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Crucial Memmory

How to improve virtualized MySQL workloads

It's all about quality of service - and memory

Virtualized MySQL databases handle most of the world's data and online transaction processing, yet they're often underutilized and prone to spikes and erratic workload performance, which costs organizations a significant amount of time and money. When database responsiveness is on again/off again, you aren't able to get a consistent quality of service that can fuel exponential data growth. However, since quality of service revolves around active data rather than the number of VMs (as is often thought), the MySQL variance problem can be easily solved by maximizing a server's memory footprint.

No matter what you're using MySQL to do, more memory enables more transactions per second, more consistent quality of service, and reduced acquisition and licensing costs. Don't just take our word for it, though. Duplicate the test below, experience the difference, and start getting more out of your IT budget.

Test Setup

HARDWARE CONFIGURATION

SERVER CPU (2 EACH) MEMORY CONFIGURATION
Crucial Memmory
Dell ® R720
Crucial Memmory
Intel ® E5-2697 v2
12 Core 2.7GHz 30MB L3
MODULES DENSITY & TYPE SPEED MEMORY FOOTPRINT
24 16GB RDIMM DDR3-1333 384GB
16 32GB LRDIMM DDR3-1333 512GB
24 32GB LRDIMM DDR3-1333 768GB

VIRTUALIZED DATABASE CONFIGURATION

MySQL FIXED DATABASE SOFTWARE MEMORY CONFIGURATION NUMBER OF VMs
PER HOST
RAM
PER HOST
CORES
PER HOST
Crucial Memmory
250GB
Crucial Memmory
VMware ®
ESXi 5.5
MODULES DENSITY & TYPE SPEED MEMORY FOOTPRINT
24 16GB RDIMM DDR3-1333 384GB 8 44GB 6
16 32GB LRDIMM DDR3-1333 512GB 8 59GB 6
24 32GB LRDIMM DDR3-1333 768GB 8 91GB 6

RESULTS: MySQL WORKLOAD PERFORMANCE*

Transactions per Second
Mean Response Time [ms]

NUMBER OF SERVERS REQUIRED TO ACHIEVE 2 TRILLION TRANSACTIONS A YEAR FOR 5 YEARS

GOOD

BETTER

BEST

Since you don't need as many servers, you save on hardware, power, and VMware® licenses, which often cost more than a single server and hit your budget every year.

Why this approach significantly improves quality of service

Virtualizing MySQL databases isn't about the number of VMs you can virtualize, but rather the number of VMs you can virtualize at an effective quality of service. Due to the inherent nature of their workload, virtualized MySQL databases tend to be spiky, and this natural variance increases as the number of VMs increases. The best way to improve service, then, is to eliminate variance and make workload performance more consistent.

More memory helps eliminate variance because it provides extra resources for the database to house and use active data. When data has to get swapped from storage to memory, performance is lost (the data went to storage because the memory was maxed out). In other words, housing hot, active data in memory is one of the best, most cost-effective ways to reduce workload variance and improve quality of service.

Tip: To really increase performance, we recommend using balloon drivers (you can install them within the VMware® software). Balloon drivers are helpful because they allow the software to see inside the VM and reallocate memory as needed. If you don't use balloon drivers, VMWare can't see what's going on within a VM. It only knows that it's allocated a set amount of resources to that VM – not whether those resources are being fully utilized. Remove the barrier and watch your MySQL database automatically allocate memory to where it's most needed.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Memory is just one part of the MySQL performance equation, but it's perhaps the most important component for increasing performance and minimizing server sprawl and license costs. Contain your total build out by optimizing the hardware you purchase – and get the highest level of performance.

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