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YouTube runs a large MySQL database to hold the metadata about its videos. As YouTube scaled, the database was sharded, and applications within YouTube had to write queries that were aware of the sharding layout of that database.
This is problematic, because it pushes complexity to the application developer. An application developer shouldn’t have to be aware of how a database is laid out among different nodes. The developer should be able to issue a query, and have the cluster simply return the data.
Vitess is an open source system for scaling large MySQL databases. Sugu Sougoumarane co-created Vitess at YouTube. Since YouTube is owned by Google, Vitess was able to leverage the Borg cluster manager developed at Google. Once Kubernetes came to market, it became more viable to make Vitess accessible to open source developers.
Sugu joins the show to talk about the scalability problems that YouTube’s database infrastructure encountered and the motivations for building Vitess.
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