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As the cloud and Big Data continue to take over enterprise computing, the challenges to database management are keeping pace. In particular, administrators are expected to deliver high levels of database availability and scalability to support cloud-based applications and massive web sites, no matter how complex the infrastructure becomes.

To support the availability and scalability of widely deployed MySQL databases, Oracle has recently announced MySQL, an open source framework to manage farms of MySQL servers.

As reported in Computerworld, MySQL Fabric is a component of Oracle’s MySQL Utilities 1.4.3 package, which the company released yesterday.

As Oracle explains it, MySQL Fabric was added to the utilities package in response to the increasing use of MySQL for high-traffic Web applications. The vendor says that MySQL Fabric enables multiple copies of the MySQL database to work in tandem, which will help enterprise customers run live backup databases and scale their MySQL instances across multiple servers.

“We’re expecting the Web should always work, and this has implications of the back end,” said Tomas Ulin, Oracle vice president of MySQL engineering, in the announcement press release. Ulin says the increasing use of NoSQL databases such as MongoDB and add-on MySQL products from companies such as Percona have intensified competition in the Web database space.

Oracle says that it worked on MySQL Fabric, which manages a MySQL server farm, in part to keep MySQL abreast of these developments.

MySQL Fabric addresses two major enterprise demands: the need to boost the reliability of the database service (Oracle refers to this as high availability) and the need to scale the database beyond a single server to improve performance.

With MySQL Fabric, admins can deploy single or multiple database servers as replicated backup to the main server. If the master database fails, MySQL Fabric selects one of the slave databases and designates it as the new master.

MySQL Fabric offers automatic routing of transactions to the current master and load-balancing of queries across slave databases. The topology and state of the servers are transparent to the application.

Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) says that automating the process of data sharding (splitting database tables into sections on multiple servers and tracking the data in the separate sections) and re-sharding will make it easier for development and operations teams to manage. Database tables can be sharded for scale-out of both reads and writes. Existing shards can be split again or moved to new servers, which is useful when data outstrips available hardware.

“All the way up to the connector, MySQL fabric will understand which shard the data is on, and make sure the queries actually get routed to the correct MySQL Server that has the shard you want to access,” Ulin said.

Many large websites and cloud-based applications rely on MySQL replication and sharding to deliver high availability and scalability, Ulin said. “MySQL Fabric makes high availability with automatic failure detection and failover, as well as automated data sharding, accessible to all. With this integrated and open source framework, Oracle makes it easier to safely scale out MySQL applications, either on premises or in the cloud.”

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