Database Dilemma... Please help

Sasha Pachev sasha at
Thu Apr 6 14:08:29 MDT 2006


I believe Yahoo has a table with 100,000,000 rows. Yahoo Finance runs on MySQL. 
I believe so do Google Ads. Hope that's good enough for the CEO :-) While doing 
MySQL support, I've seen a number customers with that many rows, and they did 
fine as long as they used keys. I've just taken a look at the biggest table of 
one of my clients, and found 22,876,973 rows in it. The database, and 
particularly that table, are very active. MySQL has been up for 54 days, and in 
that time sustained the average load of 55 queries per second without having the 
infamous honor of being the frequent "winner" in the top contest on CPU 
utilization (To make a jab at Bryan - the most frequent winner is java :-) ). I 
have seen problems with that application, but the last time it was in the MySQL 
area was about a year ago (fixed in 20 minutes).

I find it rather pointless to talk in the terms of how many rows a database can 
handle without the loss of speed. At least for MySQL, 99% of the answer depends 
on what queries you run, not so much on how many rows you have once you have 
enough to reveal bad algorithms.

Generally, if MySQL can do it at all, it can do it fast. If you need a fast db, 
and you are willing to play by MySQL rules, just about the only way to beat a 
MySQL-backend app is to program on the ISAM level. MS-SQL, as well as many 
others, beats MySQL on the feature set, but not on speed.

Sasha Pachev
AskSasha Linux Consulting

Running Blog

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