MariaDB Corporation, developer of the MySQL database, has introduced a tool designed to act as an intelligent proxy between applications and the database back-end, effectively insulating applications against changes to the database infrastructure.
Available from today, MaxScale is intended, as its name suggests, to enable MariaDB users to make any changes necessary to scale-up their back-end database infrastructure without having to update any applications that use them.
"What we're really focusing MaxScale on is helping our customers scale-out and get strong performance from their applications without having to make major changes and modifications to the application itself," MariaDB vice president of products Roger Levy told V3.
The idea is that MaxScale can be inserted between the end-user application and the database as a kind of abstraction layer to shield the application from any complexity at the back-end.
Should the user decide to rebuild their infrastructure as a database cluster, for example, MaxScale can hide that from the application.
MaxScale is also "database-aware" thanks to the inclusion of MariaDB's parser, which enables it to analyse traffic passing through and make decisions based on it, unlike high-availability proxies.
However, MaxScale is more flexible than that, and can be extended using plug-ins to enable new capabilities around protocols, monitoring, routing, authentication and logging, according to the firm.
Customers and third-parties as well as MariaDB will be able to create plug-ins, Levy said, and some customers that have been working with the pre-release code have already begun asking for specific capabilities, such as plug-ins to support table-based sharding of databases, he said.
"Other things we're looking at is the ability to implement a variety of security features, to add additional checks for things like SQL injection attacks, plus additional auditing and monitoring," Levy added.
MaxScale currently works with MariaDB and MySQL, but future protocol plug-ins could enable it to work with data management back-ends such as MongoDB and PostGres, according to Levy.
MaxScale is being made available as open source code, while MariaDB customers can license it under an add-on support subscription.
MariaDB released the latest version of MariaDB Enterprise last month, adding support for IBM's Power8 systems running Suse Linux Enterprise Server 12 and a Notification Service that provides customers with detailed change logs specific to their deployment.
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