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MySQL does not scale

The proprietary database world loves to tell itself that open source databases like MySQL don't scale, and aren't ready for prime-time enterprise deployments. The numbers tell us something very different.

Matt Asay Contributing Writer
Matt Asay is a veteran technology columnist who has written for CNET, ReadWrite, and other tech media. Asay has also held a variety of executive roles with leading mobile and big data software companies.
Matt Asay

Well, not very much. I mean, who wants to only scale to hundreds of millions of page views?

Aside from Oracle, that is? ;-)

As Tim notes, MySQL is in the middle of its "12 Days of Scale-out," which is designed to show how MySQL, that little database that could, is delivering monster-sized performance for some of the biggest names on the planet.

Like Wikipedia, for example, which uses MySQL to service:

  • More than 154 million annual visitors
  • More than 5 million articles
  • More than 290,000 contributors
  • Nearly half a million edits each day
  • 25,000 SQL queries/second
  • 20 servers, with MySQL replication used to add more as needed

Not bad. Booking.com, Alcatel-Lucent, and others are also profiled on the site for their use of MySQL.

It's time to put DB2's and Oracle's wishful thinking behind us. The most demanding database applications in the world run open source, much of that being MySQL. The problem has been that we've been looking in the wrong places to chart MySQL's progress. We've been looking at old-school enterprises instead of the far more demanding (and interesting?) applications being driven by the Web 2.0 world, where MySQL reigns supreme.

Disclosure: I have no financial interest in MySQL. I just think it's better. :-)