The Genie in the LAMP

Remember when the LAMP stack was young? Open source Linux, Apache HTTPd, MySQL, and PHP were the insurgent technologies delivering world-beating performance and scale at unheard-of prices, back in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Now, the LAMP stack has evolved and matured. It remains the core of high-performance, scale-out application architectures, and has been for well over a decade now. As a consequence, enterprise software has never been more easily developed, deployed, and scaled than with today’s mature application architectures. Now, web-scale applications handle multiple terabytes of data and millions of users, all with continuous availability, transactional consistency, and easy scaling.

So, how to assemble the most highly-evolved implementation of this industry-standard platform? Who can help you deploy your application with superior performance and scalability, ironclad availability, and low cost-of-ownership? Turn to the experts: IBM and MariaDB.

MariaDB: The Database Heart

MariaDB is an open source, community-built descendant of MySQL, and the rightful heir to the rich legacy of the LAMP stack’s favorite database technology. MariaDB is application-compatible, so your existing applications just work. With a vendor-independent community at the heart of its development and many of the original inventors of MySQL steering its course, MariaDB is a more advanced implementation of the world’s most widely adopted RDBMS technology.

MariaDB uses a modern, sophisticated extension of MySQL’s replication technology to let you “scale-out” to handle very large production deployments. It is an ACID-compliant, transactional database that implements the proven relational data model embodied by the standard SQL query language.

IBM Power 8: A Complementary Architecture

What makes MariaDB really sing? An underlying computing platform that runs optimized industry-standard Linux distributions, but that has the cores, thread management, and I/O and memory bandwidth to blast through the transactional demands of thousands of concurrent users, complex application architectures, and massive data volumes.

Compare the performance of MariaDB on IBM’s 10-core Power 8 S822L with 256GB of DRAM, vs. their Intel IvyBridge 12-core x3650 server with 384GB of DRAM, running the same Ubuntu Linux kernel under KVM, and using the same storage system for the database.

Sysbench Performance

The Power 8 system delivers 2.24 times the transactions per second per core on the standard Sysbench OLTP benchmark. Sure, you can use MariaDB’s industry-leading replication technology to scale out either of these systems to handle massive deployments. But lets look at why combining higher-performance Power 8 servers with MariaDB’s proven replication capabilities might deliver more cost-effective scaling.

Scale Up + Scale Out: Not Just Blowing Smoke

Porting and optimizing MariaDB 10 to the Power 8 architecture has been a collaborative effort between the database experts at MariaDB, and IBM’s system architects. The engineering teams have worked together to leverage unique capabilities of MariaDB, including:

  • An improved version of the standard InnoDB storage engine familiar to MySQL DBAs.
  • Tuned multi-threading including an improved thread pool management system exclusive to MariaDB 10.
  • Advanced memory management, including efficient buffer pool and cache implementations.
  • Exclusive parallel slave architecture which delivers nearly 10x better cluster replication performance than MySQL.

Combining Power 8 and MariaDB delivers both cost savings and the potential for even more massive scale, because with more then 2.2 times the performance per core:

  • Many applications can do without slave replication entirely, greatly simplifying deployment and reducing the burden on your DBAs.
  • Fewer servers means less power, rack units and floor space, and lower data center costs.
  • With less need for massive replication hierarchies, your database infrastructure can run with a smaller staff.
  • You retain the flexibility and headroom to deploy replicated database infrastructure for higher availability, massive scalability, and disaster resilience, all with less staff, servers, and complexity.

IBM and MariaDB Grant Your Three Wishes

The combination of Power 8 and MariaDB is not magic. But it is the culmination of many years of system and database optimizations designed to deliver magical performance and scale. Oh Power 8 and MariaDB Genie, here are three wishes:

Customer – your wish is granted!

  • Reduce my staffing, data center, and licensing costs,
  • Give me flexibility to handle even the most demanding scale, and
  • Support me in deploying the most advanced infrastructure technologies in the world!

Want to know more about running MariaDB optimized for POWER8? Reach out to us and member of our team will call back.