Alternatives to MySQL

MySQL is not necessarily the solution for every need. It’s often much better to do some work completely outside MySQL, even if MySQL can theoretically do what you want.

One of the most obvious examples is storing data in a traditional filesystem instead of in tables. Image files are the classic case: you can put them into a BLOB column, but this is rarely a good idea. The usual practice is to store images or other large binary files on the filesystem and store the filenames inside MySQL; the application can then retrieve the files from outside of MySQL. In a web application, you accomplish this by putting the filename in the element’s src attribute.

Full-text searching is something else that’s best handled outside of MySQL—MySQL doesn’t perform these searches as well as Lucene or Sphinx. The NDB API can also be useful for certain tasks. For instance, although MySQL’s NDB Cluster storage engine isn’t (yet) well suited for storing all of a highperformance web application’s data, it’s possible to use the NDB API directly for storing web site session data or user registration information. You can learn more about the NDB API at There’s also an NDB module for Apache, mod_ndb, which you can download at

Finally, for some operations—such as graph relationships and tree traversals—a relational database just isn’t the right paradigm. MySQL isn’t good for distributed data processing, because it lacks parallel query execution capabilities. You’ll probably want to use other tools for this purpose (possibly in combination with MySQL).

Source of Information : OReIlly High Performance MySQL Second Edition


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