Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Roger Strukhoff

Related Topics: Linux Containers

Linux Containers: Article

MySQL for AP Hosted News

Bottom line: it just works

The Associated Press (AP), the world's oldest and largest news agency, offers a service that allows news providers to integrate AP online content directly into their Web sites. The service, AP Hosted News, is used by approximately 600 affiliate newspapers and broadcasters. The service handles between 150,000 and 500,000 pages of content per affiliate per day, supporting 11,000 concurrent users. MySQL, a free open source database, has been the backbone of AP Hosted News since 2002.

From Informix to MySQL

AP originally used Informix for the online news service, but the development team started looking for a new database vendor when the project was going through a redesign. They downloaded MySQL to use as a proof-of-concept model to demonstrate what they needed, but assumed that the production system would use a commercial database from a large vendor.

After getting quotes from several commercial databases such as Oracle and IBM's DB2, they realized that their exact mix of requirements were going to be very expensive. AP needed 24/7 support, speed, and reliability, but not the mix of other features the large vendors include.

According to Terry Ewing, senior systems manager, "Oracle tries to be everything to everyone, so when you buy the product, you buy all the extras that someone else needed. The licensing and support model is so complicated that we would have spent too much to get the solution we needed. DB2 would also have been hundreds of thousands of dollars." They eventually realized that MySQL would be sufficient for the job, as long as they could get quality commercial support.

MySQL had the speed and efficiency AP needed, and the product was free. High-quality support was available from MySQL, Inc., a company that provides expert support for the database.

"MySQL just happened to fit what we needed: speed and efficiency. It's because other companies had the same problems, and the product evolved to match what companies like us need most. We just don't need everything Oracle has to offer, so we don't need to pay for it."
- Terry Ewing, senior systems manager, AP

According to Ewing, ease of deployment and license flexibility were important. They are able to quickly add databases according to changes in news requirements. When the Iraq war was imminent, for example, the team added a casualty database without having to worry about license compliance or renegotiating a contract.

Nine Times the Performance, but Only Twice the Cost

Ewing wanted to be sure about the benefit of using Linux on Intel hardware, so he checked Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC, www.specbench.org) for a comparison against replacing their Sun hardware running Solaris. He was surprised by the findings. The cost of their older Sun hardware, originally $11,000, came out to $.60 per million operations per second. The Sun hardware they considered replacing it with, now $23,000, came out to $.83 per million operations per second. The price had actually increased for the same performance. Linux on Intel hardware with a 4-processor CPU, priced at $24,600, came out to $.23 per million operations per second. Once they knew how much power they could expect from the hardware, they added in the costs of the software.

Once the software and support costs were added in, Ewing calculated the performance of Linux at nine times better than Solaris on Sun hardware, at just twice the cost.

Support Is Better on MySQL

Maintaining the highest service level was a crucial requirement for the AP project, so it was important to work with a commercial support company. MySQL, Inc., was the obvious choice. According to Ewing, AP has received better support from MySQL, Inc., than he ever did with Informix. He believes there are a couple of reasons for this. "First, AP was using a particular application server that Informix was no longer totally committed to supporting. Since they weren't fully behind it anymore, we paid for 24/7 support, but didn't get the responsive help anymore. Second, Informix and the other major database vendors receive their money in a lump sum, and support contracts are just gravy. That gives them less incentive to work hard supporting customers. But since MySQL Inc.'s whole business is services and support, they have a big incentive to work hard for the customer."

Advice for Developers of Database Applications

Ewing's advice to technical managers deploying database applications is to maintain a distance between you and your chosen database vendor, which he calls "unbundling." Write applications so that you are able to switch databaselater if you find a business reason to do so. Be mindful of standards, and stay away from proprietary features. "We could always move to a commercial database later, since we built the application with unbundling in mind."

It Just Works

Even though the development team originally expected to use a commercial database, an open source solution won out in the end. "The decision to use MySQL was easy because the system runs on its own," says Ewing. "The key benefits of using the MySQL database are its performance, its stability, and its low total cost of ownership. Bottom line: it just works."

More Stories By Maria Winslow

Maria Winslow is the author of The Practical Manager's Guide to Open Source, available at http://www.lulu.com/practicalGuide and can be contacted at [email protected]

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Among the proven benefits,...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile exhibited at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on qua...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cedexis will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cedexis is the leader in data-driven enterprise global traffic management. Whether optimizing traffic through datacenters, clouds, CDNs, or any combination, Cedexis solutions drive quality and cost-effectiveness. For more information, please visit https://www.cedexis.com.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Google Cloud has been named “Keynote Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Companies come to Google Cloud to transform their businesses. Google Cloud’s comprehensive portfolio – from infrastructure to apps to devices – helps enterprises innovate faster, scale smarter, stay secure, and do more with data than ever before.