Weekly Musings – June 10, 2022

A large part of my work week was spent u-hauling across 1/3 of the country. This was a very mentally intense time, indeed 8-10 hrs per day of concentration working with dangerous equipment and sometimes in unpredictable situations with little break was harder than sitting at a desk. I had a lot of time to look at all those trucks on the highway and compose some thoughts about improving our planet. Yes, I did pay $5 per gallon for fuel, and at one stop $150 didn’t even fill the tank.

Easily 50% of all vehicles on the highway were semi-trailer trucks, a cab hauling one or two trailers (henceforth just trucks). If 100 trucks are moving from Point A to Point B, and let’s say it’s 8hr to 16hrs in travel distance, it is highly possible for longer trips you are also away from family. That’s 100 people that are always on, focused on the sole task of driving, you cannot step away for a quick break like in other roles. Electric vehicles will reduce emissions, but that’s not solving the problem. Driverless vehicles will help but that is also decades away from practical use. While 90% of vehicles will remain operated manually for many decades if not always, I see this as an impractical short-term solution.

I had to feel that rail is the obvious alternative here. You can with fewer individuals haul 100 containers, which reduces the human impact. The track is fixed, providing you have the correct support for trains in the opposite directions, so no dealing with the varying speeds of vehicles and crazy drivers. That reduces the mental complexity, and it also reduces the volume of larger vehicles with passenger vehicles. But rail has significant limitations in the change in elevation and direction unlike a road. Any tangible improvement to reduce traffic on highways would work best in areas of flat country. Is this geographical limitation alone a sufficient deterrent.

However, a train goes from point A1 to point B1. It still requires transportation of the container from individual companies’ locations A to A1, and B1 to B. These are much smaller distances and require those 100 drivers, however, they spend less time on the road, less stress on long-hauling, less time away from family. You also cannot just drive the trailer onto a rail car, so there is the complexity, and bottleneck of getting containers onto and off of trains. So is there a way to solve the actual problem of too many vehicles with so much human requirement that also requires concentration and attention, and a volume that is every increasing. The reason this would never work is capitalism. We live in a world where every company wants their own trucks, their own product traveling on their own schedule. Until we stop thinking like 1000s of individual companies and 100s of individual countries to focus on 10s of critical problems facing the planet, I feel the root cause is never actually being tackled. Ironic that in software engineering, the same issue of not tackling the actual root cause in larger strategic ways also occurs.

Changing topics. Let me start with a technical analogy of the following real-life experience.

You have terrible technical debt. They may be known reasons why this occurred in the past, but those reasons and those people are long gone. Yet all subsequent workers suffer from this accumulated technical debt and the impact on product quality and time efficiency is never actually measured or calculated but it should because the impact would be staggering. Vain attempts are made to make some improvements but the amount of technical debt grows, as the number of people writing code grows, the number of varying tools and their apparent effectiveness grows making it all easier to access faster ways of doing things poorly. Highly specialized individuals are hired to help address the problem, but then instead of being able to apply their wisdom to the advertised position, they are subjugated by the few, and either capitulate and are assimilated, or leave feeling worthless and powerless to a solvable problem because of the power and greediness of just those few that try to wield their power. Many may whisper in the shadows or wish for a better situation, but instead, accept the unacceptable normal as the new normal. Soon they have no idea how to relate to what is actually the right thing, except that they believe it is wrong because it’s not what is done now.

I generally refrain from any personal statements, however today I’m going to talk about my closest experience with “Guns in America”. Some facts to start.

  • The US accounts for 4.25% of the world population, let’s say 1/20.
  • The US has between 40% and 50% of the estimated number of guns in the world, so almost 1/2.
  • There are more guns in the US than people. Cite America’s gun culture – in seven charts
  • There are more mass shootings (4 or more wounded by a gun) in 2022 in the US than days in the year
  • I live just 20 minutes away from Sandy Hook. Our church has a memorial for that tragedy. Thankfull have never had to deal with the impact of gun violence..

As a parent, I could not fathom the lifelong anguish for parents of senseless deaths of their children to guns in schools or churches or supermarkets, or hospitals. It is articulated that many gun owners are responsible gun owners, so why does the gun industry, protected from being sued in the country that sues for everything, control the narrative of the safety of humans? I don’t have to be a scholar to read a document that is over 300 years old to see how a few have twisted its meaning, and control the entire population because of it, unwavering in being reasonable that things have changed in 300 years. They certainly afford all the improvements made living in our society in the past 300 years.

My neighbors own guns responsibly. They are also parents. You require a gun license, just like if you were driving a car. They are stored in a locked gun safe, just like you would with other vital possessions or dangerous ones, however this week I came to the realization that many people are not as fortunate.

This week I was at an event, where the circumstances brought me the closest to the real potential of guns in America. Skipping forward from important preamble. I was part of a subsequent conversation with brother B of individual A who asked family member C about his guns. “He has two handguns, one may be in the car (the car he left in that police subsequently arrested him in), he has two shotguns, he has a rifle, like a sniper rifle, that’s big it will be easy to find, and at least 4 semi-automatic machines guns including the AR-15″. Person B was going to collect these items, and they were not secured in any way, so the conversation was where they may be in the home. What happened was individual A wasn’t going to be even arrested, until other ex-law enforcement strongly suggested it happen. This individual was out on bail within a few hours.

This situation could have been very different. Individual A could have left feeling betrayed and returned with weapons of mass destruction. They could have just started out like that. They could have returned home to find their guns gone, and just gone and purchased more, or even possibly just borrowed others easily. I am skipping over a lot of important details as to why this was more of a close call then I am describing.

Guns in America is a complex problem, however when every single recommendation from politicians for fixing the gun problem by doing everything else except tackling the actual root cause, the gun, well that’s insanity. There is simply no other single word. When there is a press conference regarding a terrible mass shooting at a school, and not one single immediate action regarding guns is mentioned, why? My thoughts and prayers are also for all those suffering, but removing machine guns, requiring licenses, requiring background checks, raising the age, limiting the amount of bullets and magazine capacity, not allowing sale of body armor, these are all reasonable requests that still let you own a gun, just like a car. I have to provide proof of Id to buy Sudafed for a cold, but I could walk into a gun show and buy a machine gun. You have to be 21 and show your Id to purchase alcohol, but I can easily get body armor. I was forced to provide my age to buy one container cough medicine from a grocery store, yet you can buy an excessive amount of ammo more easily.

Returning to the technical analogy, it seems the gun problem is just like a technical debt problem. It never goes away, there are always ways to make the increase of technical debt easier. The priority is to add to the technical-debt not to prioritize removing it. In an organizations of 1000s, the few that try to make the world a better place, and constantly battling an ideological world view in software engineering that is well, wrong.

And the week in several images.



Weekly Musings – June 3, 2022

This week I wanted to share more about Observability and the CNCF foundation project Open Telemetry. Observability is a necessary foundation for any information system however observability does not answer questions that are essential for a successful business to operate. Let me explain in more detail.

Observability on it’s own does not answer these questions:

  • Was the customer impacted due to an event?
  • What is the root cause of a customer impacted situation?

So, no matter how much data one can provide here, what is the data story you need to be telling?

Let me give you a concrete example of a recent actual outage example.  Your cloud provider has an outage at one data center within one availability zone in one region. Your observability shows that 13% of your fleet’s infrastructure is impacted. You employ a multi-AZ single region primary customer-facing website.  While there are alarms and alerts and pages, your infrastructure balances the load, IaC relaunches the necessary replacements and most systems return to an apparent steady-state (I’ll leave the “hint” of apparent for another time).  

Was the customer experience actually impacted?  There are alerts of an increase in 500 errors, however, this quickly resolves. There are some small increases in latency of primary functions that you have on your dashboard? What did the customer actually experience?  Was it just a few customers, all of your customers, or certain customers based on what level of functionality they were performing, for example searching for products to purchase, adding products to a shopping cart, or checking out?

Observability is not going to answer the fundamental question of “Was the customer impacted?”.  Your business needs to define the metrics of measurement and actually capture this. Is a single customer of 100,000 active customers receiving a few 500 errors considered impact? Is 1% of served traffic affected considered impact? What duration?  What is actually necessary are business-specific metrics around your customer sentiment. Is it simply a measurement of revenue per minute compared with seasonal measurements of the same time of day, the same day of the week, and with the same impactful event such as a public holiday. Is it more complicated? No amount of RTO, RPO, MTTD, MTTR, multi-AZ, or DR resiliency is going to help you here.

Let’s take the same situation, but this time the IaC doesn’t work. More alarms are going off, and certain layers of your infrastructure are highly saturated.  Manual attempts to correct the loss of resources do not work? Where is the root cause of the problem? How can you fix the root cause? What if the root cause is a portion of your infrastructure that is a purchased product by another provider, and is a technology stack that does not match your own companies or the skills of your employees? How do you address this “house is on fire” situation?

In the above example, AWS suffered 3 outages last December 2021 and one was the loss of power to a single us-east-1 availability zone.  If you did not know this, us-east-1a for your account does not mean us-east-1a for a different customer of AWS. In fact, it doesn’t even mean the same if you have multiple different accounts per environment.  An availability zone is also not one data center.  Prior incidents have shown that it could be a small percentage. One AWS AZ could comprise 5-10-15+ different data centers.

Also, in the above example, if your container registry is highly-available, but an incorrectly configured third-party product and is now in a state where you cannot re-launch any infrastructure because the necessary images are inaccessible, your business is hobbled.  Have you planned for this situation before?  Let me share some more hypothetical questions about this scenario.  The stack is not what your on-call resources know, there is insufficient documentation about this system, and there is no test infrastructure in order to reproduce the issue, or validate any hypothesis. What if there is no support agreement with the company that sold the product?

As you can see the role of an architect, whether a solutions architect, a data architect, an enterprise architect or the principal architect, you could consider in many organizations this far exceeds the likely scope of your day-to-day obligations.  Is there such a thing as a disaster-preparedness architect, or a chaos architect?  Is the architect not even a sufficiently leveled responsibility here! Is it the Head of, or the Director of need in your business? Is there such a thing as a Chief Reliability Officer (CRO)? Seems a google search finds results. Added to my reading todo list.

My professional experience is that Observability is the first essential layer of total observability infrastructure for your organization.  The full stack actually includes:

  1. Observability
  2. Reproducibility
  3. Testability
  4. Scalability
  5. Reliability

All of these layers are essential. Each layer is a prerequisite for the next.  In your position in the organization where do you start? As a reliability resource you need Observability first. As a test engineer, you actually cannot start with Testability. As a C-suite executive, you need to know that system Reliability comes first, but how to you validate that?

I will be providing a much more in depth paper on this in the future. 

What is also missing from this list is one essential business-wide requirement — Ownership.  If in the entire organization, from the developer to the manager, to the customer support representative to the c-suite officer, every level is needed to take joint ownership in customer success. The weakest link is the actual problem and no amount of instrumentation, process or dashboards can address that.

Moving on, VS Code again came up in conversation in my tech circles, I really should practice using it.

My neighbor purchased the company Steel Bee – Long live your razors. It was a fascinating conversation about not creating a new product, but selecting an existing product that has a drop-ship infrastructure already in place and an Amazon and Shopify store presence. How do you measure the success of something you did not build? How can you improve on it?
 
On a personal note, I am about to venture into the world of CNC routing. Anybody with tips & tricks and open-source software to use? I am currently trying Carbide Create

With all that is happening locally, let us not forget to #StandWithUkraine.

This week in images.




Weekly Musings – May 27, 2022

———

We should all take a moment to reflect that going to school should be a safe, happy, and memorable part of everybody’s life. That was taken away this week from 19 children because common-sense laws, licenses, and checks do not apply to deadly weapons in this country. They apply to get a car license, to require car insurance when purchasing a vehicle, or to purchase Sudafed for a stuffy nose. I reside just 25 minutes from Sandy Hook Elementary school. My church has a memorial for that tragedy. As a parent, I could not comprehend what the grief of loss could be. My prayers to everybody affected in Uvalde, and to all other school districts this year, last year, and all years before that.

———

In recent months I have focussed on improving my data visualization technology skills, and working on my data storytelling skills. 3 Tips You Need to Be Successful in Data Visualization sums this up well.  “Data visualization is not just a skill, it’s a lifestyle. Keep learning and find new ways to get better”. If you are interested, my favorite physical book to date on the subject area is Effective Data Storytelling by Brent Dykes. Great detail, as well as great quotes.  This week Brent has published 100 Essential Data Storytelling Quotes from his book which is a timely affirmation.

How well we communicate is determined not by how well we say things but how well we are understood” — Andrew Grove


More reading and discussion on what is Web 3.0? What does it mean for our field?  What does it mean for my future skills?  The hard truths about Web3: What no one else is talking about was something I read this week after it was recommended by a good friend. The takeaway is in the closing thoughts “Instead, educate yourself on the long-term sustainable use cases of blockchain technology.”. My friends’ takeaway about Blockchain is “It’s a tool, not a solution.” I would tend to agree.

I launched a new project last weekend and I’ve selected for a second time to go with Hugo for a static site generator. If you want a drag and drop template well it’s good, but there is definitely a learning curve if you want to make just minor tweaks. My theme for example said it included Bootstrap, but I wanted to accent a post with a TIP box (in Bootstrap they are called Alerts). Do you think it was trivial to work out why Bootstrap alerts didn’t work in my Hugo template? I spent over an hour because of the complexity of a low-code, no-code solution, whereas if I’d built a site with straight HTML/CSS/JS/Bootstrap it would have just worked. Maybe I’m old school, but clean code and not three levels of abstraction is IMO more maintainable. Does it take longer to be productive? At the start of a new project perhaps, but if you don’t have very technically capable resources that are at your avail, the selection of an internal tool for an essential part of your business may be a poor choice.

As an example. Last year my employer suffered a long outage due to the rough AWS Cloud Dec 2021 with three separate incidents. In one occurrence, the loss of power to a data center that knocked out approximately 7% of one AZ would not be an issue for any organization’s business that runs in a highly available multi-AZ model right? Wrong. The use of a Docker Container Registry product, that was configured has HA went down, along with multiple nodes. Those nodes could not be relaunched because the registry was down. The images could not be rebuilt because they relied on additional images. The entire site was degraded because of one component that was configured in a HA capability, but it was configured incorrectly. To further complicate the matter, the entire stack, from the IAAS to underlying technologies was not part of the stack the DevOps team used, and without clearly documented installation, testing, and chaos experiments. To further complicate the issue, this required obtaining commercial support for the product being used right then, opening a ticket, and getting a support person of said commercial company to help address the issue. The moral here is. If your business relies on it’s availability and you do not have the technical skills and capabilities and redundancies of your staff to ensure its availability, then are you really thinking hard about being prepared, or are you chasing the next sale, the next feature, the next new wave of technology?

Want to get your links to render nicely in the varying products you use? Twitter Card Validator can be a bit of a hit/miss effect. I have found that if I cut/paste a link in chat programs including Slack, Google Chat, and Signal which all provide a different experience but seem to be more responsive. I guess I will keep working on it. (Damm you Hugo!)

On a more personal note and a sore pain point is 401k retirement plans and planning for retirement in the U.S.A. Have you been burned by the 3-year vesting rule of your employer’s matching contributions that you didn’t know about when you looked at the initial offer package? I have. It seems it’s a wide industry problem that affects all levels of employees. Opinion: This giant pension scandal is hiding in plain sight. You are expected to financially plan for retirement only to find that limits, types of plans, and employer decisions put roadblocks in your way.

This week in images.





Weekly Musings – May 20, 2022

The Linux Foundation came across my reading path two separate times this week. As I continue to re-establish my larger footprint solely in the open-source ecosystem Setting an Open Source Strategy is a detailed report for any business to identify the potential return on investment (ROI) of participating in the open-source ecosystem. Every company uses open source. Even if you consume open source in your organization and do not plan to contribute to open source it is a good read to determine what is the inflection point where you (or your employees) may want to invest.

This week I spent some more time looking at the various Open Source Foundations after reading White House joins OpenSSF and the Linux Foundation in securing open-source software. The Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF) is a project of the The Linux Foundation. OpenSSF has created the “The Open Source Software Security Mobilization Plan”. This plan lists 10 streams of investment for open source security and I feel it’s important to reiterate these.

  • Security Education – Deliver baseline secure software development education and certification to all.
  • Risk Assessment – Establish a public, vendor-neutral, objective, metrics-based risk assessment dashboard for the top 10,000 (or more) OSS components.
  • Digital Signatures – Accelerate the adoption of digital signatures on software releases.
  • Memory Safety – Eliminate root causes of many vulnerabilities through replacement of non-memory-safe languages.
  • Incident Response – Establish an OpenSSF Incident Response Team of security experts to assist open source projects accelerate their responses to newly discovered vulnerabilities.
  • Better Scanning – Accelerate discovery of new vulnerabilities by maintainers and experts through advanced security tools and expert guidance.
  • Code Audits – Conduct third-party code reviews (and any necessary remediation work) of up to 200 of the most-critical OSS components once per year.
  • Data Sharing – Coordinate industry-wide data sharing to improve the research that helps determine the most critical OSS components.
  • SBOMs Everywhere – Improve SBOM tooling and training to drive adoption.
  • Improved Software Supply Chains – Enhance the 10 most critical OSS build systems, package managers, and distribution systems with better supply chain security tools and best practices.

While I have not read this, CNCF released the Cloud Native Security Whitepaper v2 this week.

In open source conference land we saw in-person events including Percona Live 2022 and KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2022. Which I was there!

In unrelated tech news, I have cut the cord following ongoing poor customer service with a legacy provider. Welcome to YouTube TV. I am automatically impressed with more features and 1/3 of the price.
Also, Derek Muller has a new video out. Check out my favorite YouTube channel Veritasium.

I’ll leave this blog with a few images reflecting the week.

handcalcs
Azure Cloud Infographic
For Application Security in your Pipelines
Shark Tracking

Weekly musings – May 13 2022

As I reflect on this week of my technology journey with the conversations I had, what I learned, and what I wanted to do and write about, I decided what better way to work on multiple blog posts than write about what I’d like to write about.

The 2022 observability conference https://o11yfest.org/ is a wrap. For those that are interested in OpenTelemetry this event had plenty of great content with videos with transcripts will become available. Thanks Paul Bruce for your organizing work. While I could only attend some sessions “Building Software Reliability with Distributed Tracing” by Ricardo Ferreira and “Bad Observability” by Stephen Townshend are definitely on my rewatch list. I heard about new things such as keptn – Cloud-native application life-cycle orchestration, and cloudevents – A specification for describing event data in a common way.

A big shot out to Ashton Rodenhiser of Mind’s Eye Creative, who did these amazing animated canvasas during the presentations, I’ve included one at the bottom of this post.

