Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Power of MySQL

I have been using MySQL for about 4 years and have been very pleased with the performance and reliability it offers. I needed a relational database that could provide speed and and efficiency while adhering to the open-source standard. I researched the benchmarks of other databases and MySQL blew them all away. It is faster, more efficient and has all of the capabilities of it's competitors, as far as I can tell.
As the popularity of MySQL continues to grow, more and more applications are being developed for Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP or Perl (affectionately know as LAMP). I currently have 2 websites that use this blend of open source. One is a photo gallery developed by Coppermine and a genealogy website by PHPGeDView. Both websites are easy to install, configure and administer and utilize the speed and power of MySQL. They are quick, responsive and and perform flawlessly.
Recently, I began exploring the ability of MySQL to replicate among other MySQL servers. Replication allows you to increase your uptime by having a master MySQL database copy it's files to a slave MySQL database. In the event there is a disaster of some sort, you can easily direct your applications to use the slave server or "backup". I currently have one of my website servers backing up information to the other one in order to preserve the data in the event the master server goes down. Many other MySQL servers can be chained together to have many servers backing each other up. However, there is a drawback to this kind of arrangement because when you make changes to the master server, the backup server almost immediately makes the same changes. So, if you make changes in error, they will also propagate to the slave server.
Overall, I believe MySQL is one of the best databases available. It's popularity is only improving it's development. As with all open-source software, the more it's used, the better it gets. More people are available to debug it and to send in bug reports to developers and that makes it even better. Now with replication and clustering technology available for MySQL, it is even suitable for large corporate networks as it can be infinitely scaled to size.


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