Lots of things happen at Compose every day and in Noteworthy, we let you know about changes and how they will affect how you use Compose. In this edition; database updates - small and significant, better HA on PostgreSQL - with more portals, how we added more grace to connection limiting - better errors, and over on Bluemix, there's a new Compose console.
Over the last month or so there's been a number of database updates on Compose and in this Noteworthy, we're going to pull them together to get you right up to date.
etcd 3.2.5 - etcd development has been going on steadily since we launched etcd 3.2.1 on Compose in early July. We're now supporting and defaulting to version 3.2.5 which is, as of writing, the most recent release. All the updates have been bug-fix releases and we recommend, if you are running etc on Compose, that you keep up to date with this most recent release. Deployments of etcd on Compose are still flagged as beta. The new etcd 3.2.5 will see the etcd v2 API turned off as well to ensure a clean separation of v2 and v3 applications. If you are running 3.2.x already, expect an automatic upgrade to 3.2.5 soon.
RethinkDB 2.3.6 - This update also has very few changes in it but it is the first update of RethinkDB since the database lost its founding company. The community has now assembled the toolchains and processes to make it possible to create a new release and 2.3.6 sees the first fixes incorporated into a community published version.
Syclla 1.7.4 - The eagle-eyed readers who have been tracking our progress with Scylla, the Cassandra-compatible wide-column store, will have noticed that we moved our beta version up to 1.7.2 and most recently 1.7.4. We've also added SSL support to the portals and a data browser. You can catch up on all the changes through the Scylla help pages on Compose.
More PostgreSQL portals
Users of Compose's PostgreSQL will know that we've offered a single portal for connections to the database; that is until now. Engineering evaluated the resilience of the portal and have decided that, from now on, new PostgreSQL deployments will have two portals, at no extra cost.
This means that, as long as your driver or application can support multiple endpoints for failover, you have better availability for your PostgreSQL databases. The extra portal will be automatically added to new deployments and to restores of existing databases to new deployments. If you're still on an older PostgreSQL, it's another reason to upgrade to the latest PostgreSQL 9.6 on Compose.
Do you hit connection limits when accessing your Compose databases? It's a tricky thing to manage and we worked out that we could make our error reporting a lot more explicit to help people handle them.
We'd made an assumption with our portals that if you had a connection limit of 100 connections on the database, then the portal should have that same limit. Turns out that actually means you were not being allowed to connect at all when you were over the limit and that looked more like a database failing than a simple exhaustion of connections.
What we've done is added an extra 10 connections to our portals so rather than the portal telling a new client connection it's out of slots, the client gets to the database where it's more politely refused with an actual error.
The new Bluemix Console
As you may know, Compose databases are also available on IBM Bluemix. They've not had the Compose console for various technical reasons, but then they do have a rather fine service binding mechanism in the platform which can automate plugging a database into an application. We're all about choices though, and we've rolled out a custom Bluemix Compose console which is now available for all Bluemix users. It handles connection information and backups at the moment, but be assured there are some big plans for it.
And, finally, Bluemix users can now deploy their databases to any of their Compose Enterprise clusters in their organization. Bluemix has a multi-layer hierarchy of account, organization, region, and space and users had previously been limited to deploying into clusters in the same space. That was a bit limiting, so we've lifted the restriction. Deploy at will, Bluemix Compose Enterprise users!
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