I have never been that into podcasts. I guess I have always been more of a reader than a listener, but this week while having to do some driving, I dove into listing and realized again why I like to read more. Several times I wish I could stop and take notes however lucky for me I was able to see that Thoughworks Technology Podcasts have online transcripts. Coding lessons from the pandemic, The big five tech trends for 2022 and Following an unusual career path: from dev to CEO were all valuable listening. The single best snippet was on rethinking estimation or “no estimate techniques”. I hope I can discuss and implement myself, the “is basically just three things. It’s just right, it’s too big, or it’s insane”.

I took an intro into Web 3.0 with this F5 webinar What is Web3 and How to Build a Dapp?. Yep, I still don’t get Web 3.0 fully, but I can now launch my own blockchain solution with Scaffold-ETH, write Solidity by Example and Learn how to build on Ethereum; the superpowers and the gotchas should I want to in the future.

While I have my favorite YouTube channels that intersect topics including Math, Physics, Engineering, Technology, Facts and Figures, and woodworking (such as Veritasium (11.9M), CGP Grey (5.35M), DIYMontreal (151K) and 3×3 Custom (620K), as part of having random conversations in the social networking of https://o11yfest.org/ I’ve added two new ones to my list of never having enough time. Fireship (1.31M), and TechLinked (1.73M).

So what did I learn on YouTube this week in addition to you can make a video of a topic in 100 seconds. VS Code Top-Ten Pro Tips. I know Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code is more popular, I see it in presentations, but I never knew it has become the goto integrated platform. While I default to the good old CLI for vi, git and the like, and Atom, this video highlighted I need to use VS Code. We all know computer and math gives undesired results Why do computers suck at math? was fun to watch. And I’ve ordered the plans and getting supplies to make this 6-in-1 Trim Router Jig.

I’ll leave this blog with a few images reflecting the week.

Building Software Reliability with distributed Tracing
It's not my job
Test Data and Training Data
The AI Model they want, The data they give
Easter Island - Dig Deeper

SELECT 1

If you have worked with an RDBMS for some time, you will likely have come across the statement SELECT 1.

However, rarely is it correctly explained to engineers what the origin of SELECT 1 is, and why it’s useless and wasteful? A google search is not going to give you the response you would hope, these ranked responses are just as useless as the statement itself.

Bloat

Seeing a SELECT 1 confirms two things. First you are using a generic ORM framework, quote, and second, you have never optimized your SQL traffic patterns.

“Frameworks generally suck.
They CLAIM to improve the speed of development and abstract the need to know SQL.
The REALITY is the undocumented cost to sub-optimal performance, especially with data persistence.”

Connection Pooling

SELECT 1 comes from early implementations of connection pooling.

What is a connection pool? Rather than a new request or call getting a new database connection each time you wanted to return some data, programming languages implemented a cache with a pre-loaded pool of pre-established database connections. The intended goal is to reduce the execution time of an initial expensive operation of getting a new database connection if you were retrieving data from a simple SELECT statement. If intelligent enough (many are not), these pools would include features such as a low watermark, a high watermark, a pruning backoff of idle connections, and an ability to flush all connections.

When your code wanted to access the database to retrieve data, it would first ask the connection pool for an available connection from its pool, mark the connection as in-use and provide that for subsequent consumption.

Here is a simple example of the two queries that would actually be necessary to retrieve one piece of information.

SELECT 1
SELECT email_address, phone, position, active FROM employee where employee_id = ?

Staleness

SELECT 1 was implemented as the most light-weight SQL statement (i.e., minimal parsing, privilege checking, execution) that would validate that your connection was still active and usable. If SELECT 1 failed, i.e. a protocol communication across your network, the connection could be dropped from the connection pool, and a new connection from the pool could be requested. While this may appear harmless, it leads to multiple code in-efficiencies, a topic for a subsequent discussion.

Failed error handling

SELECT 1 was a lazy and flawed means to perform error handling. In reality, every single SQL statement requires adequate error handling, any statement can fail at any time to complete. In the prior example, what happens if the SELECT 1 succeeds but a simple indexed SELECT statement fails? This anti-pattern also generally shows that error handling is inconsistent and highly duplicated rather than at the correct position in the data access path.

By definition, error handling is needed in an abstraction function for all SQL statements, and it needs to handle all types of error handling including the connection no longer valid, connection terminated, timed out, etc.

If you had the right error handling SELECT 1 would then be redundant, and as I stated useless. You simply run the actual SELECT statement and handle any failure accordingly.

High availability

In today’s cloud-first architectures where high availability consists of multiple availability zones and multiple regions where application A can communicate with database B, every unneeded network round-trip in a well-tuned system is wasteful, i.e. it is costing you time to render a result quicker. We all know studies have shown that slow page loads drive users away from your site.

The cost of the cloud

This AWS Latency Monitoring grid by Matt Adorjan really shows you the impact that physics has on your resiliency testing strategy when application A and database B are geographically separated and you just want one piece of information.

Conclusion

The continued appearance of SELECT 1 is a re-enforcement that optimizing for performance is a missing skill for the much larger engineering code-writing workforce that have lost the ability for efficiency. It is also another easy win that becomes an unnecessary battle for Data Architects to ensure your organization provides a better customer experience.

What does the MySQL mysqlsh util.checkForServerUpgrade() execute

During a recent Aurora MySQL 8 upgrade process, a number of validation checks have failed. This is an analysis of the error message “present in INFORMATION_SCHEMA’s INNODB_SYS_TABLES table but missing from TABLES table”.

Some background

During a Major Upgrade from Aurora MySQL 5.7 to Aurora MySQL 8.0 the cluster instances were left in an incompatible-parameters state. The upgrade-prechecks.log shed some more light on the situation with

{
            "id": "schemaInconsistencyCheck",
            "title": "Schema inconsistencies resulting from file removal or corruption",
            "status": "OK",
            "description": "Error: Following tables show signs that either table datadir directory or frm file was removed/corrupted. Please check server logs, examine datadir to detect the issue and fix it before upgrade",
            "detectedProblems": [
                {
                    "level": "Error",
                    "dbObject": "flinestones.fred",
                    "description": "present in INFORMATION_SCHEMA's INNODB_SYS_TABLES table but missing from TABLES table"
                }
            ]
        }, 

For anonymity the troublesome table here is played by flinestones.fred

This error could be reproduced more quickly with the util.checkForServerUpgrade() check that saves the creation of a snapshot of your cluster, restore from the snapshot cluster, then the launch cluster instance path.

18) Schema inconsistencies resulting from file removal or corruption
  Error: Following tables show signs that either table datadir directory or frm
    file was removed/corrupted. Please check server logs, examine datadir to
    detect the issue and fix it before upgrade

  mysql.rds_heartbeat2 - present in INFORMATION_SCHEMA's INNODB_SYS_TABLES
    table but missing from TABLES table
  flinstones.fred -
    present in INFORMATION_SCHEMA's INNODB_SYS_TABLES table but missing from
    TABLES table 

As I am using the MySQL community mysqlsh tool with a managed AWS RDS MySQL cluster, I have discounted any rds specific messages.

Back to investigating the cause. Some basic spot checks within the Cluster confirmed this mismatch.

mysql > desc flinstones.fred;
ERROR 1146 (42S02): Table flinstones.fred ' doesn't exist

mysql > select * from information_schema.innodb_sys_tables where name = ' flinstones/fred';

*results*
(1 row)

A closer inspection of the Aurora MySQL error log re-iterated there was some issue.

$ aws rds download-db-log-file-portion --db-instance-identifier ${INSTANCE_ID} --log-file-name error/mysql-error-running.log --output text

... 
[Warning] InnoDB: Tablespace 'flinstones/fred' exists in the cache with id 5233285 != 4954605
...

What is this check

It is easy enough to look at the SQL behind this using open-source software, you go to the source and look at the SQL https://github.com/mysql/mysql-shell .. upgrade_check.cc. As the message is near identical to what AWS provides I am making an educated assumption the check is the same.

// clang-format off
std::unique_ptr
Sql_upgrade_check::get_schema_inconsistency_check() {
  return std::make_unique(
      "schemaInconsistencyCheck",
      "Schema inconsistencies resulting from file removal or corruption",
      std::vector{
       "select A.schema_name, A.table_name, 'present in INFORMATION_SCHEMA''s "
       "INNODB_SYS_TABLES table but missing from TABLES table' from (select "
       "distinct "
       replace_in_SQL("substring_index(NAME, '/',1)")
       " as schema_name, "
       replace_in_SQL("substring_index(substring_index(NAME, '/',-1),'#',1)")
       " as table_name from "
       "information_schema.innodb_sys_tables where NAME like '%/%') A left "
       "join information_schema.tables I on A.table_name = I.table_name and "
       "A.schema_name = I.table_schema where A.table_name not like 'FTS_0%' "
       "and (I.table_name IS NULL or I.table_schema IS NULL) and A.table_name "
       "not REGEXP '@[0-9]' and A.schema_name not REGEXP '@[0-9]';"},
      Upgrade_issue::ERROR,
      "Following tables show signs that either table datadir directory or frm "
      "file was removed/corrupted. Please check server logs, examine datadir "
      "to detect the issue and fix it before upgrade");
}

Ok, that’s a little more difficult to read than plain text, and what if I wanted to review other SQL statements this could become tedious.

Gather the SQL statements executed by util.checkForServerUpgrade()

Let’s use a more straightforward means of capturing SQL statements, the MySQL general log.

MYSQL_PASSWD=$(date | md5sum - | cut -c1-20)

docker network create -d bridge mynetwork
docker run --name mysql57 -e MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD="${MYSQL_PASSWD}" -d mysql:5.7
docker network connect mynetwork mysql57
docker inspect mysql57 | grep "IPAddress"
IP=$(docker inspect mysql57 | grep '"IPAddress":' | head -1 | cut -d'"' -f4)
docker exec -it mysql57 mysql -uroot -p${MYSQL_PASSWD} -e "SET GLOBAL general_log=1"
docker exec -it mysql57 mysql -uroot -p${MYSQL_PASSWD} -e "SHOW GLOBAL VARIABLES LIKE 'general_log_file'"
GENERAL_LOG_FILE=$(docker exec -it mysql57 mysql -uroot -p${MYSQL_PASSWD} -e "SHOW GLOBAL VARIABLES LIKE 'general_log_file'" | grep general_log_file | cut -d'|' -f3)


docker run --name mysql8 -e "MYSQL_ALLOW_EMPTY_PASSWORD=yes" -d mysql/mysql-server
docker exec -it mysql8 mysqlsh -h${IP} -uroot -p${MYSQL_PASSWD} --js -- util checkForServerUpgrade | tee check.txt

docker exec -it mysql57 grep Query ${GENERAL_LOG_FILE} | cut -c41- | tee check.sql


# Cleanup
docker stop mysql8 && docker rm mysql8
docker stop mysql57 && docker rm mysql57
docker network rm mynetwork

And we are left with the output of util.checkForServerUpgrade() and the SQL of all checks including of said statement:

