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Percona Server Frequently Asked Questions

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Percona Server with XtraDB is a backwards-compatible replacement for MySQL® that is much faster and more scalable, easier to monitor and tune, and has features to make operational tasks easier. It is designed to excel for cloud computing, support NoSQL access, and take full advantage of modern hardware such as SSD and Flash storage.

It is always free of charge and freely available for download. If you would like commercial support (recommended for production environments), it is available as part of our MySQL Support offering.

How much faster is it?
Much faster. Our 5.5 releases are much faster than MySQL 5.5. Performance of our 5.1 series is comparable to or better than MySQL 5.5. Performance of our 5.0 series is much better than MySQL 5.1. Percona Server with XtraDB can be more than an order of magnitude faster, as compared to the same version of standard MySQL. See benchmarks.
How do I upgrade?

Our online documentation provides steps for upgrading an existing database with data. These steps are not suitable for highly complex environments but should be adequate for many scenarios. If you need additional assistance, please contact us.

For upgrades from Percona Server 5.1 to 5.5: Review our documentation for upgrading from Percona Server 5.1 to 5.5.

For upgrades from Percona Server 5.5 to 5.6: Review our documentation for upgrading from Percona Server 5.5 to 5.6.

Who uses Percona Server with XtraDB?
Thousands of the largest businesses, financial institutions, public utilities, stock markets, social networks, government institutions, and many more (here's a partial list). In short, anyone who has outgrown standard MySQL's limitations.
How much does Percona Server with XtraDB cost?
Nothing. It is 100% open-source and free, distributed under the GPL.
What are the key advantages?

A sampling of advantages includes:

  • Scalability: Handles more transactions; scales up on powerful servers
  • Performance: Percona Server with XtraDB is blazingly fast and very consistent
  • Reliability: Resilience to corruption, crash-safe replication
  • Management: Online backup, online table import/export
  • Diagnostics: Advanced profiling and instrumentation
  • Flexibility: More tunable and easier to control

See the documentation for the full list.

How is it different from standard MySQL?
Percona's releases are based upon recent versions of the MySQL server source code. It is fully compatible with standard MySQL.
How is it related to other MySQL forks?
Percona Server with XtraDB is the closest to the official MySQL Enterprise releases from Oracle. It is more conservative than MariaDB, which includes extra storage engines and more far-reaching code changes. (MariaDB is also built on the Percona XtraDB storage engine, but adds more changes to the rest of the MySQL server.) It is the basis for OurDelta, which is is essentially a redistributor of other forks. It is not comparable to Drizzle, which is almost a complete rewrite of MySQL from the ground up.
When should I use Percona Server with XtraDB?
Use it when you need more visibility into your server's activities, dramatically increased performance, and extra operational benefits, but you want to avoid risk from large-scale change. Use MariaDB instead when you also want more third-party storage engines and query optimizer enhancements.
Is there commercial support and maintenance?
Yes. Percona stands behind Percona Server with XtraDB by providing 24×7 technical support.

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