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Spil Games hackday: research MaxScale

Spil Games hackday

At Spil Games we organise a monthly hackday (actually the last two Thursday/Friday of the month) where several teams try to hack something in limited amount of time. The only rules for the hackday are: make something cool, keep it simple, document it, learn something and have fun. In general it means time is too short so we really have to go for it. 😉

Last week the August hackday(s) happened on Thursday and Friday and me and my team decided (last minute) to join in with a research project on MaxScale.

What was there to hack?


In our current database connectivity strategy we (as in Spil Games) use the load balancers+routers to connect to our new MySQL database clusters. This has the advantage that we can control per host if they are allowed to access the database or not. At the same time this has the drawback that a lot of administration is necessary to make this happen on the router and thanks to the load balancers masking the original client host on the database we can’t use the normal MySQL grants to filter per host level. Also on the client host the administration of databases has to be done in the application configuration file for both database server and user. Config management in Spil is not the easiest, so if we could simplify this by making the database configurations easier it would help a lot with deployments and setting up similar environments for any project.


We want to research the feasibility of using the MaxScale MySQL proxy inside Spil Games instead of the current load balancer+router approach. MaxScale can be set up both as a central proxy or as a local(host) proxy and we like to have tested. MaxScale also features the loading of the grants on start up and this has to be tested for multiple databases at the same time. Also the security needs to be tested: it could be dangerous if MaxScale is too permissive (e.g. allowing resources to be accessed where it should not).

For the central proxy we need to find out how to set it up as a highly available solution. (floating ips, pacemaker, etc)

For the local proxy we need to find a way to automatically configure MaxScale (puppet) to access the right resources and we also need to test its maintainability through its api, telnet and http access.

More information on MaxScale can be found here:




  • Art van Scheppingen
  • Jaakko Pesonen (joined day 1)
  • Jing Rao (joined day 2)

How to use MaxScale?

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