check.sql

SET NAMES 'utf8mb4'
select current_user()
SELECT PRIVILEGE_TYPE, IS_GRANTABLE FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.USER_PRIVILEGES WHERE GRANTEE = '\'root\'@\'%\''
SELECT PRIVILEGE_TYPE, IS_GRANTABLE, TABLE_SCHEMA FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.SCHEMA_PRIVILEGES WHERE GRANTEE = '\'root\'@\'%\'' ORDER BY TABLE_SCHEMA
SELECT PRIVILEGE_TYPE, IS_GRANTABLE, TABLE_SCHEMA, TABLE_NAME FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLE_PRIVILEGES WHERE GRANTEE = '\'root\'@\'%\'' ORDER BY TABLE_SCHEMA, TABLE_NAME
select @@version, @@version_comment, UPPER(@@version_compile_os)
SET show_old_temporals = ON
SELECT table_schema, table_name,column_name,column_type FROM information_schema.columns WHERE column_type LIKE 'timestamp /* 5.5 binary format */'
SET show_old_temporals = OFF
select SCHEMA_NAME, 'Schema name' as WARNING from INFORMATION_SCHEMA.SCHEMATA where SCHEMA_NAME in ('ADMIN', 'CUBE', 'CUME_DIST', 'DENSE_RANK', 'EMPTY', 'EXCEPT', 'FIRST_VALUE', 'FUNCTION', 'GROUPING', 'GROUPS', 'JSON_TABLE', 'LAG', 'LAST_VALUE', 'LEAD', 'NTH_VALUE', 'NTILE', 'OF', 'OVER', 'PERCENT_RANK', 'PERSIST', 'PERSIST_ONLY', 'RANK', 'RECURSIVE', 'ROW', 'ROWS', 'ROW_NUMBER', 'SYSTEM', 'WINDOW', 'LATERAL', 'ARRAY' ,'MEMBER' )
SELECT TABLE_SCHEMA, TABLE_NAME, 'Table name' as WARNING FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES WHERE TABLE_TYPE != 'VIEW' and TABLE_NAME in ('ADMIN', 'CUBE', 'CUME_DIST', 'DENSE_RANK', 'EMPTY', 'EXCEPT', 'FIRST_VALUE', 'FUNCTION', 'GROUPING', 'GROUPS', 'JSON_TABLE', 'LAG', 'LAST_VALUE', 'LEAD', 'NTH_VALUE', 'NTILE', 'OF', 'OVER', 'PERCENT_RANK', 'PERSIST', 'PERSIST_ONLY', 'RANK', 'RECURSIVE', 'ROW', 'ROWS', 'ROW_NUMBER', 'SYSTEM', 'WINDOW', 'LATERAL', 'ARRAY' ,'MEMBER' )
select TABLE_SCHEMA, TABLE_NAME, COLUMN_NAME, COLUMN_TYPE, 'Column name' as WARNING FROM information_schema.columns WHERE TABLE_SCHEMA not in ('information_schema', 'performance_schema') and COLUMN_NAME in ('ADMIN', 'CUBE', 'CUME_DIST', 'DENSE_RANK', 'EMPTY', 'EXCEPT', 'FIRST_VALUE', 'FUNCTION', 'GROUPING', 'GROUPS', 'JSON_TABLE', 'LAG', 'LAST_VALUE', 'LEAD', 'NTH_VALUE', 'NTILE', 'OF', 'OVER', 'PERCENT_RANK', 'PERSIST', 'PERSIST_ONLY', 'RANK', 'RECURSIVE', 'ROW', 'ROWS', 'ROW_NUMBER', 'SYSTEM', 'WINDOW', 'LATERAL', 'ARRAY' ,'MEMBER' )
SELECT TRIGGER_SCHEMA, TRIGGER_NAME, 'Trigger name' as WARNING FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TRIGGERS WHERE TRIGGER_NAME in ('ADMIN', 'CUBE', 'CUME_DIST', 'DENSE_RANK', 'EMPTY', 'EXCEPT', 'FIRST_VALUE', 'FUNCTION', 'GROUPING', 'GROUPS', 'JSON_TABLE', 'LAG', 'LAST_VALUE', 'LEAD', 'NTH_VALUE', 'NTILE', 'OF', 'OVER', 'PERCENT_RANK', 'PERSIST', 'PERSIST_ONLY', 'RANK', 'RECURSIVE', 'ROW', 'ROWS', 'ROW_NUMBER', 'SYSTEM', 'WINDOW', 'LATERAL', 'ARRAY' ,'MEMBER' )
SELECT TABLE_SCHEMA, TABLE_NAME, 'View name' as WARNING FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.VIEWS WHERE TABLE_NAME in ('ADMIN', 'CUBE', 'CUME_DIST', 'DENSE_RANK', 'EMPTY', 'EXCEPT', 'FIRST_VALUE', 'FUNCTION', 'GROUPING', 'GROUPS', 'JSON_TABLE', 'LAG', 'LAST_VALUE', 'LEAD', 'NTH_VALUE', 'NTILE', 'OF', 'OVER', 'PERCENT_RANK', 'PERSIST', 'PERSIST_ONLY', 'RANK', 'RECURSIVE', 'ROW', 'ROWS', 'ROW_NUMBER', 'SYSTEM', 'WINDOW', 'LATERAL', 'ARRAY' ,'MEMBER' )
SELECT ROUTINE_SCHEMA, ROUTINE_NAME, 'Routine name' as WARNING FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.ROUTINES WHERE ROUTINE_NAME in ('ADMIN', 'CUBE', 'CUME_DIST', 'DENSE_RANK', 'EMPTY', 'EXCEPT', 'FIRST_VALUE', 'FUNCTION', 'GROUPING', 'GROUPS', 'JSON_TABLE', 'LAG', 'LAST_VALUE', 'LEAD', 'NTH_VALUE', 'NTILE', 'OF', 'OVER', 'PERCENT_RANK', 'PERSIST', 'PERSIST_ONLY', 'RANK', 'RECURSIVE', 'ROW', 'ROWS', 'ROW_NUMBER', 'SYSTEM', 'WINDOW', 'LATERAL', 'ARRAY' ,'MEMBER' )
SELECT EVENT_SCHEMA, EVENT_NAME, 'Event name' as WARNING FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.EVENTS WHERE EVENT_NAME in ('ADMIN', 'CUBE', 'CUME_DIST', 'DENSE_RANK', 'EMPTY', 'EXCEPT', 'FIRST_VALUE', 'FUNCTION', 'GROUPING', 'GROUPS', 'JSON_TABLE', 'LAG', 'LAST_VALUE', 'LEAD', 'NTH_VALUE', 'NTILE', 'OF', 'OVER', 'PERCENT_RANK', 'PERSIST', 'PERSIST_ONLY', 'RANK', 'RECURSIVE', 'ROW', 'ROWS', 'ROW_NUMBER', 'SYSTEM', 'WINDOW', 'LATERAL', 'ARRAY' ,'MEMBER' )
select SCHEMA_NAME, concat('schema''s default character set: ',  DEFAULT_CHARACTER_SET_NAME) from INFORMATION_SCHEMA.schemata where SCHEMA_NAME not in ('information_schema', 'performance_schema', 'sys') and DEFAULT_CHARACTER_SET_NAME in ('utf8', 'utf8mb3')
select TABLE_SCHEMA, TABLE_NAME, COLUMN_NAME, concat('column''s default character set: ',CHARACTER_SET_NAME) from information_schema.columns where CHARACTER_SET_NAME in ('utf8', 'utf8mb3') and TABLE_SCHEMA not in ('sys', 'performance_schema', 'information_schema', 'mysql')
SELECT TABLE_SCHEMA, TABLE_NAME, 'Table name used in mysql schema in 8.0' as WARNING FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES WHERE LOWER(TABLE_SCHEMA) = 'mysql' and LOWER(TABLE_NAME) IN ('catalogs', 'character_sets', 'collations', 'column_type_elements', 'columns', 'dd_properties', 'events', 'foreign_key_column_usage', 'foreign_keys', 'index_column_usage', 'index_partitions', 'index_stats', 'indexes', 'parameter_type_elements', 'parameters', 'routines', 'schemata', 'st_spatial_reference_systems', 'table_partition_values', 'table_partitions', 'table_stats', 'tables', 'tablespace_files', 'tablespaces', 'triggers', 'view_routine_usage', 'view_table_usage', 'component', 'default_roles', 'global_grants', 'innodb_ddl_log', 'innodb_dynamic_metadata', 'password_history', 'role_edges')
select table_schema, table_name, concat(engine, ' engine does not support native partitioning') from information_schema.Tables where create_options like '%partitioned%' and upper(engine) not in ('INNODB', 'NDB', 'NDBCLUSTER')
select table_schema, table_name, 'Foreign key longer than 64 characters' as description from information_schema.tables where table_name in (select left(substr(id,instr(id,'/')+1), instr(substr(id,instr(id,'/')+1),'_ibfk_')-1) from information_schema.innodb_sys_foreign where length(substr(id,instr(id,'/')+1))>64)
select routine_schema, routine_name, concat(routine_type, ' uses obsolete MAXDB sql_mode') from information_schema.routines where find_in_set('MAXDB', sql_mode)
select event_schema, event_name, 'EVENT uses obsolete MAXDB sql_mode' from information_schema.EVENTS where find_in_set('MAXDB', sql_mode)
select trigger_schema, trigger_name, 'TRIGGER uses obsolete MAXDB sql_mode' from information_schema.TRIGGERS where find_in_set('MAXDB', sql_mode)
select concat('global system variable ', variable_name), 'defined using obsolete MAXDB option' as reason from performance_schema.global_variables where variable_name = 'sql_mode' and find_in_set('MAXDB', variable_value)
select routine_schema, routine_name, concat(routine_type, ' uses obsolete DB2 sql_mode') from information_schema.routines where find_in_set('DB2', sql_mode)
select event_schema, event_name, 'EVENT uses obsolete DB2 sql_mode' from information_schema.EVENTS where find_in_set('DB2', sql_mode)
select trigger_schema, trigger_name, 'TRIGGER uses obsolete DB2 sql_mode' from information_schema.TRIGGERS where find_in_set('DB2', sql_mode)
select concat('global system variable ', variable_name), 'defined using obsolete DB2 option' as reason from performance_schema.global_variables where variable_name = 'sql_mode' and find_in_set('DB2', variable_value)
select routine_schema, routine_name, concat(routine_type, ' uses obsolete MSSQL sql_mode') from information_schema.routines where find_in_set('MSSQL', sql_mode)
select event_schema, event_name, 'EVENT uses obsolete MSSQL sql_mode' from information_schema.EVENTS where find_in_set('MSSQL', sql_mode)
select trigger_schema, trigger_name, 'TRIGGER uses obsolete MSSQL sql_mode' from information_schema.TRIGGERS where find_in_set('MSSQL', sql_mode)
select concat('global system variable ', variable_name), 'defined using obsolete MSSQL option' as reason from performance_schema.global_variables where variable_name = 'sql_mode' and find_in_set('MSSQL', variable_value)
select routine_schema, routine_name, concat(routine_type, ' uses obsolete MYSQL323 sql_mode') from information_schema.routines where find_in_set('MYSQL323', sql_mode)
select event_schema, event_name, 'EVENT uses obsolete MYSQL323 sql_mode' from information_schema.EVENTS where find_in_set('MYSQL323', sql_mode)
select trigger_schema, trigger_name, 'TRIGGER uses obsolete MYSQL323 sql_mode' from information_schema.TRIGGERS where find_in_set('MYSQL323', sql_mode)
select concat('global system variable ', variable_name), 'defined using obsolete MYSQL323 option' as reason from performance_schema.global_variables where variable_name = 'sql_mode' and find_in_set('MYSQL323', variable_value)
select routine_schema, routine_name, concat(routine_type, ' uses obsolete MYSQL40 sql_mode') from information_schema.routines where find_in_set('MYSQL40', sql_mode)
select event_schema, event_name, 'EVENT uses obsolete MYSQL40 sql_mode' from information_schema.EVENTS where find_in_set('MYSQL40', sql_mode)
select trigger_schema, trigger_name, 'TRIGGER uses obsolete MYSQL40 sql_mode' from information_schema.TRIGGERS where find_in_set('MYSQL40', sql_mode)
select concat('global system variable ', variable_name), 'defined using obsolete MYSQL40 option' as reason from performance_schema.global_variables where variable_name = 'sql_mode' and find_in_set('MYSQL40', variable_value)
select routine_schema, routine_name, concat(routine_type, ' uses obsolete NO_AUTO_CREATE_USER sql_mode') from information_schema.routines where find_in_set('NO_AUTO_CREATE_USER', sql_mode)
select event_schema, event_name, 'EVENT uses obsolete NO_AUTO_CREATE_USER sql_mode' from information_schema.EVENTS where find_in_set('NO_AUTO_CREATE_USER', sql_mode)
select trigger_schema, trigger_name, 'TRIGGER uses obsolete NO_AUTO_CREATE_USER sql_mode' from information_schema.TRIGGERS where find_in_set('NO_AUTO_CREATE_USER', sql_mode)
select concat('global system variable ', variable_name), 'defined using obsolete NO_AUTO_CREATE_USER option' as reason from performance_schema.global_variables where variable_name = 'sql_mode' and find_in_set('NO_AUTO_CREATE_USER', variable_value)
select routine_schema, routine_name, concat(routine_type, ' uses obsolete NO_FIELD_OPTIONS sql_mode') from information_schema.routines where find_in_set('NO_FIELD_OPTIONS', sql_mode)
select event_schema, event_name, 'EVENT uses obsolete NO_FIELD_OPTIONS sql_mode' from information_schema.EVENTS where find_in_set('NO_FIELD_OPTIONS', sql_mode)
select trigger_schema, trigger_name, 'TRIGGER uses obsolete NO_FIELD_OPTIONS sql_mode' from information_schema.TRIGGERS where find_in_set('NO_FIELD_OPTIONS', sql_mode)
select concat('global system variable ', variable_name), 'defined using obsolete NO_FIELD_OPTIONS option' as reason from performance_schema.global_variables where variable_name = 'sql_mode' and find_in_set('NO_FIELD_OPTIONS', variable_value)
select routine_schema, routine_name, concat(routine_type, ' uses obsolete NO_KEY_OPTIONS sql_mode') from information_schema.routines where find_in_set('NO_KEY_OPTIONS', sql_mode)
select event_schema, event_name, 'EVENT uses obsolete NO_KEY_OPTIONS sql_mode' from information_schema.EVENTS where find_in_set('NO_KEY_OPTIONS', sql_mode)
select trigger_schema, trigger_name, 'TRIGGER uses obsolete NO_KEY_OPTIONS sql_mode' from information_schema.TRIGGERS where find_in_set('NO_KEY_OPTIONS', sql_mode)
select concat('global system variable ', variable_name), 'defined using obsolete NO_KEY_OPTIONS option' as reason from performance_schema.global_variables where variable_name = 'sql_mode' and find_in_set('NO_KEY_OPTIONS', variable_value)
select routine_schema, routine_name, concat(routine_type, ' uses obsolete NO_TABLE_OPTIONS sql_mode') from information_schema.routines where find_in_set('NO_TABLE_OPTIONS', sql_mode)
select event_schema, event_name, 'EVENT uses obsolete NO_TABLE_OPTIONS sql_mode' from information_schema.EVENTS where find_in_set('NO_TABLE_OPTIONS', sql_mode)
select trigger_schema, trigger_name, 'TRIGGER uses obsolete NO_TABLE_OPTIONS sql_mode' from information_schema.TRIGGERS where find_in_set('NO_TABLE_OPTIONS', sql_mode)
select concat('global system variable ', variable_name), 'defined using obsolete NO_TABLE_OPTIONS option' as reason from performance_schema.global_variables where variable_name = 'sql_mode' and find_in_set('NO_TABLE_OPTIONS', variable_value)
select routine_schema, routine_name, concat(routine_type, ' uses obsolete ORACLE sql_mode') from information_schema.routines where find_in_set('ORACLE', sql_mode)
select event_schema, event_name, 'EVENT uses obsolete ORACLE sql_mode' from information_schema.EVENTS where find_in_set('ORACLE', sql_mode)
select trigger_schema, trigger_name, 'TRIGGER uses obsolete ORACLE sql_mode' from information_schema.TRIGGERS where find_in_set('ORACLE', sql_mode)
select concat('global system variable ', variable_name), 'defined using obsolete ORACLE option' as reason from performance_schema.global_variables where variable_name = 'sql_mode' and find_in_set('ORACLE', variable_value)
select routine_schema, routine_name, concat(routine_type, ' uses obsolete POSTGRESQL sql_mode') from information_schema.routines where find_in_set('POSTGRESQL', sql_mode)
select event_schema, event_name, 'EVENT uses obsolete POSTGRESQL sql_mode' from information_schema.EVENTS where find_in_set('POSTGRESQL', sql_mode)
select trigger_schema, trigger_name, 'TRIGGER uses obsolete POSTGRESQL sql_mode' from information_schema.TRIGGERS where find_in_set('POSTGRESQL', sql_mode)
select concat('global system variable ', variable_name), 'defined using obsolete POSTGRESQL option' as reason from performance_schema.global_variables where variable_name = 'sql_mode' and find_in_set('POSTGRESQL', variable_value)
select TABLE_SCHEMA, TABLE_NAME, COLUMN_NAME, UPPER(DATA_TYPE), COLUMN_TYPE, CHARACTER_MAXIMUM_LENGTH from information_schema.columns where data_type in ('enum','set') and CHARACTER_MAXIMUM_LENGTH > 255 and table_schema not in ('information_schema')
SELECT TABLE_SCHEMA, TABLE_NAME, concat('Partition ', PARTITION_NAME, ' is in shared tablespace ', TABLESPACE_NAME) as description FROM information_schema.PARTITIONS WHERE PARTITION_NAME IS NOT NULL AND (TABLESPACE_NAME IS NOT NULL AND TABLESPACE_NAME!='innodb_file_per_table')
SELECT tablespace_name, concat('circular reference in datafile path: \'', file_name, '\'') FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.FILES where file_type='TABLESPACE' and (file_name rlike '[^\\.]/\\.\\./' or file_name rlike '[^\\.]\\\\\\.\\.\\\\')
select table_schema, table_name, '', 'VIEW', UPPER(view_definition) from information_schema.views where table_schema not in ('performance_schema','information_schema','sys','mysql')
select routine_schema, routine_name, '', routine_type, UPPER(routine_definition) from information_schema.routines where routine_schema not in ('performance_schema','information_schema','sys','mysql')
select TABLE_SCHEMA,TABLE_NAME,COLUMN_NAME, 'COLUMN', UPPER(GENERATION_EXPRESSION) from information_schema.columns where extra regexp 'generated' and table_schema not in ('performance_schema','information_schema','sys','mysql')
select TRIGGER_SCHEMA, TRIGGER_NAME, '', 'TRIGGER', UPPER(ACTION_STATEMENT) from information_schema.triggers where TRIGGER_SCHEMA not in ('performance_schema','information_schema','sys','mysql')
select event_schema, event_name, '', 'EVENT', UPPER(EVENT_DEFINITION) from information_schema.events where event_schema not in ('performance_schema','information_schema','sys','mysql')
select table_schema, table_name, 'VIEW', UPPER(view_definition) from information_schema.views where table_schema not in ('performance_schema','information_schema','sys','mysql') and (UPPER(view_definition) like '%ASC%' or UPPER(view_definition) like '%DESC%')
select routine_schema, routine_name, routine_type, UPPER(routine_definition) from information_schema.routines where routine_schema not in ('performance_schema','information_schema','sys','mysql') and (UPPER(routine_definition) like '%ASC%' or UPPER(routine_definition) like '%DESC%')
select TRIGGER_SCHEMA, TRIGGER_NAME, 'TRIGGER', UPPER(ACTION_STATEMENT) from information_schema.triggers where TRIGGER_SCHEMA not in ('performance_schema','information_schema','sys','mysql') and (UPPER(ACTION_STATEMENT) like '%ASC%' or UPPER(ACTION_STATEMENT) like '%DESC%')
select event_schema, event_name, 'EVENT', UPPER(EVENT_DEFINITION) from information_schema.events where event_schema not in ('performance_schema','information_schema','sys','mysql') and (UPPER(event_definition) like '%ASC%' or UPPER(event_definition) like '%DESC%')
select 'global.sql_mode', 'does not contain either NO_ZERO_DATE or NO_ZERO_IN_DATE which allows insertion of zero dates' from (SELECT @@global.sql_mode like '%NO_ZERO_IN_DATE%' and @@global.sql_mode like '%NO_ZERO_DATE%' as zeroes_enabled) as q where q.zeroes_enabled = 0
select 'session.sql_mode', concat(' of ', q.thread_count, ' session(s) does not contain either NO_ZERO_DATE or NO_ZERO_IN_DATE which allows insertion of zero dates') FROM (select count(thread_id) as thread_count from performance_schema.variables_by_thread WHERE variable_name = 'sql_mode' and (variable_value not like '%NO_ZERO_IN_DATE%' or variable_value not like '%NO_ZERO_DATE%')) as q where q.thread_count > 0
select TABLE_SCHEMA, TABLE_NAME, COLUMN_NAME, concat('column has zero default value: ', COLUMN_DEFAULT) from information_schema.columns where TABLE_SCHEMA not in ('performance_schema','information_schema','sys','mysql') and DATA_TYPE in ('timestamp', 'datetime', 'date') and COLUMN_DEFAULT like '0000-00-00%'
select A.schema_name, A.table_name, 'present in INFORMATION_SCHEMA''s INNODB_SYS_TABLES table but missing from TABLES table' from (select distinct replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(substring_index(NAME, '/',1), '@002d', '-'), '@003a', ':'), '@002e', '.'), '@0024', '$'), '@0021', '!'), '@003f', '?'), '@0025', '%'), '@0023', '#'), '@0026', '&'), '@002a', '*'), '@0040', '@')  as schema_name, replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(substring_index(substring_index(NAME, '/',-1),'#',1), '@002d', '-'), '@003a', ':'), '@002e', '.'), '@0024', '$'), '@0021', '!'), '@003f', '?'), '@0025', '%'), '@0023', '#'), '@0026', '&'), '@002a', '*'), '@0040', '@')  as table_name from information_schema.innodb_sys_tables where NAME like '%/%') A left join information_schema.tables I on A.table_name = I.table_name and A.schema_name = I.table_schema where A.table_name not like 'FTS_0%' and (I.table_name IS NULL or I.table_schema IS NULL) and A.table_name not REGEXP '@[0-9]' and A.schema_name not REGEXP '@[0-9]'
select a.table_schema, a.table_name, concat('recognized by the InnoDB engine but belongs to ', a.engine) from information_schema.tables a join (select replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(substring_index(NAME, '/',1), '@002d', '-'), '@003a', ':'), '@002e', '.'), '@0024', '$'), '@0021', '!'), '@003f', '?'), '@0025', '%'), '@0023', '#'), '@0026', '&'), '@002a', '*'), '@0040', '@')  as table_schema, replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(substring_index(substring_index(NAME, '/',-1),'#',1), '@002d', '-'), '@003a', ':'), '@002e', '.'), '@0024', '$'), '@0021', '!'), '@003f', '?'), '@0025', '%'), '@0023', '#'), '@0026', '&'), '@002a', '*'), '@0040', '@')  as table_name from information_schema.innodb_sys_tables where NAME like '%/%') b on a.table_schema = b.table_schema and a.table_name = b.table_name where a.engine != 'Innodb'
FLUSH LOCAL TABLES
SELECT TABLE_SCHEMA, TABLE_NAME FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES WHERE TABLE_SCHEMA not in ('information_schema', 'performance_schema', 'sys')
CHECK TABLE `mysql`.`columns_priv` FOR UPGRADE
CHECK TABLE `mysql`.`db` FOR UPGRADE
CHECK TABLE `mysql`.`engine_cost` FOR UPGRADE
CHECK TABLE `mysql`.`event` FOR UPGRADE
CHECK TABLE `mysql`.`func` FOR UPGRADE
CHECK TABLE `mysql`.`general_log` FOR UPGRADE
CHECK TABLE `mysql`.`gtid_executed` FOR UPGRADE
CHECK TABLE `mysql`.`help_category` FOR UPGRADE
CHECK TABLE `mysql`.`help_keyword` FOR UPGRADE
CHECK TABLE `mysql`.`help_relation` FOR UPGRADE
CHECK TABLE `mysql`.`help_topic` FOR UPGRADE
CHECK TABLE `mysql`.`innodb_index_stats` FOR UPGRADE
CHECK TABLE `mysql`.`innodb_table_stats` FOR UPGRADE
CHECK TABLE `mysql`.`ndb_binlog_index` FOR UPGRADE
CHECK TABLE `mysql`.`plugin` FOR UPGRADE
CHECK TABLE `mysql`.`proc` FOR UPGRADE
CHECK TABLE `mysql`.`procs_priv` FOR UPGRADE
CHECK TABLE `mysql`.`proxies_priv` FOR UPGRADE
CHECK TABLE `mysql`.`server_cost` FOR UPGRADE
CHECK TABLE `mysql`.`servers` FOR UPGRADE
CHECK TABLE `mysql`.`slave_master_info` FOR UPGRADE
CHECK TABLE `mysql`.`slave_relay_log_info` FOR UPGRADE
CHECK TABLE `mysql`.`slave_worker_info` FOR UPGRADE
CHECK TABLE `mysql`.`slow_log` FOR UPGRADE
CHECK TABLE `mysql`.`tables_priv` FOR UPGRADE
CHECK TABLE `mysql`.`time_zone` FOR UPGRADE
CHECK TABLE `mysql`.`time_zone_leap_second` FOR UPGRADE
CHECK TABLE `mysql`.`time_zone_name` FOR UPGRADE
CHECK TABLE `mysql`.`time_zone_transition` FOR UPGRADE
CHECK TABLE `mysql`.`time_zone_transition_type` FOR UPGRADE
CHECK TABLE `mysql`.`user` FOR UPGRADE

check.txt

Cannot set LC_ALL to locale en_US.UTF-8: No such file or directory
WARNING: Using a password on the command line interface can be insecure.
The MySQL server at 172.17.0.3:3306, version 5.7.33 - MySQL Community Server
(GPL), will now be checked for compatibility issues for upgrade to MySQL
8.0.24...

