Oracle Melds Analytics with OLTP in MySQL DB

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Oracle is moving to make it possible to combine OLTP and OLAP workloads using a managed cloud database service.

Oracle today unfurled an Oracle MySQL Database Service with the MySQL Analytics Engine that for the first time embeds an analytics engine within the open-source relational database.

Businesses have been employing MySQL to process transactions for years. However, analyzing MySQL transaction data required IT teams to provision and manage a separate database. Now Oracle is moving to make it possible to combine Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) and Online Analytics Processing (OLAP) workloads using a database service that is only available as a managed service on its Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI).

The MySQL Analytics Engine provides access to a columnar data store designed to run in-memory to process analytics workload in real-time in a way that is 2.7 times faster than a rival Amazon Web Services (AWS) Redshift service at a much lower cost, says Edwin Desouza, vice president of MySQL product management for Oracle.

“We are one-third to one-quarter of the cost of AWS Redshift,” says Desouza. Compared to the Amazon Aurora database service that incorporates a fork of the open-source MySQL database, Oracle claims MySQL Database Service with Analytics Engine is more than a thousand times faster.

Old hat for Oracle

Oracle, of course, has been combining OLTP and OLAP workloads on its namesake commercial database for years. More recently, a rival open-source MariaDB database that is compatible with MySQL has been gaining traction in part because it enables OLTP and OLAP workloads to be run on the same relational database.

Up until now, Desouza says the team behind the development of MySQL has historically focused on OLTP requirements, preferring to leave the processing of analytic workloads to be addressed by a separate platform. However, with the rise of the cloud it’s now possible to more cost-effectively process analytics in-memory alongside transactions, says Desouza.

That approach also affords organizations that have standardized on MySQL an opportunity to now consolidate databases. Interest in such an approach is growing in the wake of the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic in which IT organizations are under increased pressure to reduce total costs, notes Desouza.

Combining OLTP and OLAP workloads also eliminates extract, transform, and load (ETL) tasks that arise any time data is moved between databases, adds Desouza. Data is also more secure because it is now moving between two separate database platforms.

Oracle for years now has been making a case for transitioning to managed database services on its cloud, of which Oracle MySQL Database Service with the MySQL Analytics Engine is the latest. Rather than hiring database administrators, Oracle contends it is better equipped to manage and secure its own databases. It’s not clear to what degree that approach is resonating with all IT teams but it’s apparent there are plenty of organizations that now prefer to rely on cloud service provides to manage databases on their behalf.

The challenge organizations face now is determining to what degree to rely on a provider that also builds and updates the core database delivered as a service versus relying on a cloud service provider that merely hosts and manages a third-party database on their behalf.

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