MySQL 4.1 and FreeBSD 5.3

MySQL 4.1 has been released as production, and it’s a big step forward. Perhaps it’s about time to update my book and start working on a Mastering MySQL 5. Also due to be released is FreeBSD 5.3 (it’s just been delayed from Oct 25 to Nov 5). The database servers at work are running on MySQL 4.0 and FreeBSD 4, on 3Ghz Athlons, but they’re starting to creak again. As FreeBSD users know, FreeBSD 5.3 offers enhanced multi-processor performance without using Linux threads (Jeremy Zawodny’s blog had some popular posts about Linux vs FreeBSD for MySQL, culminating in this suggestion. We’ve never used Linux thread as the single CPU servers have been sufficient until now, but it’s time an upgrade. If no-one’s done it by then, when everything’s ready in mid-November we’ll look at benchmarking the options. I’m hoping that FreeBSD lives up to the hype (especially since it’s hype from those in the know rather than marketing wishful-thinking) and we’ll see a significant performance boost.

MySQL 4.1 also offers some potential performance benefits (I wrote a MySQL roadmap a while back, as well as a more recent update). Prepared statements mean MySQL needs to parse a query it will run multiple times just once. Secondly the new binary protocol for prepared statements means that the client no longer needs to convert the data into string format. These will probably both be minor improvements in our environment, and I suspect they may be counterbalanced by the weight of the extra features, but we’ll have to see.

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