1) Usage of old temporal type
  No issues found

2) Usage of db objects with names conflicting with new reserved keywords
  No issues found

3) Usage of utf8mb3 charset
  No issues found

4) Table names in the mysql schema conflicting with new tables in 8.0
  No issues found

5) Partitioned tables using engines with non native partitioning
  No issues found

6) Foreign key constraint names longer than 64 characters
  No issues found

7) Usage of obsolete MAXDB sql_mode flag
  No issues found

8) Usage of obsolete sql_mode flags
  Notice: The following DB objects have obsolete options persisted for
    sql_mode, which will be cleared during upgrade to 8.0.
  More information:

https://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/8.0/en/mysql-nutshell.html#mysql-nutshell-removals

  global system variable sql_mode - defined using obsolete NO_AUTO_CREATE_USER
    option

9) ENUM/SET column definitions containing elements longer than 255 characters
  No issues found

10) Usage of partitioned tables in shared tablespaces
  No issues found

11) Circular directory references in tablespace data file paths
  No issues found

12) Usage of removed functions
  No issues found

13) Usage of removed GROUP BY ASC/DESC syntax
  No issues found

14) Removed system variables for error logging to the system log configuration
  To run this check requires full path to MySQL server configuration file to be specified at 'configPath' key of options dictionary
  More information:

https://dev.mysql.com/doc/relnotes/mysql/8.0/en/news-8-0-13.html#mysqld-8-0-13-logging

15) Removed system variables
  To run this check requires full path to MySQL server configuration file to be specified at 'configPath' key of options dictionary
  More information:

https://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/8.0/en/added-deprecated-removed.html#optvars-removed

16) System variables with new default values
  To run this check requires full path to MySQL server configuration file to be specified at 'configPath' key of options dictionary
  More information:

https://mysqlserverteam.com/new-defaults-in-mysql-8-0/

17) Zero Date, Datetime, and Timestamp values
  No issues found

18) Schema inconsistencies resulting from file removal or corruption
  No issues found

19) Tables recognized by InnoDB that belong to a different engine
  No issues found

20) Issues reported by 'check table x for upgrade' command
  No issues found

21) New default authentication plugin considerations
  Warning: The new default authentication plugin 'caching_sha2_password' offers
    more secure password hashing than previously used 'mysql_native_password'
    (and consequent improved client connection authentication). However, it also
    has compatibility implications that may affect existing MySQL installations.
    If your MySQL installation must serve pre-8.0 clients and you encounter
    compatibility issues after upgrading, the simplest way to address those
    issues is to reconfigure the server to revert to the previous default
    authentication plugin (mysql_native_password). For example, use these lines
    in the server option file:

    [mysqld]
    default_authentication_plugin=mysql_native_password

    However, the setting should be viewed as temporary, not as a long term or
    permanent solution, because it causes new accounts created with the setting
    in effect to forego the improved authentication security.
    If you are using replication please take time to understand how the
    authentication plugin changes may impact you.
  More information:

https://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/8.0/en/upgrading-from-previous-series.html#upgrade-caching-sha2-password-compatibility-issues


https://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/8.0/en/upgrading-from-previous-series.html#upgrade-caching-sha2-password-replication

Errors:   0
Warnings: 1
Notices:  1

No fatal errors were found that would prevent an upgrade, but some potential issues were detected. Please ensure that the reported issues are not significant before upgrading.

The pre-pre SQL check

I now am armed with an simplified single SQL statement. It does of course take a long to run in a cluster with thousands of tables.

select A.schema_name, A.table_name, 
       'present in INFORMATION_SCHEMA''s INNODB_SYS_TABLES table but missing from TABLES table' 
from (select distinct replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(substring_index(NAME, '/',1), '@002d', '-'), '@003a', ':'), '@002e', '.'), '@0024', '$'), '@0021', '!'), '@003f', '?'), '@0025', '%'), '@0023', '#'), '@0026', '&'), '@002a', '*'), '@0040', '@')  as schema_name, 
replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(replace(substring_index(substring_index(NAME, '/',-1),'#',1), '@002d', '-'), '@003a', ':'), '@002e', '.'), '@0024', '$'), '@0021', '!'), '@003f', '?'), '@0025', '%'), '@0023', '#'), '@0026', '&'), '@002a', '*'), '@0040', '@')  as table_name
 from information_schema.innodb_sys_tables 
where NAME like '%/%') A 
left join information_schema.tables I on A.table_name = I.table_name and A.schema_name = I.table_schema 
where A.table_name not like 'FTS_0%' 
and (I.table_name IS NULL or I.table_schema IS NULL) 
and A.table_name not REGEXP '@[0-9]' 
and A.schema_name not REGEXP '@[0-9]')

I then performed a number of drop/remove/restart/re-create/discard tablespace steps with no success. As a managed service RDS the only course of action now is to open an AWS Support ticket for help with this specific internal corruption.

Upgrading to AWS Aurora MySQL 8

With Aurora MySQL 8 now generally available to all, you may want to consider the plan for an upgrade path if you would like to take advantage of the new features for your application, for example, Common Table Expressions (CTE). This new major release has a much improved and streamlined upgrade progress from Aurora MySQL 5.7.

This tutorial will provide all the steps to allow you to try out setting up an Aurora cluster and performing an upgrade without the impact on your existing AWS environment. The two pre-requisites to getting started are:

You can find all the CLI cut/paste commands in my AWS Tutorials repo. This will lead you through all of the various AWS dependencies for a successful RDS Aurora cluster including IAM, KMS, VPC and EC2 requirements.

Create an RDS Aurora MySQL Cluster and Aurora MySQL Major upgrade – Aurora 2.x to Aurora 3.x can provide you with a POC of the primary operations path to achieving the goal of this post in under 30 minutes.

While this example will produce an upgraded cluster with some warnings, in real life a more detailed upgrade assessment is needed for any new version of software. The MySQL and Aurora pre-checks can be performed to minimize surprises during the final process of your data migration.

mysqlcheck –check-upgrade and the mysqlsh util.checkForServerUpgrade() pre-checks can help to assist in being prepared and not have your Cluster instances with the incompatible-parameters status. At this point download the upgrade-prechecks.log Aurora Log and trash your cluster and instance. They are unusable. Reviewing the upgrade-prechecks.log can contain more information than mysqlsh util.checkForServerUpgrade() output.

With an Aurora cluster configured with an instance parameter group enabling MySQL binary log replication, it is easy to have a functioning Aurora 5.7 Cluster with real-time replication to an Aurora 8 Cluster to minimize any downtime in your production environment and then benefit from an atomic data dictionary, roles, descending indexes, improved internal temporary table, additional JSON functions, Window Functions, CTEs and more!

More Reading

Reviewing your strengths and areas for improvement

The end of the year is often a time to review the progress of your yearly goals and to set new goals for the next year. These goals may include improving your professional and personal development. There are many different ways to assess your personality for your profession and over the decades I participated in both employer-sponsored assessments and personal improvement assessments. Some of these have included Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®), the Facet 5 Personality Profile, NERIS Type Explorer®, and StandOut® strengths assessment.  This StandOut® assessment was part of the onboarding process a year ago and is also available by my employer to repeat at no cost. This different opportunity from other assessments I have undertaken has enabled me to re-assess my strengths as I review this year and reflect on goals for next year. 
 
Your StandOut® assessment lists the top two roles which “are the focal point of all your talents and skills. They represent your instinctive way of making a difference in the world.”. You also see a ranking of the remaining seven roles, which was most helpful the second time when my results were slightly different, however, the top three roles were overall consistent.

Right now, you can take this StandOut® assessment for free(1)

During this time I also found online audio descriptions of my original top two roles, these being Creator and Teacher. What I liked about this audio addition was a different description of the written report. While I do not wish to repeat the information you can find online of these two roles or the roles that may best match your strengths, I found both the written summary and audio to be a precise reflection of who I am and “are the focal point of all your talents and skills. They represent your instinctive way of making a difference in the world.”. Here is a summary of my top two roles:

Creator

  • “Creators make sense of the world, pulling it apart, seeing a better configuration, and creating it.” 
  • “As a creator, the first question you ask in any situation is what do I understand? When you look out at the world,  you don’t jump right in and leap to conclusions, instead, you stop, you take a step back, and try to look thru the superficial details at the surface, and get underneath to the causes of the effect we see on the surface”. (audio intro translation)

Teacher

  • “Teachers are thrilled by the potential they see in each person. Their power comes from learning how to unleash it.”
  • “As a teacher the first question you ask in any situation is what can I learn? What can (s)he learn?  You take your own development very seriously, your inquisitive, you read, you want to grow, you want to develop, and you see your life as a constant journey of development for yourself… and you also take other peoples development seriously. You see little increments of growth in others and you get a kick out of these”. (audio intro translation)

While information from assessments can be an affirmation.  Sometimes a key point can be completely wrong.  This happened with my Facet 5 report from several years ago, where one line really stuck out. “Having to spend too much time on the following elements has been shown to be demotivating …Being asked to be creative”. I could not find that line to be any further from the truth. My creativeness extends from the professional outlook in problem-solving to the numerous personal activities I undertake, from creating a children’s card and board game, writing a self-published infants board book and creating new products without plans from 100% recycled wood to name a few.  I am glad that the StandOut® description for creator included  “put things in a more creative configuration”.  This was a pleasing correction.

No assessment is perfect, however they can help reaffirm your strengths and can also offer insights into areas of improvement you may wish to incorporate into your future goals.

(1) *This is not an endorsement or promotion as an employee.*

Re-posted on LinkedIn

AWS Aurora MySQL 8 is now generally available

AWS has just announced the general availability of Aurora MySQL 8 compatibility (known as Aurora Version 3). This is long awaited addition to RDS MySQL 8 and provides many of the new features that can be found in the open-source MySQL 8 community version.

For those unfamiliar with Amazon Aurora my Understanding AWS RDS Aurora Capabilities presentation from Percona Live 2021 provides a great introduction of the benefits of this managed service.

There is a lot to digest and the Aurora User Guide provides details of the new features from the MySQL 8 community version, and of Aurora 3 new features, and feature differences or unsupported features. This AWS blog post also provides a general introduction.

It is very easy to spin up a new Aurora MySQL 3.01.0 cluster in an existing environment containing existing Aurora clusters. After defining new cluster and instance parameter groups for the aurora-mysql8.0 family, or starting with the available default.aurora-mysql8.0 parameter groups, there are no other differences in aws rds create-db-cluster syntax, or using the AWS Console or Terraform syntax for example.

Before considering a migration of an existing Aurora cluster, there is a lot of information around parameter changes (including inclusive language functionality), and those related status and CloudWatch Metrics changes. Yes, looking at the 29 ‘Removed from Aurora MySQL version 3′, 30 ‘This parameter applies to Aurora MySQL version 3 and higher’ and presently ‘Currently not available in Aurora MySQL version 3′ LOAD|SELECT S3 capabilities is important. There are new reserved words to be aware of, you will need to note how to take advantage of roles within the Aurora permissions model.

Migrating an existing Aurora MySQL 2 cluster to Aurora 3 is a little more involved than specifying the snapshot-id. Seeing your restored Aurora 2 snapshot in an Aurora 3 cluster but with a status of incompatible-parameters is a good indication that more work is needed. While I will detail some of my experiences in a subsequent post, one helpful tip is found in those additional pages of the 5 rows of logs for your new cluster after all the error.log files, you will find an upgrade-prechecks.log file. This contains an extensive list of checks and warnings performed for the upgrade. Skipping to the end of the JSON will give you an idea of your errorCount, warningCount and noticeCount.

Searching then for an object of “status”: “ERROR” will find the errorCount entries matching the count. Several other checks provide a “detectedProblems” section and a “level”: “Error” which would seem to be needed to be also corrected. There are a lot of checks between the INFORMATION_SCHEMA, InnoDB internal data dictionary and actual data/files on disk. You will also be presented with a nice long list of tables/columns using reserved words, as well as character set deprecations.

At a more technical glance of the documentation, there is a key change in how internal temporary tables are created, and how this differs from writer and reader instances. Benchmarking your application in different configurations will definitely be recommended.

Restoring an Aurora 2 cluster into Aurora 3 also took significantly more time; many hours; than a simple restore-db-cluster-from-snapshot you may be used to. While Terraform cluster creation timeouts need to be increased for global clusters, this time the default 1h30 timeout for an instance was also exceeded.

While different features will benefit different consumers of your Aurora database, one of the most anticipated is CTEs. From the operations perspective, as a managed service Aurora offers a subset of community features. One great feature that is now available in Aurora 3 is binary log filtering, a simple long-lived option in MySQL land that will help replacing more complex functionality.

This is a great and long awaited version release for Aurora.

Moving to using dash ‘-‘ as a delimiter

Spaces or tabs. Using 2 spaces verses 4 spaces. Defining variables as lowercase v InitCap, environment variables UPPERCASE or not, using underscore ‘_’ or dash ‘-‘ as a separator. These are all un-winnable discussions among your friends and colleagues. Side Note: What is critical for any business is there is a well-defined and enforced standard, no matter what that standard it.

I have while scripting in Bash always used underscore ‘_’, for commands or internal functions. I have probably taken on this because environment variables have IMO always used underscore, e.g. looking at my laptop now I have for example (TERM_PROGRAM, TEE_HOME, AWS_DEFAULT_REGION).

However in recent months I have changed my coding practices within scripting to always using the dash ‘-‘. What was list_clusters, became list-clusters for example.

Why? There is just one reason; the bane of millions of effective typists and coders; the QWERTY keyboard. The dash ‘-‘ requires the use of just one finger, while the underscore requires two.

Sometimes the simpler solution is well simpler.

#WDILTW – RTFM, then RTFM again, then improve it

This week I learned two valuable aspects of Terraform I did not know.

The first is Terraform State Import. While I use terraform state to list and show state and even remove state, I was unaware you could import from a created AWS resource. It’s not actually an argument to the “terraform state” syntax, instead its “terraform import” and likely why I do not see it when I look at terraform state syntax.

% terraform state
Usage: terraform [global options] state  [options] [args]

  This command has subcommands for advanced state management.

  These subcommands can be used to slice and dice the Terraform state.
  This is sometimes necessary in advanced cases. For your safety, all
  state management commands that modify the state create a timestamped
  backup of the state prior to making modifications.

  The structure and output of the commands is specifically tailored to work
  well with the common Unix utilities such as grep, awk, etc. We recommend
  using those tools to perform more advanced state tasks.

Subcommands:
    list                List resources in the state
    mv                  Move an item in the state
    pull                Pull current state and output to stdout
    push                Update remote state from a local state file
    replace-provider    Replace provider in the state
    rm                  Remove instances from the state

I am not an expert in Terraform, and looking at the command help output shown above did not give me reference to look elsewhere, but just reading the manual can help you to learn a new feature. If you do not know a product, reading documentation and examples can be an ideal way to get started in a self-paced way.

The second is Meta-Arguments. I use lifecycle, and to be honest I have learned and forgotten about count. Count was something I was able to use to solve a very nasty cross-region kinesis stream issue, reminding me of a syntax I had since forgotten. Using coalesce and conditional expressions (aka ternary operator) can help in modules, for example.

resource "aws_rds_cluster" "demo" {
  ...
  global_cluster_identifier       = var.has_global_cluster ? local.global_cluster_identifier : ""
  master_username                 = var.has_global_cluster ? "" : var.master_username
  db_cluster_parameter_group_name = coalesce(var.db_cluster_parameter_group_name , local.db_cluster_parameter_group_name)
  ...      

However to stop the creation of the object completely, use count.

resource "aws_???" "demo_???" {
  count = var.filter_condition ? 1 : 0
  ...

And just when I thought I’d read about Meta-Arguments, I hit a new never before seen problem. Now if I’d read the summary resources page about Meta-Arguments, and looked the very next section I would have been able to likely solve this new error without having to RTFM a second time.

module.?.?.aws_rds_cluster.default: Still creating... [1h59m53s elapsed]

Error: Error waiting for RDS Cluster state to be "available": timeout while waiting for state to become 'available' (last state: 'creating', timeout: 2h0m0s)

on .terraform/modules/?/main.tf line 306, in resource "aws_rds_cluster" "default":

306: resource "aws_rds_cluster" "default" {

I did not know there was a 2 hour timeout, and I did not know you can change that with

timeouts {
    create = "4h"
    delete = "4h"
  }
}

On a number of occasions I have found documentation to not be complete or accurate online. If you find this, then submit a request to get it fixed, must sources include a link at the bottom to recommend improvements. I have had good success with submitting improvements to the AWS documentation.

A QLDB Cheat Sheet for MySQL Users

The AWS ledger database (QLDB) is an auditors best friend and lives up to the stated description of “Amazon QLDB can be used to track each and every application data change and maintains a complete and verifiable history of changes over time.”

This presentation will go over what was done to take a MySQL application that provided auditing activity changes for key data, and how it is being migrated to QLDB.

While QLDB does use a SQL-format for DML (PartiQL), and you can perform the traditional INSERT/UPDATE/DELETE/SELECT, the ability to extend these statements to manipulate Amazon Ion data (a superset of JSON) gives you improved capabilities and statements.

Get a comparison of how to map a MySQL structure multiple tables and lots of columns into a single QLDB table and then benefit with an immutable and cryptographically verifiable transaction log. No more triggers, duplicated tables, extra auditing for abuse of binary log activity.

We also cover the simplicity of using X Protocol and JSON output for data migration, and the complexity of AWS RDS not supporting X Protocol.

Understanding AWS RDS Aurora Capabilities

The RDS Aurora MySQL/PostgreSQL capabilities of AWS extend the High Availability (HA) capabilities of RDS read replicas and Multi-AZ. In this presentation I discuss the different capabilities and HA configurations with RDS Aurora including:

  • RDS Aurora Cluster single instance
  • RDS Aurora Cluster multiple instances (writer + 1 or more readers)
  • RDS Aurora Cluster multi-master
  • RDS Aurora Global Cluster
  • RDS Aurora Cluster options for multi-regions

Each option has its relative merits and limitations. Each will depend on your business requirements, global needs and budget.

#WDILTW – Functions with options

In the late 1990s I learned MySQL and Java at approximately the same time. How did I teach myself? For MySQL I read the online MySQL manual cover to cover. For Java it was the Java Language Specification or Java Programming Language book, again cover to cover. Then for record I read Effective Java, and I was totally lost. I read it three or four years later and then it made sense.

At that time, with MySQL 3.22/3.23 the scope of the product was smaller, so was Java 1.2. I am confident I have forgotten as much as I retain, however it does marvel me when sometimes the most simplest of functionality I do not recall, or perhaps never learned. Today’s What Did I Learn This Week.

In MySQL, there is a TRIM() function, as the name suggests it trims whitespace, or so I thought. It actually does a lot more as the current MySQL 8.0 manual page states.

You can for example, trim the white space just LEADING, or just TRAILING, and in fact you can trim any pattern of characters, LEADING, TRAILING or BOTH. I just did not know that.

(from the man page)

mysql> SELECT TRIM('  bar   ');
        -> 'bar'
mysql> SELECT TRIM(LEADING 'x' FROM 'xxxbarxxx');
        -> 'barxxx'
mysql> SELECT TRIM(BOTH 'x' FROM 'xxxbarxxx');
        -> 'bar'
mysql> SELECT TRIM(TRAILING 'xyz' FROM 'barxxyz');
        -> 'barx'

For the record, the products are both widely used more than 20 years after I first started. MySQL has gone from 3.22 to 3.23, 4.0, 4.1, 5.0, 5.1 (the defunct 5.4 and even a 6.0 I think), 5.5, 5.6, 5.7 and now 8.0. Java was SE 1.2, then 1.3, 1.4, 5.0, 6, 7, 8 (my last major version), 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and now 16, with 17 in the books.

