Percona Toolkit 2.1 with New Online Schema Change Tool by Baron Schwartz.
From the post:
I’m proud to announce the GA release of version 2.1 of Percona Toolkit. Percona Toolkit is the essential suite of administrative tools for MySQL.
With this release we introduce a new version of pt-online-schema-change, a tool that enables you to ALTER large tables with no blocking or downtime. As you know, MySQL locks tables for most ALTER operations, but pt-online-schema-change performs the ALTER without any locking. Client applications can continue reading and writing the table with no interruption.
With this new version of the tool, one of the most painful things anyone experiences with MySQL is significantly alleviated. If you’ve ever delayed a project’s schedule because the release involved an ALTER, which had to be scheduled in the dead of the night on Sunday, and required overtime and time off, you know what I mean. A schema migration is an instant blocker in the critical path of your project plan. No more!
Certainly a useful feature for MySQL users.
Not to mention being another step towards data models being a matter of how you choose to view the data for some particular purpose. Not quite there, yet, but that day is coming.
In a very real sense, the “normalization” of data and the data models we have built into SQL systems were compensation for the short-comings of our computing platforms. That we have continued to do so in the face of increases in computing resources that make it unnecessary, is evidence of short-comings on our part.