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Displaying posts with tag: BLOBS (reset)
What is in the PBMS patch for MySQL 5.5

I thought people may be interested to know what the PBMS patch for MySQL actually patches, in case they should think this is a major hack into the MySQL source code.

Almost all of  the patch consists of  the PBMS daemon source code which is added to the "storage/pbms" folder in the MySQL source code tree. Other than that here is a list of the actual MySQL files touched and what the patch is for:

  • sql/CMakeLists.txt:
    Added PBMS source directories to the header file search list.
    Lines added: 1.
  • sql/
    Added PBMS server side API calls to check for longblob columns being modified or tables containing longblob columns being dropped or renamed. This is the guts of the PBMS patch.
    Lines added: 170.
  • libmysql/CMakeLists.txt:
    Added PBMS API functions to the client API functions list and …
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PBMS Version 2 released

Version 2 of the PBMS daemon is now ready.

Here are the major changes introduced with this version:

  • PBMS is fully integrated with MySQL 5.5:
    PBMS is now provided as a patch for MySQL 5.5 which simplifies installation and provides numerous benefits.

    • All engines are "PBMS enabled":
      PBMS no longer requires that you have a "PBMS enabled" storage engine to be able to use PBMS.

    • The MySQL client lib provides the PBMS client API:
      You no longer need to link your application to a separate PBMS lib to use the PBMS 'C' API.

    • mysqldump understands PBMS BLOB URLS:
      When dumping tables or databases containing PBMS BLOB URLs mysqldump will dump the referenced BLOBs as binary data to a …
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Why use PBMS?

Why use PBMS?

I have talked to people about why they should use PBMS to handle BLOB data often enough, so I was surprised when someone asked me where they could find this information and I discovered I had never actually written it down anywhere.  So here it is.
If you are unfamiliar with PBMS, PBMS stands for PrimeBase Media Streaming. For details please have a look at the home page for BLOB Streaming.
  Both MySQL and Drizzle are not designed to handle BLOB data efficiently. This is not a storage engine problem, most storage engines can store BLOB data reasonably efficiently, but the problem is in the server architecture itself. The problem is that the BLOB data is transferred to and from the server as part of the regular result set. To do this both the server and the client must allocate a buffer large enough to hold the entire BLOB. DBMSs …

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New PBMS version

A new version of PBMS for drizzle has been pushed up to launchpad:


I have rewritten PBMS and changed the way that BLOBs are referenced in order to make PBMS more flexible and to fix some of it's limitations. I have also removed some of the more confusing parts of the code and reorganized it in an attempt to make it easier for people to find there way around it.

So apart form some cosmetic changes what is different?

Maybe the best answer would be to say what hasn't changed: the user and engine API  and the way in which the actual data is stored on the disk remains pretty much unchanged, but everything else has changed.

The best place to start is with the BLOB URL, the old URL looked like this:
"~*1261157929~5-128-6147b252-0-0-37" the new URL looks …

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PBMS Performance

I have been doing some performance testing with PBMS and found a few things that were kind of interesting. The main finding was that you start to see performance improvements when data sizes start to reach the 20K level. This was seen when replacing a 20 K varchar field with a longblob column in a PBMS enabled table.

The following graph shows the performance differences for 'select' and 'insert' statements using a PBMS enabled version of InnoDB on an 8 core machine.

The test compares the insert and select performance of LongBlob columns with PBMS support against that of varchar and longtext columns when using InnoDB.
The test shows that depending on if your application is more heavily weighted towards Inserts or selects it may be beneficial to replace columns …

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PBMS version 0.5.015 beta has been released.

A new release of the PrimeBase Media Streaming daemon is now available for download at .

This release doesn't contain any major new features just some bug fixes and a lot of house keeping changes.

If you look at the download section on you will see that there are now more packages that can be downloaded. I have separated out different client side components from the PBMS project and created separate launchPad projects for each one. You can see them listed in the "Related Links" side panel to the right of this post.

  • The "PBMS Client Library" facilitates communication with the PBMS daemon. This library is independent of the PBMS daemon's host server and can be used to communicate with a PBMS daemon hosted by …
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PBMS is in the Drizzle tree!

If you haven't already heard PBMS is now part of the Drizzle tree.

Getting it there was a fair bit of work but not as much as I had thought it would be. The process of getting it to work with Drizzle and running it thorough Hudson has improved the code a lot. It is amazing what some compilers will catch that others will let by. I am now a firm believer in treating all compiler warnings as errors.

I am just in the process of updating the PBMS plugin so that it will build and install the PBMS client library ( as well as the plugin. The PBMS client library is a standalone library that can be used to access the PBMS daemon weather it is running as part of MySQL or Drizzle. So a PBMS client library built with Drizzle can be used to access a PBMS daemon running as part of MySQL and vice-versa.

There is also PHP extension for PBMS that is basically just a wrapper for the library. Currently this is …

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BLOBs are not just blobs

Recently when talking to someone about PBMS it occurred to me that I had been thinking about BLOBs in the traditional database sense in that they were atomic blocks of data the content of which the server knew nothing about. But with PBMS that need not be the case.

The simplest enhancement would be to allow the client to send a BLOB request to the PBMS daemon with an offset and size to just return a chunk of the BLOB. Depending on the application and the BLOB contents this may make perfectly good sense, why force the client to retrieve the entire BLOB if it only want part of it.

A much more interesting idea would be to enable the user to provide custom server side functions that they could run against the BLOB.

So how would his work?

The PBMS daemon would provide its own "BLOB functions" plugin API. The API would be quite simple where the plugin would register the function names it …

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Blobs in MySQL Cluster

If there is one thing that confuses people about tables in MySQL Cluster (including me at times) it is BLOB/TEXT columns.  When NDB was originally created it was not designed to handle BLOB data, so the handling of BLOB data was difficult to implement and is sometimes not exactly what users expect.

How MySQL Cluster BLOBs work

When you create a table in MySQL Cluster which has a BLOB column the first 256 bytes of the BLOB is stored in the main table (and in memory when using disk data tables), subsequent data is then stored in a hidden table (typically split into 2KB rows).  This means there is an extra table for every BLOB or TEXT column in your main table (and extra resource usage).

BLOB locking in MySQL Cluster

These extra tables can cause some problems, firstly with performance (retrieving BLOB data is not very fast) and more importantly with locking.  MySQL Cluster works in …

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PBMS will be at the OpenSQL camp in Portland Nov. 14-15

I am planning on presenting a session on PBMS at the OpenSQL camp. I am in hopes of have a chance to discuss PBMS with people and find out how they are planning on using it and what features they would like to see in it.

But even if you are not interested in PBMS you should still come if for no other reason than the free pizza!

I am proud to say the PrimeBase Technologies is one of the organizations who's sponsorship money is helping to provide the free pizza.

I will see you all there,


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