I guess it’s never to late to re-read the manual.

Upcoming Percona Live 2021 Presentations

I am pleased to have been selected to present at Percona Live 2021 May 12-13. My presentations include talks on AWS RDS Aurora and QLDB managed services.

Understanding AWS RDS Aurora Capabilities

The RDS Aurora MySQL/PostgreSQL capabilities of AWS extend the HA capabilities of RDS read replicas and Multi-AZ.

In this presentation we will discuss the different capabilities and HA configurations with RDS Aurora including:

* RDS Cluster single instance
* RDS Cluster multiple instances (writer + 1 or more readers)
* RDS Cluster multi-master
* RDS Global Cluster
* RDS Cluster options for multi-regions

Each option has its relative merits and limitations. Each will depend on your business requirements, global needs and budget.

This presentation will include setup, monitoring and failover evaluations for the attendee with the goal to provide a feature matrix of when/how to consider each option as well as provide some details of the subtle differences Aurora provides.

This presentation is not going to go into the technical details of RDS Aurora’s underlying infrastructure or a feature by feature comparison of AWS RDS to AWS RDS Aurora.

A QLDB Cheatsheet for MySQL Users

Amazons new ledger database (QLDB) is an auditors best friend and lives up to the stated description of “Amazon QLDB can be used to track each and every application data change and maintains a complete and verifiable history of changes over time.”

This presentation will go over what was done to take a MySQL application that provided auditing activity changes for key data, and how it is being migrated to QLDB.

While QLDB does use a SQL-format for DML, and you can perform the traditional INSERT/UPDATE/DELETE/SELECT. The ability to extend these statements to manipulate Amazon Ion data (a superset of JSON) gives you improved data manipulation, and for example the FROM SQL statement.

Get a blow by blow comparison of MySQL structures (multiple tables and lots of columns) and SQL converted into a single QLDB table, with immutable, and cryptographically verifiable transaction log. No more triggers, duplicated tables, extra auditing for abuse of binary log activity.

We also cover the simplicity of using X Protocol and JSON output for data migration, and the complexity of AWS RDS not supporting X Protocol

#WDILTW – Creating examples can be hard

This week I was evaluating AWS QLDB. Specifically the verifiable history of changes to determine how to simplify present processes that perform auditing via CDC. This is not the first time I have looked at QLDB so there was nothing that new to learn.

What I found was that creating a workable solution with an existing application is hard. Even harder is creating an example to publish in this blog (and the purpose of this post).

First some background.

Using MySQL as the source of information, how can you leverage QLDB? It’s easy to stream data from MySQL Aurora, and it’s easy to stream data from QLDB, but it not that easy to place real-time data into QLDB. AWS DMS is a good way to move data from a source to a target, previously my work has included MySQL to MySQL, MySQL to Redshift, and MySQL to Kinesis, however there is no QLDB target.

Turning the problem upside down, and using QLDB as the source of information, and streaming to MySQL for compatibility seemed a way forward.

After setting up the QLDB Ledger and an example table, it was time to populate with existing data. The documented reference example looked very JSON compatible. Side bar, it is actually Amazon Ion a superset of JSON.

INSERT INTO Person
<< {
    'FirstName' : 'Raul',
    'LastName' : 'Lewis',
    'DOB' : `1963-08-19T`,
    'GovId' : 'LEWISR261LL',
    'GovIdType' : 'Driver License',
    'Address' : '1719 University Street, Seattle, WA, 98109'
},
{
    'FirstName' : 'Brent',
    'LastName' : 'Logan',
    'DOB' : `1967-07-03T`,
    'GovId' : 'LOGANB486CG',
    'GovIdType' : 'Driver License',
    'Address' : '43 Stockert Hollow Road, Everett, WA, 98203'
}

Now, MySQL offers with the X Protocol. This is something that lefred has evangelized for many years, I have seen presented many times, but finally I had a chance to use. The MySQL Shell JSON output looked ideal.

{
    "ID": 1523,
    "Name": "Wien",
    "CountryCode": "AUT",
    "District": "Wien",
    "Info": {
        "Population": 1608144
    }
}
{
    "ID": 1524,
    "Name": "Graz",
    "CountryCode": "AUT",
    "District": "Steiermark",
    "Info": {
        "Population": 240967
    }
}

And now, onto some of the things I learned this week.
Using AWS RDS Aurora MySQL is the first stumbling block, X Protocol is not supported. As this was a example, simple, mysqldump some reference data and load it into a MySQL 8 instance, and extract into JSON, so as to potentially emulate a pipeline.

Here is my experiences of trying to refactor into a demo to write up.

Launch a MySQL Docker container as per my standard notes. Harmless, right?

MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD="$(date | md5sum | cut -c1-20)#"
echo $MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD
docker run --name=qldb-mysql -p3306:3306 -v mysql-volume:/var/lib/mysql -e MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD=$MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD -d mysql/mysql-server:latest
docker logs qldb-mysql
docker exec -it qldb-mysql /bin/bash

As it's a quick demo, I shortcut credentials to make using the mysql client easier. NOTE: as I always generate a new password each container, it's included here.

# echo "[mysql]
user=root
password='ab6ea7b0436cbc0c0d49#' > .my.cnf

# mysql 
ERROR 1045 (28000): Access denied for user 'root'@'localhost' (using password: NO)

What the? Did I make a mistake, I test manually and check

# mysql -u root -p

# cat .my.cnf

Nothing wrong there. Next check

# pwd
/
bash-4.2# grep root /etc/passwd
root:x:0:0:root:/root:/bin/bash
operator:x:11:0:operator:/root:/sbin/nologin

And there is the first Dockerism. I don't live in Docker, so these 101 learnings would be known. First I really thing using "root" by default is a horrible idea. And when you shell in, you are not dropped into the home directory? Solved, we move on.

# mv /.my.cnf /root/.my.cnf

Mock and example as quickly as I can think.

# mysql

mysql> create schema if not exists demo;
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)

mysql> use demo;
Database changed
mysql> create table sample(id int unsigned not null auto_increment, name varchar(30) not null, location varchar(30) not null, domain varchar(50) null, primary key(id));
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.03 sec)
mysql> show create table sample;

mysql> insert into sample values (null,'Demo Row','USA',null), (null,'Row 2','AUS','news.com.au'), (null,'Kiwi','NZ', null);
Query OK, 3 rows affected (0.00 sec)
Records: 3  Duplicates: 0  Warnings: 0

mysql> select * from sample;
+----+----------+----------+-------------+
| id | name     | location | domain      |
+----+----------+----------+-------------+
|  1 | Demo Row | USA      | NULL        |
|  2 | Row 2    | AUS      | news.com.au |
|  3 | Kiwi     | NZ       | NULL        |
+----+----------+----------+-------------+
3 rows in set (0.00 sec)

Cool, now to look at it in Javascript using MySQL Shell. Hurdle 2.

# mysqlsh
MySQL Shell 8.0.22

Copyright (c) 2016, 2020, Oracle and/or its affiliates.
Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates.
Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

 MySQL  JS > var session=mysqlx.getSession('root:ab6ea7b0436cbc0c0d49#@localhost')
mysqlx.getSession: Argument #1: Invalid URI: Illegal character [#] found at position 25 (ArgumentError)


What the, it doesn't like the password format. I'm not a Javascript person, and well this is an example for blogging, which is not what was actually setup, so do it the right way, create a user.

# mysql

mysql> create user [email protected] identified by 'qldb';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.01 sec)

mysql> grant ALL ON sample.* to [email protected];
Query OK, 0 rows affected, 1 warning (0.01 sec)

mysql> SHOW GRANTS FOR [email protected];
+----------------------------------------------------------+
| Grants for [email protected]                                |
+----------------------------------------------------------+
| GRANT USAGE ON *.* TO `demo`@`localhost`                 |
| GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON `sample`.* TO `demo`@`localhost` |
+----------------------------------------------------------+
2 rows in set (0.00 sec)

Back into the MySQL Shell, and hurdle 3.

MySQL  JS > var session=mysqlx.getSession('demo:[email protected]')
mysqlx.getSession: Access denied for user 'demo'@'127.0.0.1' (using password: YES) (MySQL Error 1045)

Did I create the creds wrong, verify. No my password is correct.

#  mysql -udemo -pqldb -e "SELECT NOW()"
mysql: [Warning] Using a password on the command line interface can be insecure.
+---------------------+
| NOW()               |
+---------------------+
| 2021-03-06 23:15:26 |
+---------------------+

I don't have time to debug this, User take 2.

mysql> drop user [email protected];
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

mysql> create user [email protected]'%' identified by 'qldb';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.01 sec)

mysql> grant all on demo.* to [email protected]'%'
    -> ;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

mysql> show grants;
+--
| Grants for [email protected]                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   |
+---
| GRANT SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, CREATE, DROP, RELOAD, SHUTDOWN, PROCESS, FILE, REFERENCES, INDEX, ALTER, SHOW DATABASES, SUPER, CREATE TEMPORARY TABLES, LOCK TABLES, EXECUTE, REPLICATION SLAVE, REPLICATION CLIENT, CREATE VIEW, SHOW VIEW, CREATE ROUTINE, ALTER ROUTINE, CREATE USER, EVENT, TRIGGER, CREATE TABLESPACE, CREATE ROLE, DROP ROLE ON *.* TO `root`@`localhost` WITH GRANT OPTION                                                                                                                                                                                                                    |
| GRANT APPLICATION_PASSWORD_ADMIN,AUDIT_ADMIN,BACKUP_ADMIN,BINLOG_ADMIN,BINLOG_ENCRYPTION_ADMIN,CLONE_ADMIN,CONNECTION_ADMIN,ENCRYPTION_KEY_ADMIN,FLUSH_OPTIMIZER_COSTS,FLUSH_STATUS,FLUSH_TABLES,FLUSH_USER_RESOURCES,GROUP_REPLICATION_ADMIN,INNODB_REDO_LOG_ARCHIVE,INNODB_REDO_LOG_ENABLE,PERSIST_RO_VARIABLES_ADMIN,REPLICATION_APPLIER,REPLICATION_SLAVE_ADMIN,RESOURCE_GROUP_ADMIN,RESOURCE_GROUP_USER,ROLE_ADMIN,SERVICE_CONNECTION_ADMIN,SESSION_VARIABLES_ADMIN,SET_USER_ID,SHOW_ROUTINE,SYSTEM_USER,SYSTEM_VARIABLES_ADMIN,TABLE_ENCRYPTION_ADMIN,XA_RECOVER_ADMIN ON *.* TO `root`@`localhost` WITH GRANT OPTION |
| GRANT PROXY ON ''@'' TO 'root'@'localhost' WITH GRANT OPTION                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                |
+---
3 rows in set (0.00 sec)

mysql> show grants for [email protected]'%';
+--------------------------------------------------+
| Grants for [email protected]%                                |
+--------------------------------------------------+
| GRANT USAGE ON *.* TO `demo`@`%`                 |
| GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON `demo`.* TO `demo`@`%`   |
+--------------------------------------------------+
2 rows in set (0.00 sec)

Right, initially I showed grants of not new user, but note to self, I should checkout the MySQL 8 Improved grants. I wonder how RDS MySQL 8 handles these, and how Aurora MySQL 8 will (when it ever drops, that's another story).

Third try is a charm, so nice to also see queries with 0.0000 execution granularity.

 MySQL  JS > var session=mysqlx.getSession('demo:[email protected]')
 MySQL  JS > var sql='SELECT * FROM demo.sample'
 MySQL  JS > session.sql(sql)
+----+----------+----------+-------------+
| id | name     | location | domain      |
+----+----------+----------+-------------+
|  1 | Demo Row | USA      | NULL        |
|  2 | Row 2    | AUS      | news.com.au |
|  3 | Kiwi     | NZ       | NULL        |
+----+----------+----------+-------------+
3 rows in set (0.0006 sec)

Get that now in JSON output. NOTE: There are 3 different JSON formats, this matched what I needed.

bash-4.2# mysqlsh
MySQL Shell 8.0.22

Copyright (c) 2016, 2020, Oracle and/or its affiliates.
Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates.
Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Type '\help' or '\?' for help; '\quit' to exit.
 MySQL  JS > var session=mysqlx.getSession('demo:[email protected]')
 MySQL  JS > var sql='SELECT * FROM demo.sample'
 MySQL  JS > shell.options.set('resultFormat','json/array')
 MySQL  JS > session.sql(sql)
[
{"id":1,"name":"Demo Row","location":"USA","domain":null},
{"id":2,"name":"Row 2","location":"AUS","domain":"news.com.au"},
{"id":3,"name":"Kiwi","location":"NZ","domain":null}
]
3 rows in set (0.0006 sec)

Ok, that works in interactive interface, I need it scripted.

# vi
bash: vi: command not found
# yum install vi
Loaded plugins: ovl
http://repo.mysql.com/yum/mysql-connectors-community/el/7/x86_64/repodata/repomd.xml: [Errno 14] HTTP Error 403 - Forbidden
Trying other mirror.
...

And another downer of Docker containers, other tools or easy ways to install them, again I want to focus on the actual example, and not all this preamble, so

# echo "var session=mysqlx.getSession('demo:[email protected]')
var sql='SELECT * FROM demo.sample'
shell.options.set('resultFormat','json/array')
session.sql(sql)" > dump.js


# mysqlsh < dump.js

What the? Hurdle 4. Did I typo this as well, I check the file, and cut/paste it and get what I expect.

# cat dump.js
var session=mysqlx.getSession('demo:[email protected]')
var sql='SELECT * FROM demo.sample'
shell.options.set('resultFormat','json/array')
session.sql(sql)
# mysqlsh
MySQL Shell 8.0.22

Copyright (c) 2016, 2020, Oracle and/or its affiliates.
Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates.
Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Type '\help' or '\?' for help; '\quit' to exit.
 MySQL  JS > var session=mysqlx.getSession('demo:[email protected]')
 MySQL  JS > var sql='SELECT * FROM demo.sample'
 MySQL  JS > shell.options.set('resultFormat','json/array')
 MySQL  JS > session.sql(sql)
[
{"id":1,"name":"Demo Row","location":"USA","domain":null},
{"id":2,"name":"Row 2","location":"AUS","domain":"news.com.au"},
{"id":3,"name":"Kiwi","location":"NZ","domain":null}
]
3 rows in set (0.0022 sec)

This is getting crazy.

# echo '[
> {"id":1,"name":"Demo Row","location":"USA","domain":null},
> {"id":2,"name":"Row 2","location":"AUS","domain":"news.com.au"},
> {"id":3,"name":"Kiwi","location":"NZ","domain":null}
> ]' > sample.json
bash-4.2# jq . sample.json
bash: jq: command not found

Oh the docker!!!!. Switching back to my EC2 instance now.

$ echo '[
> {"id":1,"name":"Demo Row","location":"USA","domain":null},
> {"id":2,"name":"Row 2","location":"AUS","domain":"news.com.au"},
> {"id":3,"name":"Kiwi","location":"NZ","domain":null}
> ]' > sample.json
$ jq . sample.json
[
  {
    "id": 1,
    "name": "Demo Row",
    "location": "USA",
    "domain": null
  },
  {
    "id": 2,
    "name": "Row 2",
    "location": "AUS",
    "domain": "news.com.au"
  },
  {
    "id": 3,
    "name": "Kiwi",
    "location": "NZ",
    "domain": null
  }
]

I am now way of the time I would like to spend on this weekly post, and it's getting way to long, and I'm nowhere near showing what I actually want. Still we trek on.

Boy, this stock EC2 image uses version 1, we need I'm sure V2, and well command does not work!!!!

$  aws qldb list-ledgers
ERROR:
$ aws --version

$ curl "https://awscli.amazonaws.com/awscli-exe-linux-x86_64.zip" -o "awscliv2.zip"
$ unzip awscliv2.zip
$ sudo ./aws/install
$ export PATH=/usr/local/bin:$PATH
$ aws --version

Can I finally get a ledger now.

$ aws qldb create-ledger --name demo --tags JIRA=DEMO-5826,Owner=RonaldBradford --permissions-mode ALLOW_ALL --no-deletion-protection
 
{
    "Name": "demo",
    "Arn": "arn:aws:qldb:us-east-1:999:ledger/demo",
    "State": "CREATING",
    "CreationDateTime": "2021-03-06T22:46:41.760000+00:00",
    "DeletionProtection": false
}

$  aws qldb list-ledgers

{
    "Ledgers": [
        {
            "Name": "xx",
            "State": "ACTIVE",
            "CreationDateTime": "2021-03-05T20:12:44.611000+00:00"
        },
        {
            "Name": "demo",
            "State": "ACTIVE",
            "CreationDateTime": "2021-03-06T22:46:41.760000+00:00"
        }
    ]
}

$ aws qldb describe-ledger --name demo
{
    "Name": "demo",
    "Arn": "arn:aws:qldb:us-east-1:999:ledger/demo",
    "State": "ACTIVE",
    "CreationDateTime": "2021-03-06T22:46:41.760000+00:00",
    "DeletionProtection": false
}

Oh the Python 2, and the lack of user packaging, more crud of getting an example.

$ pip install pyqldb==3.1.0
ERROR

$ echo "alias python=python3
alias pip=pip3" >> ~/.bash_profile
source ~/.bash_profile
$ pip --version
pip 9.0.3 from /usr/lib/python3.6/site-packages (python 3.6)

$ python --version
Python 3.6.8

$ pip install pyqldb==3.1.0

ERROR

$ sudo pip install pyqldb==3.1.0

Yeah!, after all that, my example code works and data is inserted.

$ cat demo.py
from pyqldb.config.retry_config import RetryConfig
from pyqldb.driver.qldb_driver import QldbDriver

# Configure retry limit to 3
retry_config = RetryConfig(retry_limit=3)

# Initialize the driver
print("Initializing the driver")
qldb_driver = QldbDriver("demo", retry_config=retry_config)


def create_table(transaction_executor, table):

    print("Creating table {}".format(table))
    transaction_executor.execute_statement("Create TABLE {}".format(table))

def create_index(transaction_executor, table, column):
    print("Creating index {}.{}".format(table, column))
    transaction_executor.execute_statement("CREATE INDEX ON {}({})".format(table,column))


def insert_record(transaction_executor, table, values):
    print("Inserting into {}".format(table))
    transaction_executor.execute_statement("INSERT INTO {} ?".format(table),  values)


table="sample"
column="id"
qldb_driver.execute_lambda(lambda executor: create_table(executor, table))
qldb_driver.execute_lambda(lambda executor: create_index(executor, table, column))


record1 = { 'id': "1",
            'name': "Demo Row",
            'location': "USA",
            'domain':  ""
        }

qldb_driver.execute_lambda(lambda x: insert_record(x, table, record1))
$ python demo.py
Initializing the driver
Creating table sample
Creating index sample.id
Inserting into sample

One vets in the AWS Console, but you cannot show that in text in this blog, so goes to find a simple client and there is qldbshell

What the? I installed it and it complains about pyqldb.driver.pooled_qldb_driver. I literally used that in the last example.

