Thursday Dec 13, 2012

NoSQL Memcached API for MySQL: Latest Updates

With data volumes exploding, it is vital to be able to ingest and query data at high speed. For this reason, MySQL has implemented NoSQL interfaces directly to the InnoDB and MySQL Cluster (NDB) storage engines, which bypass the SQL layer completely. Without SQL parsing and optimization, Key-Value data can be written directly to MySQL tables up to 9x faster, while maintaining ACID guarantees.

In addition, users can continue to run complex queries with SQL across the same data set, providing real-time analytics to the business or anonymizing sensitive data before loading to big data platforms such as Hadoop, while still maintaining all of the advantages of their existing relational database infrastructure.

This and more is discussed in the latest Guide to MySQL and NoSQL where you can learn more about using the APIs to scale new generations of web, cloud, mobile and social applications on the world's most widely deployed open source database

The native Memcached API is part of the MySQL 5.6 Release Candidate, and is already available in the GA release of MySQL Cluster. By using the ubiquitous Memcached API for writing and reading data, developers can preserve their investments in Memcached infrastructure by re-using existing Memcached clients, while also eliminating the need for application changes.

Speed, when combined with flexibility, is essential in the world of growing data volumes and variability. Complementing NoSQL access, support for on-line DDL (Data Definition Language) operations in MySQL 5.6 and MySQL Cluster enables DevOps teams to dynamically update their database schema to accommodate rapidly changing requirements, such as the need to capture additional data generated by their applications. These changes can be made without database downtime.

Using the Memcached interface, developers do not need to define a schema at all when using MySQL Cluster.

Lets look a little more closely at the Memcached implementations for both InnoDB and MySQL Cluster.

Memcached Implementation for InnoDB

The Memcached API for InnoDB is previewed as part of the MySQL 5.6 Release Candidate.

As illustrated in the following figure, Memcached for InnoDB is implemented via a Memcached daemon plug-in to the mysqld process, with the Memcached protocol mapped to the native InnoDB API.

Figure 1: Memcached API Implementation for InnoDB

With the Memcached daemon running in the same process space, users get very low latency access to their data while also leveraging the scalability enhancements delivered with InnoDB and a simple deployment and management model. Multiple web / application servers can remotely access the Memcached / InnoDB server to get direct access to a shared data set.

With simultaneous SQL access, users can maintain all the advanced functionality offered by InnoDB including support for Foreign Keys, XA transactions and complex JOIN operations.

Benchmarks demonstrate that the NoSQL Memcached API for InnoDB delivers up to 9x higher performance than the SQL interface when inserting new key/value pairs, with a single low-end commodity server supporting nearly 70,000 Transactions per Second.

Figure 2: Over 9x Faster INSERT Operations

The delivered performance demonstrates MySQL with the native Memcached NoSQL interface is well suited for high-speed inserts with the added assurance of transactional guarantees.

You can check out the latest Memcached / InnoDB developments and benchmarks here

You can learn how to configure the Memcached API for InnoDB here

Memcached Implementation for MySQL Cluster

Memcached API support for MySQL Cluster was introduced with General Availability (GA) of the 7.2 release, and joins an extensive range of NoSQL interfaces that are already available for MySQL Cluster

Like Memcached, MySQL Cluster provides a distributed hash table with in-memory performance. MySQL Cluster extends Memcached functionality by adding support for write-intensive workloads, a full relational model with ACID compliance (including persistence), rich query support, auto-sharding and 99.999% availability, with extensive management and monitoring capabilities.

All writes are committed directly to MySQL Cluster, eliminating cache invalidation and the overhead of data consistency checking to ensure complete synchronization between the database and cache.

Figure 3: Memcached API Implementation with MySQL Cluster

Implementation is simple:

1. The application sends reads and writes to the Memcached process (using the standard Memcached API).

2. This invokes the Memcached Driver for NDB (which is part of the same process)

3. The NDB API is called, providing for very quick access to the data held in MySQL Cluster’s data nodes.

The solution has been designed to be very flexible, allowing the application architect to find a configuration that best fits their needs. It is possible to co-locate the Memcached API in either the data nodes or application nodes, or alternatively within a dedicated Memcached layer.

The benefit of this flexible approach to deployment is that users can configure behavior on a per-key-prefix basis (through tables in MySQL Cluster) and the application doesn’t have to care – it just uses the Memcached API and relies on the software to store data in the right place(s) and to keep everything synchronized.

Using Memcached for Schema-less Data

By default, every Key / Value is written to the same table with each Key / Value pair stored in a single row – thus allowing schema-less data storage. Alternatively, the developer can define a key-prefix so that each value is linked to a pre-defined column in a specific table.

Of course if the application needs to access the same data through SQL then developers can map key prefixes to existing table columns, enabling Memcached access to schema-structured data already stored in MySQL Cluster.


Download the Guide to MySQL and NoSQL to learn more about NoSQL APIs and how you can use them to scale new generations of web, cloud, mobile and social applications on the world's most widely deployed open source database

See how to build a social app with MySQL Cluster and the Memcached API from our on-demand webinar or take a look at the docs

Don't hesitate to use the comments section below for any questions you may have 


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