Ultrastar DC ZN540 for Percona Server for MySQL

Q: What is Percona?

A: Percona is a leading provider of open source database solutions. As a trusted partner, Percona provides single-source expertise in multi-vendor environments. Percona offers installation, configuration, performance tuning, DB management and support services for the following open-source databases: MySQL, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, MongoDB.

Q: What is the relationship between Western Digital and Percona?

A: Percona will make the Percona Server for MySQL compatible with Western Digital’s Ultrastar DC ZN540 NVMe™ ZNS SSDs. This engagement includes:

  • Percona Server for MySQL that includes all necessary software changes to support Ultrastar DC ZN540, which will be freely downloadable form Percona website
  • Recommendations for general purpose use cases and configurations for the combined solution with Ultrastar DC ZN540
  • Best practices performance tuning configurations for the combined solution with Ultrastar DC ZN540
  • Benchmarking of the Combined Software for the combined solution with Ultrastar DC ZN540
  • Enterprise grade tooling for the combined solution with Ultrastar DC ZN540:
    • Backup/Restore
    • Monitoring/Alerting
    • Advanced Replication and HA Support

Q: Why would a customer consider running MySQL with Ultrastar DC ZN540?

A: Running MySQL on the Ulrastar DC ZN540 can lead to significant performance benefits and TCO benefits for transactional OLTP workloads. This white paper explains those benefits in detail.

Q: Did Western Digital create some of the ZNS software?

A: The Western Digital research team has made numerous contributions to establish the foundation for zoned storage devices:

  • Western Digital chaired and actively participated in the NVMe standardization effort to support zoned storage devices. The NVMe Zoned Namespaces (ZNS) specification has been ratified in June 2020 and published as an NVMe 1.4a Technical Proposal.
  • Western Digital contributed the necessary software to make zoned block devices supported in the Linux® kernel 5.9 and SPDK 20.10 releases and later.
  • Western Digital contributed the ZenFS filesystem as a storage backend to the RocksDB project. It enables the RocksDB key-value store to store its data natively to a zoned storage SSD and improve the performance through use of ZNS SSDs.

Q: How does Western Digital software contributions work with Percona?

A: Western Digital enabled the software stack up to the RocksDB level. But RockDB is very rarely used as a stand-alone application. Rather, it is a storage engine that is leveraged by many higher-level data management applications. One of the applications that can leverage RocksDB as a storage engine is MySQL. In that configuration, it is being referred to as MyRocks. The Western Digital ZenFS filesystem integrates with MyRocks, and allows MySQL, using the MyRocks storage backend, to store data natively to ZN540. As all described software components are open source, a MySQL user could piece it all together to make the full stack work. This might be the preferred approach for researchers, but most large scale customers will require support for the total software stack. Percona is currently already supporting MyRocks as a storage engine with the Percona Server for MySQL. Percona integrates and supports the full stack of MySQL on MyRocks on ZenFS on Ultrastar DC ZN540. End-users will be able to download and install the Percona Server for MySQL and use it natively with Ultrastar DC ZN540 out-of-the-box; without requiring additional software packages. Percona will offer end-users support subscriptions for the full software stack and a single point of contact for installation, configuration and performance tuning help.

Q: Will Western Digital sell Percona Support?

A: No, the engagement with Percona is a referral agreement. If a customer is interested in using the Ultrastar DC ZN540 device with MySQL, they can download the Percona Server for MySQL software for free and as an open source package form the Percona website (once the solution is available). If a customer requires software support for installing, configuring, tuning the Percona Server for MySQL software, Western Digital will refer those customers to Percona through a deal registration process. Percona can then offer and sell software support services and renewals to these customers. Percona is not involved in the sales of the hardware or ZNS devices. 

Q: Are zoned namespaces only supported with MySQL?

A: No, zoned namespace devices can be beneficial for many use cases. However, zoned namespaces need to be written sequentially, so the software stack needs to be modified to support these devices. Western Digital is engaging with the most popular software and support partners to lower the barrier for the installation, configuration, tuning and management of the solutions.