$ pip3 install qldbshell
Collecting qldbshell
  Downloading PermissionError: [Errno 13] Permission denied: '/usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/amazon.ion-0.7.0-py3.6-nspkg.pth' -> '/tmp/pip-p8j4d45d-uninstall/usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/amazon.ion-0.7.0-py3.6-nspkg.pth'

During handling of the above exception, another exception occurred:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/lib/python3.6/site-packages/pip/basecommand.py", line 215, in main
    status = self.run(options, args)
  File "/usr/lib/python3.6/site-packages/pip/commands/install.py", line 365, in run
    strip_file_prefix=options.strip_file_prefix,
  File "/usr/lib/python3.6/site-packages/pip/req/req_set.py", line 783, in install
    requirement.uninstall(auto_confirm=True)
  File "/usr/lib/python3.6/site-packages/pip/req/req_install.py", line 754, in uninstall
    paths_to_remove.remove(auto_confirm)
  File "/usr/lib/python3.6/site-packages/pip/req/req_uninstall.py", line 115, in remove
    renames(path, new_path)
  File "/usr/lib/python3.6/site-packages/pip/utils/__init__.py", line 267, in renames
    shutil.move(old, new)
  File "/usr/lib64/python3.6/shutil.py", line 565, in move
    os.unlink(src)
PermissionError: [Errno 13] Permission denied: '/usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/amazon.ion-0.7.0-py3.6-nspkg.pth'
[[email protected]] ~
$ sudo pip3 install qldbshell
WARNING: Running pip install with root privileges is generally not a good idea. Try `pip3 install --user` instead.
Collecting qldbshell
Requirement already satisfied: urllib3<1.27,>=1.25.4 in /usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from botocore<1.21.0,>=1.20.21->boto3>=1.9.237->qldbshell)
Installing collected packages: amazon.ion, qldbshell
  Found existing installation: amazon.ion 0.7.0
    Uninstalling amazon.ion-0.7.0:
      Successfully uninstalled amazon.ion-0.7.0
  Running setup.py install for amazon.ion ... done
  Running setup.py install for qldbshell ... done
Successfully installed amazon.ion-0.5.0 qldbshell-1.2.0


$ sudo pip3 install qldbshell

$ qldbshell
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/local/bin/qldbshell", line 11, in 
    load_entry_point('qldbshell==1.2.0', 'console_scripts', 'qldbshell')()
  File "/usr/lib/python3.6/site-packages/pkg_resources/__init__.py", line 476, in load_entry_point
    return get_distribution(dist).load_entry_point(group, name)
  File "/usr/lib/python3.6/site-packages/pkg_resources/__init__.py", line 2700, in load_entry_point
    return ep.load()
  File "/usr/lib/python3.6/site-packages/pkg_resources/__init__.py", line 2318, in load
    return self.resolve()
  File "/usr/lib/python3.6/site-packages/pkg_resources/__init__.py", line 2324, in resolve
    module = __import__(self.module_name, fromlist=['__name__'], level=0)
  File "/usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/qldbshell/__main__.py", line 25, in 
    from pyqldb.driver.pooled_qldb_driver import PooledQldbDriver
ModuleNotFoundError: No module named 'pyqldb.driver.pooled_qldb_driver'
$ pip list qldbshell
DEPRECATION: The default format will switch to columns in the future. You can use --format=(legacy|columns) (or define a format=(legacy|columns) in your pip.conf under the [list] section) to disable this warning.
amazon.ion (0.5.0)
boto3 (1.17.21)
botocore (1.20.21)
ionhash (1.1.0)
jmespath (0.10.0)
pip (9.0.3)
prompt-toolkit (3.0.16)
pyqldb (3.1.0)
python-dateutil (2.8.1)
qldbshell (1.2.0)
s3transfer (0.3.4)
setuptools (39.2.0)
six (1.15.0)
urllib3 (1.26.3)

So, uninstalled and re-installed and voila, my data.

$ qldbshell
usage: qldbshell [-h] [-v] [-s QLDB_SESSION_ENDPOINT] [-r REGION] [-p PROFILE]
                 -l LEDGER
qldbshell: error: the following arguments are required: -l/--ledger
$ qldbshell -l demo

Welcome to the Amazon QLDB Shell version 1.2.0
Use 'start' to initiate and interact with a transaction. 'commit' and 'abort' to commit or abort a transaction.
Use 'start; statement 1; statement 2; commit; start; statement 3; commit' to create transactions non-interactively.
Use 'help' for the help section.
All other commands will be interpreted as PartiQL statements until the 'exit' or 'quit' command is issued.

qldbshell >

qldbshell > SELECT * FROM sample;                                                                                                                           
INFO:
{
 id: "1",
 name: "Demo Row",
 location: "USA",
 domain: ""
}
INFO: (0.1718s)

qldbshell > \q                                                                                                                                              
WARNING: Error while executing query: An error occurred (BadRequestException) when calling the SendCommand operation: Lexer Error: at line 1, column 1: invalid character at, '\' [U+5c];
INFO: (0.1134s)
qldbshell > exit                                                                                                                                            
Exiting QLDB Shell

Right \q is a mysqlism of the client, need to rewire myself.

Now, I have a ledger, I created an example table, mocked a row of data and verified. Now I can just load my sample data in JSON I created earlier right? Wrong!!!

$ cat load.py
import json
from pyqldb.config.retry_config import RetryConfig
from pyqldb.driver.qldb_driver import QldbDriver

# Configure retry limit to 3
retry_config = RetryConfig(retry_limit=3)

# Initialize the driver
print("Initializing the driver")
qldb_driver = QldbDriver("demo", retry_config=retry_config)

def insert_record(transaction_executor, table, values):
  print("Inserting into {}".format(table))
  transaction_executor.execute_statement("INSERT INTO {} ?".format(table),  values)


table="sample"

with open('sample.json') as f:
  data=json.load(f)

qldb_driver.execute_lambda(lambda x: insert_record(x, table, data))

$ python load.py
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "load.py", line 2, in 
    from pyqldb.config.retry_config import RetryConfig
ModuleNotFoundError: No module named 'pyqldb'
[[email protected]] ~

Oh sweet, I'd installed that, and used it, and re-installed it.

$ pip list | grep pyqldb
DEPRECATION: The default format will switch to columns in the future. You can use --format=(legacy|columns) (or define a format=(legacy|columns) in your pip.conf under the [list] section) to disable this warning.
[[email protected]] ~
$ sudo pip3 install pyqldb
WARNING: Running pip install with root privileges is generally not a good idea. Try `pip3 install --user` instead.
Collecting pyqldb
Requirement already satisfied: boto3<2,>=1.16.56 in /usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from pyqldb)
Requirement already satisfied: botocore<2,>=1.19.56 in /usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from pyqldb)
Requirement already satisfied: ionhash<2,>=1.1.0 in /usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from pyqldb)
Requirement already satisfied: six in /usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from amazon.ion<1,>=0.7.0->pyqldb)
Requirement already satisfied: s3transfer<0.4.0,>=0.3.0 in /usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from boto3<2,>=1.16.56->pyqldb)
Requirement already satisfied: jmespath<1.0.0,>=0.7.1 in /usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from boto3<2,>=1.16.56->pyqldb)
Requirement already satisfied: python-dateutil<3.0.0,>=2.1 in /usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from botocore<2,>=1.19.56->pyqldb)
Requirement already satisfied: urllib3<1.27,>=1.25.4 in /usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from botocore<2,>=1.19.56->pyqldb)
Installing collected packages: amazon.ion, pyqldb
  Found existing installation: amazon.ion 0.5.0
    Uninstalling amazon.ion-0.5.0:
      Successfully uninstalled amazon.ion-0.5.0
  Running setup.py install for amazon.ion ... done
  Running setup.py install for pyqldb ... done
Successfully installed amazon.ion-0.7.0 pyqldb-3.1.0

Load one more time.

$ cat load.py
import json
from pyqldb.config.retry_config import RetryConfig
from pyqldb.driver.qldb_driver import QldbDriver

# Configure retry limit to 3
retry_config = RetryConfig(retry_limit=3)

# Initialize the driver
print("Initializing the driver")
qldb_driver = QldbDriver("demo", retry_config=retry_config)

def insert_record(transaction_executor, table, values):
  print("Inserting into {}".format(table))
  transaction_executor.execute_statement("INSERT INTO {} ?".format(table),  values)


table="sample"

with open('sample.json') as f:
  data=json.load(f)

qldb_driver.execute_lambda(lambda x: insert_record(x, table, data))

$ python load.py
Initializing the driver
Inserting into sample

And done, I've got my JSON extracted MySQL 8 data in QLDB. I go to vett it in the client, and boy, didn't expect yet another package screw up. Clearly, these 2 AWS python packages are incompatible. That's a venv need, but I'm now at double my desired time to show this.

$ qldbshell -l demo
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/local/bin/qldbshell", line 11, in 
    load_entry_point('qldbshell==1.2.0', 'console_scripts', 'qldbshell')()
  File "/usr/lib/python3.6/site-packages/pkg_resources/__init__.py", line 476, in load_entry_point
    return get_distribution(dist).load_entry_point(group, name)
  File "/usr/lib/python3.6/site-packages/pkg_resources/__init__.py", line 2700, in load_entry_point
    return ep.load()
  File "/usr/lib/python3.6/site-packages/pkg_resources/__init__.py", line 2318, in load
    return self.resolve()
  File "/usr/lib/python3.6/site-packages/pkg_resources/__init__.py", line 2324, in resolve
    module = __import__(self.module_name, fromlist=['__name__'], level=0)
  File "/usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/qldbshell/__main__.py", line 25, in 
    from pyqldb.driver.pooled_qldb_driver import PooledQldbDriver
ModuleNotFoundError: No module named 'pyqldb.driver.pooled_qldb_driver'
[[email protected]] ~
$ pip list | grep qldbshell
DEPRECATION: The default format will switch to columns in the future. You can use --format=(legacy|columns) (or define a format=(legacy|columns) in your pip.conf under the [list] section) to disable this warning.
qldbshell (1.2.0)


$ sudo pip uninstall qldbshell pyqldb

$ sudo pip install qldbshell
WARNING: Running pip install with root privileges is generally not a good idea. Try `pip3 install --user` instead.
Collecting qldbshell
  Downloading Requirement already satisfied: boto3>=1.9.237 in /usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from qldbshell)
Requirement already satisfied: amazon.ion<0.6.0,>=0.5.0 in /usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from qldbshell)
Requirement already satisfied: prompt_toolkit<3.1.0,>=3.0.5 in /usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from qldbshell)
Requirement already satisfied: ionhash~=1.1.0 in /usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from qldbshell)
Requirement already satisfied: s3transfer<0.4.0,>=0.3.0 in /usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from boto3>=1.9.237->qldbshell)
Requirement already satisfied: botocore<1.21.0,>=1.20.21 in /usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from boto3>=1.9.237->qldbshell)
Requirement already satisfied: jmespath<1.0.0,>=0.7.1 in /usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from boto3>=1.9.237->qldbshell)
Requirement already satisfied: six in /usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from amazon.ion<0.6.0,>=0.5.0->qldbshell)
Requirement already satisfied: wcwidth in /usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from prompt_toolkit<3.1.0,>=3.0.5->qldbshell)
Requirement already satisfied: python-dateutil<3.0.0,>=2.1 in /usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from botocore<1.21.0,>=1.20.21->boto3>=1.9.237->qldbshell)
Requirement already satisfied: urllib3<1.27,>=1.25.4 in /usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from botocore<1.21.0,>=1.20.21->boto3>=1.9.237->qldbshell)
Installing collected packages: qldbshell
  Running setup.py install for qldbshell ... done
Successfully installed qldbshell-1.2.0

Can I see my data now

$ qldbshell -l demo

Welcome to the Amazon QLDB Shell version 1.2.0
Use 'start' to initiate and interact with a transaction. 'commit' and 'abort' to commit or abort a transaction.
Use 'start; statement 1; statement 2; commit; start; statement 3; commit' to create transactions non-interactively.
Use 'help' for the help section.
All other commands will be interpreted as PartiQL statements until the 'exit' or 'quit' command is issued.

qldbshell > select * from sample;                                                                                                                           
INFO:
{
 id: 1,
 name: "Demo Row",
 location: "USA",
 domain: null
},
{
 id: 1,
 name: "Demo Row",
 location: "USA",
 domain: null
},
{
 id: "1",
 name: "Demo Row",
 location: "USA",
 domain: ""
},
{
 id: 3,
 name: "Kiwi",
 location: "NZ",
 domain: null
},
{
 id: 2,
 name: "Row 2",
 location: "AUS",
 domain: "news.com.au"
},
{
 id: 3,
 name: "Kiwi",
 location: "NZ",
 domain: null
},
{
 id: 2,
 name: "Row 2",
 location: "AUS",
 domain: "news.com.au"
}
INFO: (0.0815s)

And yes, data, I see it's duplicated, so I must have in between the 10 steps run twice. This does highlight a known limitation of QLDB, no unique constraints.

But wait, that data is not really correct, I don't want null. Goes back to the JSON to see the MySQL shell gives that.

$ jq . sample.json
[
  {
    "id": 1,
    "name": "Demo Row",
    "location": "USA",
    "domain": null
  },
...

At some point I also got this load error, but by now I've given up documenting how to do something, in order to demonstrate something.

NameError: name 'null' is not defined

One has to wrap the only nullable column with IFNULL(subdomain,'') as subdomain and redo all those steps again. This is not going to be practical having to wrap all columns in a wider table with IFNULL.

However, having exhausted all this time for what was supposed to be a quiet weekend few hours, my post is way to long, and I've learned "Creating examples can be hard".

#WDILTW – What can I run from my AWS Aurora database

When you work with AWS Aurora you have limited admin privileges. There are some different grants for MySQL including SELECT INTO S3 and LOAD FROM S3 that replace the loss of functionality to SELECT INTO OUTFILE and mysqldump/mysqlimport using a delimited format. While I know and use lambda capabilities, I have never executed anything with INVOKE LAMDBA directly from the database.

This week I found out about INVOKE COMPREHEND (had to look that product up), and INVOKE SAGEMAKER (which I used independently). These are machine learning capabilities that enable you to build custom integrations using Comprehend and SageMaker. I did not have any chance to evaluate these capabilities so I am unable to share any use cases or experiences. There are two built-in comprehend functions aws_comprehend_detect_sentiment() and aws_comprehend_detect_sentiment_confidence(), a likely future starting place. Sagemaker is invoked as an extension of a CREATE FUNCTION that provides the ALIAS AWS_SAGEMAKER_INVOKE_ENDPOINT syntax.

Also available are some MySQL status variables including Aurora_ml_logical_response_cnt, Aurora_ml_actual_request_cnt, Aurora_ml_actual_response_cnt, Aurora_ml_cache_hit_cnt, Aurora_ml_single_request_cnt.

Some googling found an interesting simple example, calculating the positive/negative sentiment and confidence of sentences of text. I could see this as useful for analyzing comments. I’ve included the example from this site here to encourage my readers to take a look as I plan to do. Post IAM configuration I will be really curious to evaluate the responsiveness of this example. Is this truly a batch only operation or could you return some meaningful response timely?

This also lead to bookmarking for reading https://awsauroralabsmy.com/, https://github.com/aws-samples/amazon-aurora-labs-for-mysql/ and https://squidfunk.github.io/mkdocs-material/ all from this one page.

#WDILTW – To use a RDBMS is to use a transaction

I learned this week that 30+ years of Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) experience still does not prepare yourself for the disappointment of working with organizations that use a RDBMS; MySQL specifically; have a released production product, have dozens to hundreds of developers, team leaders and architects, but do not know the importance of, nor use transactions. If I was to ask this when interviewing somebody that would work with a database and the response was it is not important, or not used these days it would be a hard fail.

To use a RDBMS is to understand a very simple principle, a foundation of a transactional system. It is called ACID. Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability.

In a simplistic description of this 50 year principle.

  • A – It’s all or nothing
  • C – Your work meets all existing constraints
  • I – Your work is independent and not affected by other concurrent work
  • D – Your work is reproducible in the event of a hard failure

A – Atomicity means a transaction. It’s not rocket science, it’s actually in the description of a RDBMS. What is a transaction? It is a means in Structure Query Language (SQL) notation that can ensure your unit of work is all or nothing.

The most basic of examples is very simple. You want to deposit a check that was given to you. For the bank to accept this deposit, it needs to ensure that the account holder that issued the check has sufficient funds, that is Step 1: subtract amount X from account A, and Step 2: deposit in account B. You cannot do Step 1 or Step 2 independently, you must do 1 and 2 together, otherwise real money could be lost or created from thin air. The lack of transactions also can be affected by not handling I – Isolation.

We have to ask our educators and responsible professionals why? Why can such a bedrock principle not be used? Why in a team of individuals in a company, one single individual from the years of development and support not say, well you have to use a transaction to ensure the integrity of the data you are working with? It’s called a database for a reason.

The unfortunately reality is there are several reasons for this utter failure, and the frustration of professionals like myself.

  1. RDBMS is not the bedrock of data management it was 20,30 even 50 years ago. Today with a proliferation of different products, transactions are simply not taught. Even SQL is not taught, yet most products that want to enable users to query data ultimately provide a SQL-like interface. Many users today want a drag & drop GUI interface but not realize that is not how you manipulate data. Hadoop was a life change with map-reduce approach to large datasets. iIt did not start with SQL, but it has a widely used SQL interface now. You look at the newest hot products like snowflake. What is it’s method of data access, SQL.
  2. MySQL, the most popular open source database does not enforce transactions, it’s optional. What you say? MySQL has some unique features including the capability for multiple storage engines, that provide different features and capabilities, such as index approaches, consistency and support for transactions. An entire generation of open source products were released and do not use transactions, but use a transactional storage engine within a transactional product.
  3. Still on the topic of MySQL, it also does not enforce strict handling like other RDBMS products. The default for decades was to enable an SQL statement to corrupt the data integrity, i.e. C – Consistency. Because MySQL supported warnings and they were always not checked for by developers, data in did not guarantee data out.
  4. Every mini-generation (e.g. 5 years) of new developers think they know more, than seasoned professionals.

As it was for me in the 80s, it should be for use of a relational database; and even a non-relational database; to read and understand the seminal works of An introduction to Database Systems by C.J. Date. It has been required learning at universities for decades, but it seems to have lost is favor with multiple iterations of new software developers.

#3 – What Did I learn this week. WDILTW.

#WDILTW – Debugging failed http requests thru the web of redirects

There are reports that your website is down. You pull up the login page without incident. What’s next?

