About Me

Federico Razzoli: MySQL consultant, open source DBA
Photo by Cipo
Verona, 2014

Looking for MySQL/MariaDB consulting? Jolly good morning, my name is Federico Razzoli and I can help.

I am a open source database professional, specialised in the MySQL ecosystem. In particular, I offer MySQL/MariaDB consulting, as well as services related to some other technologies. For example, I can help you with: performance tuning, backups, disaster recovering, capacity planning, new setups, database design, query optimisation, training.

I try to be proactive. It’s fine if you call me because your servers just crashed and destroyed data. But then, let’s discuss how to avoid this kind of incidents.

How I’m different

If you take a look at my background, you will see that I worked in a variety of different roles, in different companies – different size, markets, cultures. This gave me a broad vision about business and processes, which constitutes ad added value that I give my customers. Let me mention some characteristics that differentiate me.

Understanding costs

Every good consultant can suggest effective improvements for your data infrastructure. The problem is that you need to understand which benefits it can bring, and not all consultants are good at explaining that. But that’s just the beginning – you also need to understand its cost. Not only the time to setup solutions, but also the time to learn how to use or troubleshoot them (something that most consultant don’t event try to help with), maintain them, and probably some technical tradeoffs that the solution implies.

On the other side, a consultant should help you understand the cost of doing nothing. It could be lower or higher than improving the infrastructure, but if you can’t make at least a rough estimate, there is no way to take a rational decision. Is your website slow enough to discourage users from buying? Are you monitoring this in some way? What are the costs of data corruption, and how likely is it currently? What would a security breach mean for you?

Communication

Usually DBAs hate developers, and developers hate DBAs. This is because they have different goals: keeping the infrastructure reliable and well-tested, versus adding new features as fast as possible.

It doesn’t have to be like this. I help teams to understand each other, figure out that their final goals are actually the same, and find optimal ways to collaborate to accelerate the development while making the applications faster and more stable.

The right tool for the right purpose

All technologies are equally fascinating, if you look them from the right perspective. But each of them has pro’s and con’s. Any statement like “X works better than Y” is inherently wrong. The is no better or worse – but there are correct and incorrect use cases. MySQL is great with handling many concurrent short transactions, PostgreSQL is great at handling complex joins on big datasets. Cassandra is great for certain data models, but it’s wrong to use it without understanding which inconsistencies it can cause. While personal taste is a criteria that I value and promote in proper situations, inverting their use cases can exponentially increase the effort required to maintain your applications up and running.

Too often technologies are chosen without a sufficient understanding of their strengths and their limitations, and this generates costs that will be paid every day, for many years. I can help to avoid this.

My background

Mastering MariaDB

You may be curious about my background. In my career I worked as a developer (at the very beginning), a database consultant, a database administrator (DBA) and a devops. My focus was always on databases.

I worked on consulting companies, like Percona. I provided customers of all sized with in-depth technical consulting about MySQL and other database technologies. But I also worked in fast-growing startups, where I owned a part of the infrastructure and my duty was to ensure it would serve its users, to fulfill business goals, making it responsive, reliable, observable. Some of this companies adopted the devops philosophy, other were more traditional. I had to properly communicate with the relevant teams, find ways to collaborate smoothly, transfer the right knowledge to the right people to increase the level of our code and infrastructure.

MySQL is the technology I know best. But I also used other RDBMSs, and some flavours of NoSQL. While I have a preference for the open source world, I had the opportunity to use proprietary RDBMSs, and I really appreciate some of them.

I wrote the book Mastering MariaDB for Packt Publishing. I co-authored MariaDB Essentials with Emilien Kenler. I was a MariaDB Community Ambassador (a discontinued project by the MariaDB Foundation). Over the years, I held several talks at conferences, like Percona Live, as well as training and webinars.