Percona Server provides users with a variety of powerful benefits including enterprise-grade features, high performance in demanding use cases, rich diagnostics, and access to unique Percona XtraBackup capabilities, all for free and open source. In addition, Percona Server is a drop-in MySQL replacement. Compatibility with MySQL has important ramifications (as well as some risks) as Giuseppe Maxia highlighted in a recent blog post about MySQL alternatives. Our commitment to drop-in compatibility with MySQL has important benefits for Percona Server users and drives our development process as I’ll describe.
Drop-in compatibility is important for users
Percona Server’s drop-in compatibility with MySQL is a promise to our users. It is protection against vendor lock-in. And it is a commitment we make to the continued functionality of your applications as well as the interoperability with MySQL databases in your infrastructure. Organizations make large investments of time and money in their applications. We believe Percona Server’s compatibility with MySQL is vital to ensure operations are not interrupted.
Drop-in compatibility and Percona Server 5.6
Saying that Percona Server is a drop-in MySQL replacement is more than just a statement though. Users need to know how drop-in compatibility with MySQL is built into the development process and have clear expectations for how it is maintained in the future.
As with all Percona Server releases, compatibility with MySQL has been a key part of the development of Percona Server 5.6. Throughout the product’s development, Percona engineers have incorporated the latest MySQL 5.6 minor updates into Percona Server 5.6 alphas, betas, and release candidates. While sometimes requiring refactoring of Percona Server 5.5 enhancements to adopt MySQL’s approach, this practice ensures that the latest MySQL bug fixes and enhancements are promptly included in Percona Server 5.6 pre-GA releases and users can consider Percona Server as a MySQL alternative for the long term.
Looking back at past versions of Percona Server, we can see how this focus on compatibility has paid off. We’ve been able to establish a reliable pattern of releasing Percona Server minor updates around 30 days after MySQL minor updates. Today, we’re in one of those update periods where the most current version of MySQL 5.5 is 5.5.34 (released on September 20, 2013) and the Percona Server 5.5.34 release is scheduled and right around the corner.
As you can see from this report, Percona also does a substantial amount of fixing bugs and deploying performance improvements in our minor version updates that MySQL has yet to resolve. The combination of keeping current with MySQL minor updates and deploying our own fixes and enhancements before they do ensures that Percona Server is always a drop-in MySQL replacement as well as the most up-to-date version of MySQL available.
After the release of Percona Server 5.6, this trend will continue, delivering the latest updates from MySQL in a timely and consistent manner. While Percona will always push the boundaries of database performance in the future, we will continue to maintain Percona Server’s compatibility as a drop-in MySQL replacement. Our next major release, Percona Server 5.6, is a symbol of that commitment.
Are you evaluating or using the Percona Server 5.6 Release Candidates? If so, we’d like to hear from you. Visit the Percona Server 5.6 feedback page to tell us about your experiences and the results you’ve seen in your applications.