Monday, January 28, 2008

Don't Underestimate MySQL

A lot of the popularity of MySQL is its ease of installation and how easy it is to use out of the box. Anyone can install MySQL pretty easily. That is the danger of MySQL. Because MySQL is so easy to install, people can forget or not realize that MySQL is a full blown database server. MySQL:
  • Needs to be installed properly.
  • Needs to be tuned like any other database server the more it is used.
  • Proper management practices need to be put in place.
I've taught the Oracle 10g DBA Workshop I and the MySQL Database Administration classes. I will tell you that the MySQL DBA class is every bit as technical and complex as the Oracle DBA class. The point is there is a lot to learn about MySQL if you are going to use it in a production environment. As a MySQL DBA you are going to have to configure, tune and manage MySQL as a database server similar to how other database servers are managed. MySQL's performance, scalablity, security and ease of administration are dependent on how MySQL is configured.

The most common mistake I see among DBAs that come from other database vendor environments is that they underestimate how much MySQL can be configured and that its architecture and tools are different than other databases. Storage engines, sql modes, MySQL memory caches and buffers, SQL and PL/SQL processing, replication, etc. all need to be understood to maximize how MySQL can be used. Even the hardware purchases are different in a MySQL environment.

MySQL is growing in popularity as an enterprise solution. So if you are an Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, Sybase, Informix DBA, do not underestimate how much you can do with MySQL. If you are going to manage MySQL databases in a production environment you should be taking the DBA, Performance Tuning and High Availability classes to learn the core fundamentals of MySQL.

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