in a cloud setup," Sharir said. "For example 'ini' files that get loaded when the DB launches. In a DBaaS, this is not quite relevant."

Over the course of the beta period, Sharir noted that Xeround had a few surprises. In particular, many areas that Xeound thought were stable turned out to be unstable and fluid in behavior. Among those unstable items are the ever-changing virtualization/cloud specs by Amazon.

"We constantly work around cloud limitations in general, around specific issues on Amazon or Rackspace in particular," Sharir said. "As cloud is a newly created paradigm, there are no standards, common best practices one can rely on."

Another challenge encountered by Xeround were users running their production live applications on Xeround's "beta" setup, expecting Xeround to provide near production level support and availability for free. Sharir noted that beta users might see some GUI updates now that the service is generally available.

"Service is continued as is for next 30 days defined as trial after which they will have to enter their credit card data," Sharir said.

As a cloud service, Xeround doesn't number releases, as is the common practice with packaged software. Sharir noted that the general availability of the platform is the 1.0 release, though they're not calling it this way because it is a cloud service.

"Users on the cloud do not need to care for the various release versions," Sharir said. "Newly added features and/or updated ones will be slipstreamed into service transparently."

Moving forward, one of the goals for Xeround is to expand the cloud service providers that they work with. Currently Xeround runs on Amazon, Rackspace and Heroku. Sharir noted that there are several other IaaS (Cloud) and PaaS (Platform) providers worldwide in the pipe, some of whom are already in private beta.

By the end of the year, Sharir said, "we will offer premium features enabling, for example, main DB on one cloud and a DRP active copy on a another, taking care of use case like the recent Amazon outage, even though we kept running. We will also enable database distribution across private and public clouds, enabling main usage on site and expansion to public for bursts and spill over."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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