MIT Researchers' Open Source Tool Can Optimize Databases in the Cloud

by Ostatic Staff - Mar. 13, 2013

In a steady fashion, almost all users of digital technology and devices are using open source, simply because so many open source software components help drive proprietary applications and platforms. The proliferation of open source components is starting to have a very positive effect on the cloud computing scene. As just one example, Netflix--which has a very robust cloud-based proprietary platform--has released Chaos Monkey and a number of other meaningful open source components that can make cloud deployments stronger.

Now, news comes from MIT that researchers are open sourcing software components for cloud-based database-driven applications that could reduce hardware requirements by 95 percent while improving performance.

The problem that MIT researchers are tackling is that cloud deployments often call for a lot of expensive hardware to deal with servers that are partitioned into virtual machines, large memory requirements and more. That's especially true for database-driven applications.

According to an announcement:

"MIT researchers are developing a new system called DBSeer that should help solve this problem and others, such as the pricing of cloud services and the diagnosis of application slowdowns. At the recent Biennial Conference on Innovative Data Systems Research, the researchers laid out their vision for DBSeer. And in June, at the annual meeting of the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Management of Data (SIGMOD), they will unveil the algorithms at the heart of DBSeer, which use machine-learning techniques to build accurate models of performance and resource demands of database-driven applications."

"DBSeer’s advantages aren’t restricted to cloud computing, either. Teradata, a major database company, has already assigned several of its engineers the task of importing the MIT researchers’ new algorithm — which has been released under an open-source license — into its own software."

Notably, DBseer includes a model of MySQL and leverages other open source components.

You can read much more about DBseer here. Researchers hope that the tool can eventually help allocate server resources on the fly, even as database requests come in. That could substantially boost transaction times and lessen the need for expensive hardware in cloud deployments.