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4/1/2014
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Oracle MySQL 5.7 Release Boosts Performance, Scalability

MySQL 5.7 release exploits latest hardware, introduces beta MySQL Fabric to manage high availability, database sharding.

Oracle on Monday announced MySQL 5.7, an upgrade of the popular open-source database that the vendor says will deliver "significantly higher" performance and improved manageability over MySQL 5.6. To ease management, the company released beta (1.0) MySQL Fabric software for high-availability support and database sharding.

Improving performance at high scale, MySQL 5.7 takes better advantage of high-end, multi-core severs. With MySQL 5.6, performance topped out with 32-core servers, but 5.7 makes the most of top-the-line 64-core servers, according to Tomas Ulin, VP of MySQL engineering.

"MySQL 5.7 is three times faster than 5.5 at high scale and two times faster than 5.6," Ulin told InformationWeek in a phone interview. "We're constantly pushing the limits of where you run into bottlenecks. And it's now at around 60 cores where you see performance flatten out."

[Want more on the new high-scale MySQL branch? Read Big Data Vendors: WebScaleSQL Is No Threat.]

In two other upgrades tied to state-of-the-art hardware, MySQL 5.7 can detect when it has direct access to solid state disks, in which case it can turn off unnecessary performance boosters such as double-write buffering, thereby improving efficiency. The 5.7 query optimizer has also been improved, with better control over seek times, memory, RAM tables, and other hardware features that can improve query performance.

"The flexibility of the 5.6 optimizer was limited, so we created an API that has much more granularity around how you can specify costs and performance attributes," said Ulin. With improved granularity you get better control over optimization choices.

In another performance improvement, the MySQL 5.7 connection layer offers higher capacity for short-lived connections, a common challenge for high-scale Web applications. The number of sustainable database connect and disconnect actions over a given time period has doubled, according to Ulin.

MySQL Fabric offers a ready-made framework for ensuring high availability and supporting database sharding. MySQL users have long solved these reliability and scalability challenges on their own, but MySQL Fabric covers the basics of high availability and sharding and is a starting point for additional features to come, says Ulin. General availability will depend on user feedback, he told us, with review periods generally taking two to six months.

With Monday's announcements Oracle also released MySQL Workbench 6.1, an upgrade offering two new features. Visual Explain lets administrators examine the function of a query so they can better understand performance tradeoffs and bottlenecks. A new performance schema dashboard lets administrators study memory usage and performance characteristics.

The release of MySQL 5.7 comes less than a week after Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, and Twitter introduced WebScaleSQL, a high-scale branch of MySQL based on the MySQL 5.6 Community Edition release. NoSQL and NewSQL vendors insist this high-scale enhancement won't be a threat, but Ulin said WebScaleSQL features, developed to improve scalability and to ease administration at scale, will be folded into future MySQL releases.

What do Uber, Bank of America, and Walgreens have to do with your mobile app strategy? Find out in the new Maximizing Mobility issue of InformationWeek Tech Digest.

Doug Henschen is Executive Editor of InformationWeek, where he covers the intersection of enterprise applications with information management, business intelligence, big data and analytics. He previously served as editor in chief of Intelligent Enterprise, editor in chief of ... View Full Bio

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