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Forecasting MySQL Scalability with the Universal Scalability Law

November, 2010

Forecasting a system's scalability limitations can help answer questions such as “will my server handle ten times the existing load?” and “at what point will I need to upgrade my hardware?” Timely answers to these questions have more business value than exact predictions. Mathematical models can help reduce guesswork while avoiding the expense and time required for real load testing. Dr. Neil J. Gunther's Universal Scalability Law is such a model. It predicts a system's deviation from ideal scalability, based on simple measurements that are relatively easy to collect. In this paper we show how to model a MySQL database server's scalability, in terms of throughput, for two different servers and workloads.


Baron Schwartz

Vice President of Consulting

Ewen Fortune

Director of Recruiting

Ewen joined Percona in early 2008 with many years of systems administration experience. He came to the company immediately after working for Europe's largest clinical analysis laboratory. Prior to that, he worked at several pan-European Internet Service Providers, where he gained a strong background and experience in networking and large-scale hosting services and access. He is very knowledgeable in not only MySQL, but also other databases, enterprise-level networking, and SUN Solaris.

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