Don't Fix, Work Around - MySQL

I attended the MySQL EMEA conference last thursday where I enjoyed a talk from Ivan Zoratti titled “Scaling Up, Scaling Out, Virtualization – What should you do with MySQL?”

They have changed their minds quite a bit. Virtualisation in production is no longer a solid no-no according to them (a lot of people would argue). Solaris containers, anyone?

As most of us know by now, MySQL struggles to utilise multiple cores efficiently. This has been the case for quite some time by now, and people like Google and Percona has grown tired of waiting for MySQL to fix it.

Sun decided to not go down the route of reviewing and accepting the patches, but are now suggesting – are you sitting down? – running multiple instances on the same hardware. I’m not against this from a technical point of view as it currently actually does improve performance on multiple-core-multiple-disk systems (for an unpatched version) for some workloads, but the fact that they have gone to openly and officially suggest workarounds to their own problem rather than fixing the source of the problem is disturbing.

Granted, I suppose it makes sense to suggest larger boxes if you’ve been bought by a big-iron manufacturer. Also, I should be fair and note that Ivan at least didn’t say scaling out was a negative thing and that it’s still a good option.

If anyone asks me though, I think I’ll keep scaling outwards and use the more sensible version of MySQL

Oct 26th, 2008