DBSlayer: A Simpler Way to Proxy

Derek Gottfrid (The New York Times)
Architecture and Technology
Location: Ballroom G

The DBAccessLayer or DBSlayer (http://code.nytimes.com/projects/dbslayer) for short is a lightweight, open source, web aware proxying and pooling layer for MySQL used for backend architecture at nytimes.com.

From its very genesis, DBSlayer was designed to be simple to use and simple to maintain. Assembled out of a few open-source libraries, DBSlayer communicates with clients using HTTP as a protocol and JSON as an encoding, instead of the custom binary protocols common to other proxying mechanisms. This enables the DBSlayer to easily interoperate with any programming languages that speak HTTP and JSON (it’s hard to find ones that don’t at this point) without any adapter compilation required. And it allows us to change proxying settings, failover strategies, and even deploy new MySQL client libraries without affecting downstream consumers. Of course, this simplicity means the DBSlayer is not good for all potential proxying/pooling uses, but it’s been good for us in a production environment.

In this talk, Derek will cover the basics of using DBSlayer in your applications. If possible, we’ll also look into the internal construction of the DBSlayer program itself out of the open source APR and MySQL libs. Finally, we’ll talk about performance in real-world production environments.

Photo of Derek Gottfrid

Derek Gottfrid

The New York Times

Derek Gottfrid is a Senior Software Architect and Product Technologist at The New York Times. At the Times, he leads the development of TimesPeople, which adds a social layer to NYTimes.com. He also created Times Machine, a collection of digital archives built on Hadoop and Amazon Web Services, and he built the search engine that powers the NYTimes.com Article Search API. Other projects include DBSlayer, a database connection-pooling layer. Derek is a frequent contributor to the Open blog at http://open.blogs.nytimes.com and is fond of four-letter words (including “open” and “code”).

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