Performance gains with MariaDB and IBM POWER8

MariaDB and Foedus paths crossed less than a year ago when I met Paolo Messina at a two-day IBM event in Tuscany. IBM invited me, as the MariaDB Italian representative, to introduce MariaDB as an Open Source Solution for the POWER8 platform.

Foedus was there as one of the top Italian IBM Partners and as an Italian ISV company that provides an ERP solution platform named “Octobus”. Since 2008, Foedus has developed innovative solutions and management tools using the LAMP stack as the foundation of their technology. Foedus is at the same time open to other platforms. Octobus, which has been developed in Java, also runs on Windows platform.

When we met in October 2014, Foedus was about to test their solution on a POWER8 machine. They wanted to consider POWER8 as an option because of the great performance of POWER8 machines, and because it was a great opportunity to run a native Linux-based solution on an IBM Linux native system. One of their best clients agreed to host a POC in their live environment–actually based on a WAMP stack–and use their data.

The plan was to install Octobus in a POWER8 LAMP stack test environment that could run in parallel with the production system and test the performance with static data. At a certain point and time, the plan was to stop the production environment, move all of the data to the POWER8 machine and switch the production for at least two days on the new environment and then monitor the performance.

At the beginning, MariaDB was not part of this plan. However, IBM suggested to Foedus that they add MariaDB to the configuration and experience the fantastic performance of MariaDB version 10 optimized for POWER8. They agreed. They also decided to use RedHat version 7 for the operating system.

At that time, Foedus was not very familiar with MariaDB, so they were worried this change would require some review either of the source code in the configuration or in the parameter settings. None of those were necessary. They just installed Octobus, installed MariaDB 10, did a backup of the MySQL database, moved the data to the POWER8 machine, started the service and the job was done!

They ran tests for two full days on the new environment and in production. The results were so impressive that the final customer is now considering IBM POWER8 with MariaDB and Linux as an option for next year. The most impressive result they observed was when they tested some well known, long running queries: the MariaDB optimizer and the POWER8 specific binaries allowed Foedus to cut the query execution time by more than ten times.

If you want to know more about Foedus and their experience, you can find a video that introduces them on this page: