PlanetScale, the renowned MySQL database company led by the founders of the Vitess open-source project, has made a groundbreaking move by forking MySQL and adding vector support. This strategic decision stems from the belief that Oracle, the owner of MySQL, has not kept up with the evolving world of artificial intelligence (AI) and failed to incorporate vector support into its platform.
PlanetScale is forking MySQL to incorporate vector support, as the team believes that the current owner, Oracle, is not keeping up with the evolving AI landscape. The addition of vector support aims to provide MySQL users with enhanced capabilities for AI-driven data analysis.
Despite being launched nearly three decades ago, MySQL remains one of the most widely used databases, powering the majority of websites today. Recognizing the increasing importance of vector data in AI applications, PlanetScale aims to enhance the capabilities of MySQL to meet the demands of modern data analysis. By enabling vector support, PlanetScale aims to provide greater flexibility and efficiency in feeding up-to-date data to AI models.
Revolutionizing Data Analysis with Vector Support
PlanetScale CEO and President, Sam Lambert, highlighted the need for AI-driven capabilities in the database industry. He emphasized that as AI continues to drive exponential growth in vector data and relational data, modern MySQL must be able to adapt to this evolving landscape. Lambert explained that users rely on proprietary data and inputs for AI models, creating a feedback loop that requires efficient storage and retrieval of vectors for similarity search.
Recognizing Oracle’s slow response to these industry trends, PlanetScale took matters into its own hands and successfully added vector support within a mere six weeks. The next step for the company is to conduct rigorous testing to ensure scalability before deploying the update to all PlanetScale users. Moreover, PlanetScale intends to contribute this code upstream to the MySQL open-source edition, aligning with its belief in open-source principles and commitment to supporting the broader MySQL community.
Scaling Beyond Competitors
PlanetScale has always prided itself on its scalability, leveraging the expertise gained from developing Vitess at YouTube. Now, the company aims to bring this scalability to vector databases and search, a domain that is increasingly critical in the AI-driven era. Lambert argues that storing vectors is not overly complex and hence can be seamlessly integrated into the existing MySQL database, providing developers with easy access to AI-based features for their applications.
The introduction of vector support in MySQL also has far-reaching implications for the larger ecosystem. Popular platforms like WordPress, which rely on MySQL as their database backends, stand to benefit from these new features. Developers in these ecosystems can easily incorporate AI-driven capabilities, leveraging custom data for enhanced functionality.
Lambert emphasized that taking MySQL forward entails taking ownership of its evolution and ensuring its continued relevance in the face of changing industry needs. PlanetScale’s innovative approach to adding vector support to MySQL exemplifies the company’s commitment to enhancing the capabilities of this widely adopted database.
As PlanetScale’s CEO puts it, “It’s great MySQL is so reliable. No one questions it. No one has ever said that it’s not reliable, that it’s not scalable. That doesn’t give Oracle the excuse to stop shipping and responding to these trends, and that’s why we’re here, that’s why we’re picking this up.”