E-Commerce has been on the rise with more and more businesses taking to online platforms to reach out to their clientele. Consequently, there has been a significant increase in the number of online spending, which has been due to the increase in the adoption and ownership of mobile devices that has resulted in a shift to the web. As a result, shoppers are always looking out for unmatched shopping experiences. That is, quick access, round-the-clock availability, accessible content and smooth checkouts among others.
What this means for online retailers is that they have to keep up with their competition, prevent loss of repeat business and negative brand image as well as maintain the ability to meet their orders. In summary, online retailers must offer a remarkable experience at all times by keeping in mind that the performance of the website is at the center of their clients’ shopping experience.
Difficulties Encountered in MySQL e-commerce environment
If you have not had the need to increase your e-commerce database memory, then it is likely that MySQL powers your website . This is attributed to the ability of MySQL to handle reasonable traffic as your business expands. Even then, when the databases attain maximum capacity, then your e-commerce website will not work well. This is largely because MySQL does not have the capacity to handle the following:
- An Increase in the Reads and Writes – That is, the more your customers transact, the more likely your website will stall. While MySQL is able to scale reads through read-slaves, it is vital that applications are aware that reads are not synchronized to the write master. Consequently, when customers update their e-commerce cart, it is read on write master. Otherwise, there is a risk of having wrong the wrong promised quantities available, resulting in a bottleneck in the checkout line. The result is that shopping carts that are abandoned, unmanaged, sell inventory and refunds tends to upset customers as well as give a negative image on social media.
- Increased Availability – Your e-commerce website needs to be constantly operational if your business is to make money. Even then, MySQL usually experiences failure on the master server, thus, when the server is down, then your e-commerce website will experience downtime meaning your customers cannot make their purchases from you, causing them to become frustrated.
- Flex Up and Down – Since MySQL writes are not scalable through slaves, an increase in traffic can be accommodated by paying a premium and scaling up. MySQL does not have the capacity of flexing up and down to benefit your business.
What Should you Do When MySQL database has reached its Limit?
It does not take long before your MySQL powered website stalls. Thus, when your write master has been scaled, it is important to consider re-platforming or sharding, which offers a reasonable increase in the cost as well as complexity.
- Replatforming – This mainly involves moving the database from one platform to the other. For instance, you could move from Magento/MySQL to an Oracle-based platform. This is not only complicated and risky but also quite involving in terms of rewriting codes. It is also time consuming and costly.
- Sharding – This involves partitioning the database across different servers. This largely serves to improve the performance of MySQL even though it presents various shortcomings.
Although both sharding and replatforming enhance the performance of MySQL, they are complex processes that consume a lot of time in addition to being costly. Even then, the good news is that they are not the only options.
It is not surprising that MySQL technology that dates back to more than two decades ago is struggling to stay abreast with the latest developments in the digital world today. While MySQL databases will do for those companies that do not foresee much growth, companies that are keen on growth need to consider scaling their MySQL databases even though achieving scale is no mean feat.
Facebook and Google Deal with MySQL
It is possible to encounter problems when scaling MySQL despite having all the financial resources. For instance, Google has built its own database which is a huge undertaking as opposed to if the company had explored modern solutions. On the other hand, Facebook has also spent millions of dollars automating advanced tools yet they could have kept the money and moved away from MySQL.
Maintaining the Database
It is important to work with knowledgeable administrators if you are looking to not only scale but also maintain MySQL successfully. This is because they have the know-how of synchronization and replication that is needed in promoting slaves to masters. Administrators should be able to deal with different servers as well as work cohesively with application developers and architects.
Scaling is a Massive Undertaking
Before scaling MySQL, it is necessary to ensure that the database has the ability to handle more transactions without any hitches, for instance limitation by the size of the write master server. When your server box is the largest option available, then you do not have many options. One of the options is the read-slaves, that is, distinct servers that off load the requests on read only servers to other servers handling copies of your main database. Even then, owing to the nature of asynchronous replication technology, this solution is quite difficult within the e-commerce environment.
Overall, a database load balancing software may be deployed in enabling transparency between your MySQL database and the e-commerce app.