Adding Scalability to MySQL for Benefits That Go Beyond Performance

(This is a guest blog post by Tony Branson (t | b). Tony is a Database Load Balancing Senior Analyst at ScaleArc.)

Are you struggling to keep your systems up and running as your online applications continue to grow popular? Is your service always available and equipped to meet the requirements of performance scalability? Does your platform ensure failure recovery without losing data? Whether you are a small startup or a globally renowned brand, customers expect that your systems remain available and accessible round the clock. When you store every single transaction for millions of users and manage more than a hundred thousand queries every second, your database should be designed with scalability in mind.

The widely adopted master/slave model does help enterprises to ensure availability and uninterrupted connectivity but when it comes to transactional support, this approach lacks performance scalability. There are several other reasons that make MySQL a preferred database management system like:

  • The flexibility of open source
  • Ease of Use
  • Solid data security layers
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Compatibility with major operating systems

But when a MySQL master-slave cluster is used to achieve the goal of high-availability and scalability, the complex sharding strategy can prove to be a tricky task.

Dynamic load balancing technology lets you handle even high loads rapidly and reliably without needing any modifications to your database. It automatically manages your traffic while ensuring the highest performance for your applications. It ensures complete consistency between replicas, facilitates faster failover and permits the shutdown of nodes for maintenance without affecting the service. MySQL server load balancing lets you scale your application, supports heavy traffic and identifies unhealthy VM instances while adding healthy ones by routing the traffic to virtual machines that are in close proximity. You can use a load balancing solution for query routing and prevent service outages by directing report queries to their designated servers.

When Your MySQL Deployment Needs to Go Beyond A Single Instance

Database load balancing facilitates uninterrupted use of MySQL even as organizations continue to grow while simplifying the tasks of your IT support team. It eliminates the issues arising due to vendor lock-in and the hassles of having to switch between systems. Load balancing lets you capitalize on unlimited horizontal scalability especially if your business processes run on MySQL entirely. Database load balancing not only addresses the issues arising due to the paucity of technical resources but also facilitates scalable MySQL deployments both in cloud and on premise.

Saving Statistics Early On

Monitoring is essential but if your legacy monitoring system is sending false positives frequently, it can leave your system administrators numb. This makes it important to capture all the metrics to facilitate timely actions when problems crop up as workloads change.

Too Much Configuration Tweaking Can Degrade Performance

DBAs typically spend most of their time tweaking configurations but it rarely works to optimize server performance. Don’t rely on the defaults that are shipped with your MySQL as they are outdated and don’t fit your unique circumstances. Using the server tuning tools rarely makes sense as they often come coded with inaccurate advice that is seldom right.

A Quick Solution to Scaling MySQL

Modify your MySQL application to update the connections to one IP or port connections to another using a code update and then divert the “update” connections to the master database and the “read” connections to a virtual server. Use a load balancing solution that uses least connections across the slave servers so that all the connections are routed to a single IP. Sharding is another well-established and reliable approach to scaling a MySQL database as it is easy to manage and completely transparent.

While MySQL efficiently performs the replication work it fails to balance load and distribute the queries among multiple servers. It may or may not be able to offer a low-latency environment. A load balancing software integrates replication aware routing so you can specify a delayed threshold without making any changes to your application. This approach is sure to optimize database performance and increase availability.

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