YouTube on MySQL

Mysql logoYoutube logoPaul Tuckfield of YouTube has just joined the keynote lineup at the MySQL User Conference, which will be held April 23-26 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Paul will be talking about Scaling MySQL at YouTube. Every web 2.0 company is ultimately a database company. Some roll their own, a few, a very few, use proprietary commercial databases. Most are running on MySQL. Given the rapid scaling that YouTube has enjoyed, I’m sure Paul will have a lot of useful advice for other up-and-coming sites. Paul’s keynote is part of a general focus on scalability at the conference — there’s an entire track on performance tuning and benchmarks, and another on Replication and Scale Out.

Looking at the program for the conference, you can see just how much MySQL is not just a key element in the web developer’s toolkit, though, but a kind of cross-platform glue, and a common element across all types of sites. There are tracks on MySQL and Java, and MySQL and Windows/.Net as well as the more expected MySQL and PHP.

Speaking of PHP, it’s going to be really interesting to count the butts in the seats at the PHP sessions vs. those at the Ruby sessions. While PHP is still the dominant web scripting language, Ruby (and particularly the Ruby on Rails framework) have taken over among new startups, according to our research. (More on that soon.) As a result, the conference team has added an entire MySQL and Ruby track.

And if we’re looking at horse races, you have to look at the strides MySQL is making towards becoming an enterprise player. MySQL isn’t Oracle yet, but with MySQL Cluster and High Availability, it’s becoming much more of an enterprise-class database, following along the textbook path of Clayton Christenson’s disruptive technologies model, in which a new product first takes hold with fewer features in a new market undervalued by incumbents, but gets better faster than the incumbents, and eventually takes over their market as well.

Disclosure: I am on the board of MySQL, and O’Reilly partners with MySQL AB to produce the MySQL User Conference.