Monitoring is critical. How detailed is this? How frequently are you sampling? The resolution to any issue is only as good as the response to a paged alert. Who is looking into the issue? What escalation exists?

In today’s complex interconnected infrastructure is it ever that simple? When speaking about an AWS hosted solution, is it an AWS Issue? Does status.aws.amazon.com give you a clue? Does the inability to access other services/sites you may be using at this moment give an indicator of a larger problem? Is it AWS related for a service, an availability zone, or even an entire region? Having experienced all of those before sometimes its obvious, sometimes it is not. Or does a Twitter Search report other shared experiences of regional outages, was it that severed Verizon underwater cable?

I learned two things this week in triage of this situation. The first is that the old CLI tools you have been using for 20+ years still help in triage quickly. D not discount them or the detail they provide. I was able to identify and reproduce an underlying cause with just nslookup and curl. For many reviewing the outage the problem did not manifest as an error. It turned out there were two distinct paths from two separate domains to the ultimate target page. This was not immediately obvious and known, and there was no definitive network diagram to describe this.

When this was determined nslookup provided that there were two different resolved AWS ELBs. dig is also a useful command to master, for example to determine if an A record or CNAME for example.

$ nslookup demo.internal-example.com

demo.internal-example.com	canonical name = internal.us-east-1.elb.amazonaws.com.
Name:	 internal.us-east-1.elb.amazonaws.com
Address: 10.10.1.2
Name:	 internal.us-east-1.elb.amazonaws.com
Address: 10.10.0.3
Name:	 internal.us-east-1.elb.amazonaws.com
Address: 10.10.2.4
$ ▶ nslookup demo.public-example.com

Non-authoritative answer:
demo.public-example.com	         canonical name = external.us-east-1.elb.amazonaws.com.
Name:	 external.us-east-1.elb.amazonaws.com
Address: 23.123.111.222
Name:	 external.us-east-1.elb.amazonaws.com
Address: 50.200.211.222

The first indication was actually to find that one of the ELBs was not in the AWS account with all other resources, and this AWS account was not viewable. That is a separate discussion for why? curl then helped to traverse the various redirects of each ELB using these options

  • -i/–include – Include the headers
  • -k/–insecure – Allow insecure SSL connections
  • -L/–location – Follow redirects
$ curl -ikL external.us-east-1.elb.amazonaws.com
HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
Server: awselb/2.0
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 2021 20:34:47 GMT
Content-Type: text/html
Content-Length: 134
Location: https://external.us-east-1.elb.amazonaws.com:443/
Proxy-Connection: Keep-Alive
Connection: Keep-Alive
Age: 0

HTTP/1.1 200 Connection established

HTTP/2 302
date: Thu, 11 Feb 2021 20:34:48 GMT
content-length: 0
location: http://demo.unavailable.com
cache-control: no-cache

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Type: text/html
Content-Length: 2071
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 2021 19:09:29 GMT
Last-Modified: Tue, 18 Dec 2018 05:32:31 GMT
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Server: AmazonS3
X-Cache: Hit from cloudfront
Via: 1.1 44914fa6421b789193cec8998428f8bd.cloudfront.net (CloudFront)
Proxy-Connection: Keep-Alive
Connection: Keep-Alive
Age: 1071

<html

Using these commands was nothing new, however identifying this single line provided a way to isolate within the chain of redirects where to focus.

content-length: 0

Ultimately the issue was not ELB related, but internal infrastructure behind this one ELB. When corrected the result was (trimmed for readability)

$ curl -ikL external.us-east-1.elb.amazonaws.com
HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
Server: awselb/2.0
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 2021 20:37:18 GMT
Content-Type: text/html
Content-Length: 134
Location: https://external.us-east-1.elb.amazonaws.com:443/
Proxy-Connection: Keep-Alive
Connection: Keep-Alive
Age: 0

HTTP/1.1 200 Connection established

HTTP/2 302
date: Thu, 11 Feb 2021 20:37:18 GMT
content-type: text/plain; charset=utf-8
content-length: 27
x-powered-by: 
location: /redirect
vary: Accept

HTTP/2 301
date: Thu, 11 Feb 2021 20:37:18 GMT
content-type: text/html
content-length: 162
location: /redirect/

HTTP/2 200
date: Thu, 11 Feb 2021 20:37:18 GMT
content-type: text/html
content-length: 2007
last-modified: Tue, 02 Feb 2021 03:27:13 GMT
vary: Accept-Encoding

<html>
  <head>

In summary, and a means to triage a future problem, or to monitor:

Failure success
$ egrep -i "^HTTP|^Content-Length" 

HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
Content-Length: 134
HTTP/1.1 200 Connection established
HTTP/2 302
content-length: 0
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Length: 2071


$ egrep -i "^HTTP|^Content-Length"

HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
Content-Length: 134
HTTP/1.1 200 Connection established
HTTP/2 302
content-length: 27
HTTP/2 301
content-length: 162
HTTP/2 200
content-length: 2007

With the proliferation of GUI based monitoring products it is likely for many organizations that multiple different monitors are available, but are they triggered, and do they enable you to pinpoint the underlying issue? Long gone are the days of a Pingdom type ping of a URL from multiple locations every minute and a report of latency or errors then you start digging. This week I learned about DataDog Synthetic Monitoring. DataDog is a well established monitoring solution that I have only just started to understand, I wish I had a year to master to delving into.

In later review this monitoring showed an already configured browser test for this top level URL that was failing, it was simply not alerting correctly. The Synthetic monitoring is far more advanced, providing an ITTT workflow, and even provides physical images of the rendered pages.

This experience highlighted the need to have detailed and redundant monitoring but also the right process to triage and drill down.

I looked into trying to provide an example of this DataDog feature, however the free tier monitoring solution does not provide all the advanced features for the evaluation I’d like. You can look at some product examples.

Observability is a key tool in any operations management. It should be one of the pillars where a continued investment of time, resources and skills development can add significant value for business continuity.

#WDILTW – AWS RDS Proxy

This week I was evaluating AWS RDS Proxy. If you are familiar with the Relational Database Service (RDS) and use MySQL or Postgres, this is an additional option to consider.

Proxies in general by the name accept incoming requests and perform some management before those requests are forwarded to the ultimate target.

RDS proxy takes incoming database connections and can perform several capabilities including collection pooling and capping the total database connections with each configured proxy holding a percentage of the total connections for the target cluster. The proxy can handle routing only for writer instances (at this time) to minimize a planned or unplanned failover. The RDS proxy however does not address the underlying problem of too many connections to the database, it just adds another layer, that is or may be more configurable or tunable than an application requesting connections.

The RDS Proxy is automatically Highly Available (HA). You can determine this by looking at the host IPs of the MySQL processlist. I have yet to identify any other means of seeing if a connection is a proxy connection at the database level if you are using the same credentials. RDS Proxy does give you the ability via Secrets Manager to connect as a different user. You can specify a connection initialization query. I used a SET variable so that application could determine if it was using a Proxy however that is of little benefit in server connection management.

The RDS proxy can enforce TLS, something which in my opinion should always be used for application to data store communications, but historically has been overlooked at practically every company I have worked for or consulted to. Just because you are communicating within a VPC does not protect your communications from actors within your VPC. I can remember at a prior employment the disappointment of cross-region replication that was encrypted being dropped because it was too hard to migrate or manage. That shows an all too common problem of laziness over security.

If you are new to a particular technology the age of the Internet gives you search capabilities to find numerous articles. If you search for anything AWS you will generally always get as the top results the official pages, it takes some digging to find other articles. Prior to this lesson I had only read about RDS Proxy, I had never actually setup one.

When anybody is learning something new, I like to say your value add is not to just read an article, but reproduce and then adapt or enhance. This Amazon example is no different. Repeating each step showed multiple errors in syntax which I can contribute back as comments. If this was open source code, you could contribute a pull request (PR). The good news is the first example of configuring a proxy includes by GUI and CLI commands. I always like to do my work on the command line, even the first iteration. You cannot scale a human moving a mouse around and clicking. What I found however was that the official AWS CLI lacked a key component of the proxy setup around group targets. The UI provides a capability that the CLI did not. Another discrepancy was when I was making modifications to the proxy in the GUI I would get an error, but I could make that change via the CLI. These discrepancies are an annoyance for consistency and first evaluation.

So what was the outcome of my evaluation? First I was able to demonstrate I could add a proxy to an existing cluster in one of our test environments and direct traffic from a mysql client thru the proxy to the target database. I was able to use Secrets Manager (SSM) to enforce credentials for authorization. I did not look into Identity Access Management (IAM) roles support. I was able to benchmark with sysbench simulated load to compare latency of the proxy traffic versus direct traffic. I have simplified my examples so that anybody can run these tests themselves for simple validation.

I could enforce TLS communications for the mysql client testing, however our company internal http proxy caused the usual self signed certificate issues with sysbench, something I really need to master. Surprisingly I looked at what options sysbench gave me for SSL options (side bar we should always refer to this as TLS instead of SSL), but the defined options for the installed recent version are still using the ssl name. The scope of options differed from the source code online so a question as to why? That’s the great thing about open source, you can read the code. You may have even met the author at a conference presentation.

Where the evaluation hit a business impact was in comparative performance. I am still awaiting an AWS support response to my evaluation.

What’s next is to get an application team to evaluate end to end database operations, easily done as Route 53 DNS is used for endpoint communications.
Where I got stuck was incorporating the setup of RDS proxy within Terraform We currently use version 12. While there was the aws_db_proxy module, I needed an updated version of the aws provider to our environment. The official Hashicorp documentation of the resource really does not highlight the complexity necessary to create a proxy. While you will have already configured a VPC, and subnets, even Ingres security groups and secrets which all parts necessary for RDS cluster, you need a number of integrated pieces.

You will need an IAM role for your proxy, but that role requires a policy to use KMS to get the secrets you wish to use for authorization. This interdependency of KMS and secret ARNs make is difficult to easily launch a RDS proxy as you would an RDS aurora cluster. Still it’s a challenge for something else to do. The added complexity is the RDS proxy also needs an authorization argument, for example the –auth argument in the AWS CLI. I see this as a complexity for management of RDS users that you wish to also be configured for use in the proxy.

As with any evaluation or proof of concept (POC) the devil is in the details. How do you monitor your new resources, what logging is important to know, what types of errors can happen, and how do you address these.

Another issue I had was the RDS proxy required a new version of the AWS client in order to run RDS commands such as describe-db-proxies. That adds an additional administrative dependency to be rolled out.

Proxies for MySQL have been around for decades, I can remember personally working on the earliest version of MySQL Proxy at MySQL Inc back in 2007. The gold standard if you use MySQL, is ProxySQL by Sysown’s René Cannaò. This is a topic for a different discussion.

Checkout my code for this work.

Reading

TDD for Infrastructure

Test Driven Development (TDD) is an important principle for producing quality software. This is not a new concept. The Extreme Programming (XP) agile methodology (1999) outlined the concept before the acronym became more widely accepted as “Another requirement is testability. You must be able to create automated unit and functional tests… You may need to change your system design to be easier to test. Just remember, where there is a will there is a way to test.” Another clear way to describe the hurdles TDD has encountered as a common sense approach is “This is opposed to software development that allows code to be added that is not proven to meet requirements.”

Infrastructure setup is still software. All setup should have adequate testing to ensure at anytime (not just during installation or configuration) any system is in a known state. While Configuration Management (CM) works with the goal of convergence, i.e. ensuring a system is in a known state, testing should be able to validate and identify any non-conformance and not to attempt to correct.

The Bash Automated Test System (BATS) is a known framework for shell scripting. It is very easy to use.

Good habits come from always doing them. Even for a quick test of a running MySQL server via vagrant for a blog post, the automated installation during setup includes validating a simple infrastructure setup via a bats test.

$ tail install.sh

...
sudo mysql -NBe "SHOW GRANTS"
systemctl status mysqld.service
ps -ef | grep mysqld
pidof mysqld
bats /vagrant/mysql8.bats

Rather than having some output that requires a human to read and interpret each line and make a determination, automated it. A good result is:

$ vagrant up
...
    mysql8: ok 1 bats present
    mysql8: ok 2 rpm present
    mysql8: ok 3 openssl present
    mysql8: ok 4 mysql rpm install
    mysql8: ok 5 mysql server command present
    mysql8: ok 6 mysql client command present
    mysql8: ok 7 mysqld running
    mysql8: ok 8 automated mysql access 

A unsuccessful installation is:

$ vagrant provision
...
    mysql8: not ok 8 automated mysql access
    mysql8: # (in test file /vagrant/mysql8.bats, line 60)
    mysql8: #   `[ "${status}" -eq 0 ]' failed
The SSH command responded with a non-zero exit status. Vagrant
assumes that this means the command failed. The output for this command
should be in the log above. Please read the output to determine what
went wrong.

$ echo $?
1

This amount of very simple testing and re-execution of testing either via ssh or a re-provision highlighted a bug in the installation script. Anybody that wishes to identify please reach out directly!

...
# Because openssl does not always give you a special character
NEWPASSWD="$(openssl rand -base64 24)+"
mysql -uroot -p${PASSWD} -e "ALTER USER USER() IDENTIFIED BY '${NEWPASSWD}'" --connect-expired-password
# TODO: create mylogin.cnf which is more obfuscated
echo "[mysql]
user=root
password='$NEWPASSWD'" | sudo tee -a /root/.my.cnf
sudo mysql -NBe "SHOW GRANTS"
systemctl status mysqld.service
ps -ef | grep mysqld
pidof mysqld
bats /vagrant/mysql8.bats

A simple trick with a BATS test is to echo any output that will help debug a failing test. If the test succeeds no output is given, if it fails you get the information for free. For example, lets say your test is:

# Note: additional security to both access the server via ssh
#       and accessing sudo should be in place for production systems
@test "automated mysql access" {
  local EXPECTED="${USER}@localhost"
  run sudo mysql -NBe "SELECT USER()"
  [ "${status}" -eq 0 ]
  [ "${output}" = "${EXPECTED}" ]
}

Execution will only provide:

 ✗ automated mysql access
   (in test file /vagrant/mysql8.bats, line 62)
     `[ "${output}" = "${EXPECTED}" ]' failed

What you want to see to more easily identify the problem is:

 ✗ automated mysql access
   (in test file /vagrant/mysql8.bats, line 62)
     `[ "${output}" = "${EXPECTED}" ]' failed
   [email protected] != [email protected]

This echo enables a better and quicker ability to correct the failing test.

...
  [ "${status}" -eq 0 ]
  echo "${output} != ${EXPECTED}"
  [ "${output}" = "${EXPECTED}" ]
...

Testing is only as good as the boundary conditions put in place. Here is an example where your code used a number of environment variables and your testing process performed checks that these variables existed.

@test "EXAMPLE_VAR is defined ${EXAMPLE_VAR}" {
  [ -n "${EXAMPLE_VAR}" ]
}

The code was subsequently refactored and the environment variable was removed. Do you remove the test that checks for its existence? No. You should not ensure the variable is not set, so that any code now or in the future acts as desired.

@test "EXAMPLE_VAR is NOT defined" {
  [ -z "${EXAMPLE_VAR}" ]
}

References:
[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Test-driven_development
[2] http://www.extremeprogramming.org/when.html
[3] https://github.com/sstephenson/bats
[4] https://github.com/bats-core/bats-core

Enforcing a least privileged security model can be hard

In a greenfield environment you generally have the luxury to right any wrongs of any past tech debt. It can be more difficult to apply this to an existing environment? For example, my setup is configured to just work with the AWS CLI and various litmus tests to validate that. Generally instructions would include, valid your AWS access.  This can be as simple as: 

$ aws ec2 describe-regions
$ aws ec2 describe-availability-zones --profile oh

As part of documenting some upcoming Athena/Hadoop/Pig/RDBMS posts I decided it was important to separate out the AWS IAM privileges with a new user and permission policies.This introduced a number of steps that simply do not work.  Creating a new AWS IAM user is not complex. Validating console and API access of that user required some revised setup.

$ aws ec2 describe-regions

An error occurred (AuthFailure) when calling the DescribeRegions operation: AWS was not able to validate the provided access credentials

In order to be able to use the CLI you require your aws_access_key_id and aws_secret_access_key information as well as aws_session_token if used. In order for a new individual user to gain this information, you also need a number of policy rules including the ability to ListAccessKeys, CreateAccessKey and potentially DeleteAccessKey.

 
{
    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
        {
            "Sid": "VisualEditor0",
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
                "iam:DeleteAccessKey",
                "iam:CreateAccessKey",
                "iam:ListAccessKeys"
            ],
            "Resource": "arn:aws:iam::[account]:user/[username]"
        }
    ]
}

In this example, we also restrict the least privileged model with a specific user resource ARN. For a single user account that is workable, for a large organization it would not.
This gives the ability to configure your AWS CLI via typical ~/.aws/credentials and/or ~/aws/config settings. Performing  the litmus test now gives:

$ aws ec2 describe-regions

An error occurred (UnauthorizedOperation) when calling the DescribeRegions operation: You are not authorized to perform this operation.

This requires a policy of:

{
    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
        {
            "Sid": "VisualEditor0",
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
                "ec2:DescribeAvailabilityZones",
                "ec2:DescribeRegions"
            ],
            "Resource": "*"
        }
    ]
}
$ aws ec2 describe-regions | jq '.Regions[0]'
{
  "Endpoint": "ec2.eu-north-1.amazonaws.com",
  "RegionName": "eu-north-1",
  "OptInStatus": "opt-in-not-required"
}


$ aws ec2 describe-availability-zones --filter "Name=region-name,Values=us-east-1" | jq -r '.AvailabilityZones[].ZoneName'

us-east-1a
us-east-1b
us-east-1c
us-east-1d
us-east-1e
us-east-1f

However, this may be too restrictive for a larger organization.  The EC2 Access level for ‘list’ includes currently over 120 individual permissions. A more open policy could be:

{
    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
        {
            "Sid": "VisualEditor0",
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
                "ec2:Describe*"
            ],
            "Resource": "*"
        }
    ]
}

However this does not provide all of the EC2 ‘list’ actions, e.g. ExportClientVpnClientConfiguration, and it includes several ‘read’ actions, e.g. DescribeVolumesModifications.
Selecting the ‘list’ tickbox via the GUI will provide all actions by name individually in the policy action list, currently 117, however this is not forward compatible for any future list defined access level actions.

This is before the exercise to starting granting access to a new AWS service – Athena, and its data source S3.

Defensive Data Techniques

As a data architect I always ensure that for any database schema change there a fully recoverable execution path.
I have generally advised to create a patch/revert process for every change.  For example, if a change adds a new column or index to a table, a revert script would remove the respective column or index.
The goal is to always have a defensive position for any changes. The concept is that simple, it is not complex.

In its simplest form I use the following directory and file structure.

