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Percona launches management system aimed at open-source databases

PostgreSQL, MongoDB, MySQL tools for overly busy DBAs, less experienced devs

Percona Live Open-source database services biz Percona has confirmed general availability of a database management platform initially targeted at PostgreSQL, MySQL, and MongoDB.

Dubbed Percona Platform, the company's first product will be available as a subscription service aiming to bring together the management of three open-source databases under a single system.

Those scripts go run against the customer's database configurations and metadata, and figure out things like 'Is a network port open that shouldn't be open? Is there an admin user that shouldn't be there?

At the center of the platform is Percona Monitoring and Management (PMM), an open-source management product which allows developers and DBAs to streamline their tasks across multiple platforms from one place. These services, plus Private DBaaS Technical Preview, can be accessed through the Percona Portal with a customer account.

Within the monitoring tool, "Advisors" pull together recommendations and diagnoses of important issues in security, performance, and configuration. The system employs a large set of scripts based on the cumulative expertise of Percona's open-source database consultants.

At Percona's annual conference in Texas, Donnie Berkholz, senior vice president of product at Percona, told The Register:

"Those scripts go run against the customer's database configurations and metadata, and figure out things like 'Is a network port open that shouldn't be open? Is there an admin user that shouldn't be there? Is there a weak password? Are there missing indices that should be there to speed up performance?' These are all issue that many DBAs catch most of, but they often miss a few."

Researchers at Group-IB's Attack Surface Management team say they "identified 308,000 incidents of databses exposed to the open web" in 2021.

Percona's tool is built for developers who may not necessarily have the expertise in managing databases, as well as DBAs, who have the expertise, but not necessarily the time as they try to increase the number of systems they manage.

While the platform can be used to manage MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MongoDB (the systems supported by Percona services), the company is encouraging other open-source database projects to create tools to provide management information which could then plug into its management platform via APIs.

"The information you might need include things like current active connections, transactions per second, which can be different on a per-database basis, especially the ones that don't closely follow SQL," Berkholz told The Register.

"That's why we're investing in the community right now because we want to make that easier. It's possible today because it's open source but it's not as easy as we want it to be. It's hard for people across the community to get involved because it requires Percona to work closely with people who are involved in building the software.

"We want it to be 'here's documentation, here are the instructions on how to build it, here are the instructions on how to modify and extend it and now go off and when you come back with some sort of connector, fantastic, we'd be happy to review and accept it.'"

Omnia chief analyst Bradley Shimmin told The Register that the management platform would help developers get to grips with their databases.

"What we're starting to see is a homogenization of resources in such a way that databases are no longer this realm that's like Middle Earth where it's completely foreign to most people and populated by some really nerdy DBAs that spend all their time optimizing query plans and stuff like that. And it's becoming much more of an IT service," he said.

Seen as a relatively neutral player in the open-source database world, Percona was well positioned to bring together the management of these systems onto a single platform.

"It is the start of an open ecosystem where it won't just be Percona providing the operators, but also the manufacturers or the maintainers of the databases themselves could be tasked with some of that," Shimmin added. "If that kind of happens, and you get an active ecosystem, Percona will really be well positioned to energize and help grow participating databases." ®

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