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Upgrading MySQL Databases

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With the release of new versions of MySQL® such as MySQL 5.6 and Percona Server 5.6, new features and the significant enhancements they offer make upgrading extremely beneficial to business operations. However, upgrading from one MySQL version to another can be risky and complex, especially when upgrading across major versions. You can encounter bugs, performance regressions, and incompatibility. Many pitfalls center around replication functionality, the behavior of datatypes, SQL syntax, and the query optimizer. Some queries might return a different result after an upgrade, or execute far more slowly.

Percona has built special compatibility-testing tools to detect these problems before you upgrade. These are the only tools of their kind. They are part of the Maatkit open-source toolkit for MySQL databases. In addition to the tools, we have a process to use them — tools are not enough! Our disciplined process has helped us to discover and file many bugs in the MySQL database server.

Our consultants have extensive experience in version upgrades. Most database administrators upgrade only rarely, and it is thus an unfamiliar task for them. But we perform upgrades almost constantly and are fluent in it. You might be interested in reading the story of one upgrade project, which was for one of the world's largest e-commerce companies.

Typical upgrade projects include assessing the business and functional goals of the upgrade, discussing whether the benefits are worth the risk, choosing a target version, checking changelogs against your application, planning, benchmarking, gathering data and workload samples, testing the application's performance and correctness on the new version, and executing the upgrade itself. This includes helping reduce or eliminate downtime, and providing a rollback plan in case something goes wrong.

The good news is that proper planning and testing can eliminate or greatly reduce all of the risks of the upgrade! Most well-planned upgrades are completely smooth and risk-free.

Call us today to discuss our services and schedule a pre-sales call with a technical expert.

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