/schema
    schema.sql
    /patch
        YYYYMMDDXX.sql     where XX,ZZ are sequential 2 digit numbers, e.g. 01,02
        YYYYMMDDZZ.sql
   /revert
       YYYYMMDDXX.sql   This is the same file name in the revert sub-directory.
       YYYYMMDDZZ.sql

At any commit or tag in configuration management it is possible to create a current copy of the schema, i.e. use schema.sql.
It is also possible to take the first version of schema.sql and apply chronologically all the patch scripts to arrive at the same consistent structure of the schema that is in schema.sql. You can also run a validation process to confirm these are equivalent.
For each tagged version or commit of this directory structure and files in version control, this should always hold true.
While not the desired execution path, every revert script can be applied in a reverse chronological order and return to the first version of the schema.
If you want to maintain a first_schema.sql file within the directory structure, you can always create any version of the schema from a given commit in a roll-forward or roll-back scenario.

In reality however this is rarely implemented. There is always divergence or drift. Drift occurs for several primary reasons. The first is non-adherence to the defined process. The second and more critical is the lack of adequate testing and verification at each and every step.  A Test Driven Design (TDD) that validates the given approach would enable a verification of end state of the schema and enable the verification at each accumulated

In addition to each patch/revert there needs to be a state that is maintained of what has been applied.  Generally for RDBMS storing this metadata within a table is recommended.

The above example shows files of .sql extension. Any schema management process needs to cater for .sh, .py or other extensions to cater for more complex operations.
 
What about data changes?  I would recommend that for all configuration information you follow the same management principles as for schema objects, that is you have a patch to insert/update/delete data, and you have a revert script that can restore that data.  Generally the complexity of the rollback process is a hurdle for developers/engineers. Having a framework is important to manage how data consistency is maintained. This framework could generate a statement to restore the data (e.g. a selective mysqldump), require a hand-crafted statement, or leverage the benefit of the RDBMS by storing the data into intermediate shallow tables.

Using a least privileged model complicates an applicable framework approach. Does the user applying the change now require the FILE privilege, or CREATE/DROP privilege to create tables for the ability to restore data.

If there is strict referential integrity at the database level, those protections will defend against unintended consequences. For example, deleting a row that is dependent on a foreign key relationship.  In a normal operating system accommodations are made generally for the sake of performance, but also for supporting poor data cleansing requirements. If the application maintains a level of referential integrity, the schema management process also needs to support this, adding a further complexity.  Ensuring data integrity is an important separate topic. If there is a dangling row, what is the impact? The data still exists, it is just not presented in a user interface or included in calculations. This generally leads to greater unintended consequences that are generally never obvious at the time of execution, but rather days, weeks or months later.

When it comes to objects within the structure of an RDBMS the situation is more complex.  A classic example in MySQL is a user.  A user in MySQL is actually the user definition which is just the username, password and host.  A user contains one or more grants. The user may be the owner of additional objects. Using default and legacy MySQL, it is simply not possible to determine if a user is actually being used. Percona and other variances support INFORMATION_SCHEMA.USER_STATISTICS which is a better method of evaluating the use of a user.  This does however require the intervention of time-based data collection, as this table is the accumulative statistics since an instance restart or flush.

With this type of object, or meta object several defensive techniques exist.  

If you had the user `blargie` and that user had grants to read data from several schemas, is the user used?  I don’t think so, let’s just delete it is not a fact-based approach to avoiding a subsequent problem.
Is the user used? Let’s revoke the users privileges and monitor for errors or user feedback? Or let’s change the user’s password?  With each of these strategies it is important to always have a defensive process to rollback.
A different approach is to use a common data technique of marking information as deleted before it’s physically deleted (think trash can before you empty the trash).  For MySQL users there is no default functionality (in the most recent versions of MySQL you can DISABLE a user).  One implementation to apply this pattern is to rename the user, which has the benefit of keeping the user’s password and privileges intack, therefore reducing the amount of complexity in restoring.

Regardless of the technique, it is important there is always a recovery path.  In a subsequent post I will discuss this approach towards cloud metadata, for example an AWS KMS policy, IAM Rule or ASG setting and the impact of  Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) such as Terraform.

More reading https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Test-driven_development, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defensive_programming

MySQL Data Security Risk Assessment presentation

Securing your data is only as good as your weakest link. A clear-text password in a file or history file, shared privileges between test and production or open sudo access when you can connect as an unprivileged user all are security flaws. This talk discusses how to navigate the poor defaults MySQL has in place, how to strengthen processes and how to audit your environment. It also covers the complexity of deploying changes in an always available production environment.

Presented at the Data.Ops Conference in Barcelona, Spain.
Download slides

Identifying MySQL SSL communication using ngrep

Prior to MySQL 5.7 client communications with a MySQL instance were unencrypted by default. This plaintext capability allowed for various tools including pt-query-digest to analyze TCP/IP traffic. Starting with MySQL 5.7 SSL is enabled by default and will be used in client communications if SSL is detected on the server.

We can detect and confirm this easily with the ngrep command.

Default client connection traffic (5.6)

On a MySQL 5.6 server we monitor the default MySQL port traffic.

mysql56$ sudo ngrep -d eth1 -wi -P ' ' -W single -l port 3306
interface: eth1 (192.168.42.0/255.255.255.0)
filter: ( port 3306 ) and ((ip || ip6) || (vlan && (ip || ip6)))
...

We connect to this server using TCP/IP.

host$ mysql -uexternal -p -h192.168.42.16
mysql56> select 'unencrypted';

We can observe the communication to and from the server (in this example 192.168.42.16) is plaintext.

...
#
T 192.168.42.1:47634 -> 192.168.42.16:3306 [AP]      select 'unencrypted'
#
T 192.168.42.16:3306 -> 192.168.42.1:47634 [AP]      !    def    unencrypted  ! !                       unencrypted
#

SSL System Variables (5.6 default)

A default 5.6 installation does not have SSL enabled as verified by system variables.

mysql56 >SHOW  VARIABLES  LIKE '%ssl%';
+---------------+----------+
| Variable_name | Value    |
+---------------+----------+
| have_openssl  | DISABLED |
| have_ssl      | DISABLED |
| ssl_ca        |          |
| ssl_capath    |          |
| ssl_cert      |          |
| ssl_cipher    |          |
| ssl_crl       |          |
| ssl_crlpath   |          |
| ssl_key       |          |
+---------------+----------+
9 rows in set (0.02 sec)

Default client connection traffic (5.7)

Running the same example client connection with MySQL 5.7 you will observe that communications to and from the server (in this example 192.168.42.17) are not in plaintext.

mysql57$ sudo ngrep -d eth1 -wi -P ' ' -W single -l port 3306
interface: eth1 (192.168.42.0/255.255.255.0)
filter: ( port 3306 ) and ((ip || ip6) || (vlan && (ip || ip6)))

host$ mysql -uexternal -p -h192.168.42.17
mysql57> select 'encrypted';


T 192.168.42.1:36781 -> 192.168.42.17:3306 [AP]     @    F   l   d iVr  H   b ^    s t Z      ( 2d   " ?  |   )
#
T 192.168.42.17:3306 -> 192.168.42.1:36781 [AP]     p%  s`   3u5!%P]   v=  r # x   E   a y  '!    )Z    8   Js  z.  \t   (r [email protected]     0 2 5k\    <   M  @)E& b q|[email protected]    h

SSL System Variables (5.7 default)

A new MySQL 5.7 installation will have SSL enabled by default as seen in the MySQL variables.

mysql57 > SHOW GLOBAL VARIABLES LIKE '%ssl%';
+---------------+-----------------+
| Variable_name | Value           |
+---------------+-----------------+
| have_openssl  | YES             |
| have_ssl      | YES             |
| ssl_ca        | ca.pem          |
| ssl_capath    |                 |
| ssl_cert      | server-cert.pem |
| ssl_cipher    |                 |
| ssl_crl       |                 |
| ssl_crlpath   |                 |
| ssl_key       | server-key.pem  |
+---------------+-----------------+
9 rows in set (0.00 sec)

-no-ssl Client connection traffic (5.7)

If you want to emulate the unencrypted nature of MySQL 5.6 within any SSL enabled MySQL version (e.g. MySQL 5.7) you specify the --ssl option for mysql client connections. In MySQL 5.7 this option is also deprecated and --ssl-mode=disabled should be used>.

host$ > mysql -uexternal -p -h192.168.42.17 --ssl=0

host >select '-ssl=0 unencrypted';

T 192.168.42.1:36785 -> 192.168.42.17:3306 [AP]      select '-ssl=0 unencrypted'
#
T 192.168.42.17:3306 -> 192.168.42.1:36785 [AP]      '    def    -ssl=0 unencrypted  ! 3              -ssl=0 unencrypted

References

https://wiki.christophchamp.com/index.php?title=Ngrep
http://infoheap.com/ngrep-quick-start-guide/
Encrypted Connections - MySQL 5.7 Reference Manual
Implementing MySQL Security Features - Tutorial at Percona Live Europe 2017.

Testing MySQL/MariaDB/Percona versions with Docker

Giuseppe Maxia has provided some great MySQL docker images. Percona and MariaDB also provide version via Docker Hub. In an attempt to have a consistent means of launching these different images I created the following convenience functions.

  1. Install docker for your OS. See Official Docker installation instructions.
  2. Get dockerhelper.sh
  3. Run your desired variant and version.
$ wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ronaldbradford/mysql-docker-minimal/master/dockerhelper.sh
$ . ./dockerhelper.sh
Docker Registered functions are:  docker_mysql, docker_percona, docker_mariadb

$ docker_mysql
ERROR: Specify a MySQL version to launch. Valid versions are 5.0 5.1 5.5 5.6 5.7 8.0
$ docker_percona
ERROR: Specify a Percona version to launch. Valid versions are 5.5 5.6 5.7
$ docker_mariadb
ERROR: Specify a MariaDB version to launch. Valid versions are 5.5 10.0 10.1

Getting a clearer picture of http response time breakdown via CLI

I came across this handy python script https://github.com/reorx/httpstat that provides a http response breakdown in text. This saves you having to open up a browser and look at a visual network response waterfall.

For example, using my website homepage and blog for comparision.

$ python httpstat.py http://ronaldbradford.com

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2016 16:52:09 GMT
Server: Apache/2.4.7 (Ubuntu)
X-Powered-By: PHP/5.5.9-1ubuntu4.17
Vary: Accept-Encoding,User-Agent
Cache-Control: max-age=1
Expires: Fri, 23 Sep 2016 16:52:10 GMT
Transfer-Encoding: chunked
Content-Type: text/html

Body stored in: /var/folders/mk/0v6thtzd7mb9sb9r4fhv4bcc0000gn/T/tmpK_foIX

  DNS Lookup   TCP Connection   Server Processing   Content Transfer
[    72ms    |      27ms      |       35ms        |       39ms       ]
             |                |                   |                  |
    namelookup:72ms           |                   |                  |
                        connect:99ms              |                  |
                                      starttransfer:134ms            |
                                                                 total:173ms
$ python httpstat.py http://ronaldbradford.com/blog/

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2016 16:52:39 GMT
Server: Apache/2.4.7 (Ubuntu)
X-Powered-By: PHP/5.5.9-1ubuntu4.17
X-Pingback: http://ronaldbradford.com/blog/xmlrpc.php
Vary: Accept-Encoding,User-Agent
Cache-Control: max-age=1
Expires: Fri, 23 Sep 2016 16:52:40 GMT
Transfer-Encoding: chunked
Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8

Body stored in: /var/folders/mk/0v6thtzd7mb9sb9r4fhv4bcc0000gn/T/tmpn5R1f2

  DNS Lookup   TCP Connection   Server Processing   Content Transfer
[     5ms    |      34ms      |       129ms       |       790ms      ]
             |                |                   |                  |
    namelookup:5ms            |                   |                  |
                        connect:39ms              |                  |
                                      starttransfer:168ms            |
                                                                 total:958ms

Note that 301 redirects are not handled so be sure you are getting the full content you expect in a request.

$ python httpstat.py http://ronaldbradford.com/blog

HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2016 16:52:22 GMT
Server: Apache/2.4.7 (Ubuntu)
Location: http://ronaldbradford.com/blog/
Cache-Control: max-age=1
Expires: Fri, 23 Sep 2016 16:52:23 GMT
Content-Length: 322
Content-Type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1

Body stored in: /var/folders/mk/0v6thtzd7mb9sb9r4fhv4bcc0000gn/T/tmptLSJTv

  DNS Lookup   TCP Connection   Server Processing   Content Transfer
[     5ms    |      61ms      |       39ms        |        0ms       ]
             |                |                   |                  |
    namelookup:5ms            |                   |                  |
                        connect:66ms              |                  |
                                      starttransfer:105ms            |
                                                                 total:105ms

OTN appreciation day: The Performance Schema of MySQL 5.6+

To focus on just one point for OTN appreciation day on October 11 2016 and to the benefit of all users of MySQL is to consider the extremely convenient and rich value of information available in the MySQL Performance Schema to understand what SQL queries are running in a MySQL instance now. The MySQL Performance Schema in MySQL 5.6 is enabled by default, (performance_schema=on).

The following one off SQL statement will enable the instrumentation of SQL statements in the most detailed level of assessment.

The following query will show you the longest running queries in your database at this present time.

This ease of accessing what is running in a MySQL instance replaces many different and creative techniques as I describe in Improving MySQL Performance with Better Indexes in versions of MySQL before version 5.6.

If your organization does not have dedicated performance experts reviewing new functionality consistently and monitoring your production systems regularly for database optimization, the cost of having the MySQL performance schema available and with a large number of different forms of instrumentation out ways any reason not to.

One of the best presentations at Percona Live Amsterdam last week in the last time slot of the event (before beer and food) was Performance schema and sys schema by Mark Leith. I hope to provide a review of this presentation soon and my interest to explore the new MySQL 5.7 and 8.0 performance schema instruments. A few of my live tweets included:

MySQL 5.7 & 8.0 Performance Schema


Why I wrote this appreciation?

On Friday I was asked to review the MySQL performance and load of a newly developed product during simulated tested. When I was first given access to the MySQL database server I was very disappointed that for a new and unreleased product the MySQL version chosen was 5.5. This is in no way disrespectful for the great stability, functionality and features of MySQL 5.5, however for any new system under development MySQL 5.6 and MySQL 5.7 are both much more appropriate options for many reasons. If for no other reason to look at upgrading to at least MySQL 5.6 to enable you to become a better expert with this functionality is one key consideration.


OTN Appreciation Day

This post format was suggested by Tim Hall, a well known community champion among Oracle users, who maintains a rich web site of news and free technical info. According to his suggestion, this post wants to add to the OTN appreciation day, a distributed community effort to show something useful, or pleasant, or both related to the Oracle world.

For those not used to the Oracle Technology Network (OTN), it is the center of Oracle technology, the place where users can get all software (proprietary or open source) and other resources related to Oracle products. In the image below you may find several familiar names.

MySQL Group Replication OOW Tutorial

The second MySQL tutorial session at Oracle Open World was “MySQL Group Replication in a Nutshell” by MySQL Community Manager Frederic Descamps. This is succinctly described as:

“Multi-master update anywhere replication for MySQL with built-in conflict detection and resolution, automatic distributed recovery, and group membership.”

MySQL Group Replication (GR) is a virtually synchronous replication solution which is an integral component of MySQL InnoDB Cluster announced at the MySQL keynote. You can download a labs version of MySQL InnoDB cluster which includes three components.

  • MySQL Router
  • MySQL Shell
  • MySQL Group Replication

While included as part of MySQL InnoDB cluster, MySQL Group Replication can be run standalone. It is a plugin, made by and packaged by MySQL. With the plugin architecture in MySQL 5.7 the ability to release new features is greatly reduced from the more typical 2+ year general availability (GA) cycle. Plugins also allow for functionality to be not enabled by default therefore preserving the stability of an existing MySQL instance running version 5.7. This is a change in the philosophy of new functionality that I discussed in Understanding the MySQL Release Cadence which in 5.7.13 introduced the SQL interface for keyring key management. Not all in the community are happy however I consider it an important requirement for time-to-market in a fast paced open source data ecosystem.

MySQL GR is based on Replicated Database State Machine Theory and uses Paxos for evaluating consensus of available nodes in the cluster, being referred to as the Group Communication System (GCS). This is one key difference with Galera as the Paxos approach relies on accepting the certification stage within the cluster after a major of the nodes have acknowledged, rather than all nodes. MySQL GR is supported on a wide range of platforms including Linux, Windows, FreeBSD and Mac OS X, another difference with Galera.

The current Release Candidate (RC) version of MySQL Group Replication has some required configurations and some situations for applications that may not be ideal use cases for a synchronous solution. There is the complexities in the migration process of any existing infrastructure to considering MySQL Group Replication, which has at a minimum requirements of MySQL 5.7, GTID’s and row based replication. I would like to see MySQL put a lot more effort into the education and promotion of MySQL migrations from older versions to the current MySQL 5.7. Ideally I’d like to see better tools starting with MySQL 5.0 which I still see in production operation.

Some things are just the impact of current development priorities. The shell does not offer a means to promote a master in a single write configuration, i.e. the only way to simulate a failure is to produce a failure, which really means your three node cluster is no longer highly available. The use of savepoints is not currently available, a needed feature for future full compatibility for use in an OpenStack deployment. The creation of a cluster via the MySQL shell requires you to make the decision of supporting multi-master writes or a single master write. I can see the ideal need to be able to better support large batch transactions and DDL (some of those edge cases) to be able to toggle to a single write master and back. The current workaround is to utilize MySQL router to simulate this use case. The MySQL shell greatly reduces the complexity of orchestration. One of the features I like is a very convenient means to validate an Instance to see if the configuration matches minimum requirements. For example:

$ mysqlsh
> dba.validateInstance('[email protected]:3306')

...
ERROR: Error executing the 'check' command: The operation could not
continue due to the following requirements not being met:
Some active options on server '[email protected]' are incompatible with Group
Replication.
Please restart the server '[email protected]' with the updated options file
and try again.
Option name                      Required Value   Current Value
Result
-------------------------------  ---------------  ---------------
-----
binlog_checksum                  NONE             CRC32            FAIL
master_info_repository           TABLE            FILE             FAIL
relay_log_info_repository        TABLE            FILE             FAIL
transaction_write_set_extraction  XXHASH64         OFF
FAIL
 at (shell):1:4
in

Something you can now do dynamically and persist in MySQL 8.0 using the SET PERSIST syntax.

The overall setup in a greenfield application is reasonable clear and will improve as the product moves towards general availability. The MySQL shell has a lot of future potential in a number of administrative functions, and the ability to switch easily between JavaScript and SQL means you can get the best of multiple languages.

In subsequent posts I will look into more of the detail of setup and monitoring of a cluster with performance_schema. I hope that existing monitoring tools will also start to support monitoring Group Replication. As the author of the New Relic MySQL Plugin in 2013 I may need to get motivated to offer a SaaS solution also.

You can find more information with official blog posts on MySQL Group Replication.