Lead Image © Kheng Ho Toh, 123RF.com

Lead Image © Kheng Ho Toh, 123RF.com

Distributed MySQL with Vitess


Article from ADMIN 73/2023
Vitess relies on various techniques to scale MySQL horizontally, while looking like the popular database from the outside. But does it deliver what its authors promise?

Whereas IT organizations in the past maintained individual setups with separate infrastructures, scalable platforms today almost inevitably set the tone. Because customers take it for granted that their providers will continually reduce the cost of IT infrastructure and its operation, today IT can only be operated efficiently if it relies on sheer mass.

In the past, admins might have had a few dozen systems in their care; however, today they are more likely to have hundreds of machines or even more. Of course, this also affects the applications that run on these platforms: They need to be able to grow along with the environments. Several examples do this impressively, including Ceph, which offers storage that grows with the usage scenario, or applications that adhere to a cloud-ready design and can internally scale seamlessly at every level.

The trend toward scaling does not stop at databases either. You might think this topic no longer needs further consideration. After all, you have Galera for MySQL and a cornucopia of solutions for PostgreSQL that retrofit scalability. Unfortunately, it's not that simple. Galera (Figure 1) has a fan base, but comes with architectural weaknesses that often make its use impossible. PostgreSQL is nowhere near as popular as MariaDB or MySQL; it is used in far fewer setups and is considered more complicated and cumbersome. Not to mention that quite a few of the replication solutions for PostgreSQL are also plagued with critical design flaws.

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