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MySQL Scalability?

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I would like to know how well MySQL scales. I have a few questions: 1. Is it able to store tables that use 64 bit indices to have over 2^32 entries? 2. Does it support databases that are over 4GB (the file size limit on most current operating systems, it seems)? 3. Does it support any mechanism to distribute the workload over multiple machines? 4. Has anybody here ever run very large databases over it? If so, how was the performance?

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Original post by Max_Payne
I would like to know how well MySQL scales. I have a few questions:

1. Is it able to store tables that use 64 bit indices to have over 2^32 entries?

2. Does it support databases that are over 4GB (the file size limit on most current operating systems, it seems)?

3. Does it support any mechanism to distribute the workload over multiple machines?

4. Has anybody here ever run very large databases over it? If so, how was the performance?


1.) For practical purposes, there is no limit on the size of mySQL tables. See here. The current upper limit is (28)7 - 1 bytes, or 1 byte less than 65,536 terabytes (TB). For reference, that's enough to store the text of the entire Encyclopedia Britannica more than 93 million times over.

2.) Yes. There is no practical limit on the number of tables in a mySQL database. You are still constrained by the maximum file size of your operating system, but that is obviously an OS issue, not a mySQL issue.

3.) Sort of. You'll have to be more specific.

4.) How large is "very large"? Metalyzer uses a mySQL database for its knowledge tree that approaches 6-8 GB in size.

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Here's a list of some companies using MySQL, and here are some case studies. This info is coming from MySQL AB, so take it with a grain of salt - but there is some interesting reading in the case studies.

The gamasutra postmortem for Dark Age of Camelot (MMORPG) mentioned they used MySQL and were pleased with the results - expecially after the quote for Oracle's database solution was something like $900,000.

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