Atomic Writes Accelerate MySQL Performance

Posted: 04 Oct 2011   By: Nisha Talagala
Atomic Writes Accelerate MySQL Performance

Most vendors approach flash like just another disk, but that shortsighted approach leaves great potential unaddressed in enterprise applications. Today we are introducing a new extension to our Virtual Storage Layer (VSL) that enables Atomic Writes in the popular open-source MySQL database. Atomic Writes refers to an operation in which a processor can simultaneously write multiple independent storage sectors as a single  transaction. We’re releasing the Atomic Writes extension to the MySQL community to help accelerate the database and make possible new features enabled by the power and flexibility of flash architectures.

Atomic Writes ensure that operations are completed in their entirety or not at all. As such, when Atomic Writes are used, applications do not have to take extra steps to protect their data against partial writes during failures. In MySQL, Atomic Writes remove the need to utilize the MySQL double write buffer. Since the application does not have to write data twice, performance increases and recovery becomes simpler. As the number of application writes is cut in half, this software extension can also double flash hardware endurance.

With a software-centric approach, we can leverage the potential of flash to develop new features that accelerate databases and other applications in ways previously not possible. The Atomic Writes extension connects Fusion’s VSL software architecture up into MySQL to uniquely provide these enhanced features. This extension for MySQL is the first example of directly optimizing an application through the flexibility of VSL. With the new Atomic Writes extension, Fusion-io testing has observed 35 percent more transactions per second and a 2.5x improvement in performance predictability compared to conducting the same MySQL tests without the Atomic Writes feature.

To activate the Atomic Writes feature, database architects apply the extension to the InnoDB transactional storage engine for MySQL, which then creates a new InnoDB source image. The Atomic Writes extension will be available to select customers for testing in Q4 2011. Fusion-io will collaborate with the MySQL community to assist with making the new Atomic Writes features accessible for widespread use as quickly as possible.

To find out more, check out our press release.

Nisha Talagala

Lead Architect, Engineering Software
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