MySQL Primer for the SQL Sever DBA

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item MySQL Primer for the SQL Sever DBA

    ken kaufman
    Lead DBA,

  • A good and balanced article. I take exception to the final sentence in the MyISAM section though: "Overall for small read-only data sets Myisam out of the box (Downloaded from SourceForge) is an excellent choice, but does struggle as the datasets grow, and requires tuning".

    I am not sure what you would define as small, but we have a 180gb spatial database with 450 million rows running off MyISAM and the performance does not appear to have degraded with size at all.

    Spatial databases are still a bit of a specialized subset, though this was the reason I switched from SQL Server to MySQL in the first place.

  • Ken,

    Thanks for the article. Very informative!


  • Ditto on the thanks. This was a good intro.

    Note: Yes, you're right about the religious wars. Some people approach these discussions with a ferver that is a little disturbing...:crazy:

    “Politicians are like diapers. They both need changing regularly and for the same reason.”

  • Great Article! I currently migrated a couple of MSSQL 2000 db's to MySQL.

  • Wonderful Article. I hope you continue this into a "series" and delve deeper into SQL Server vs. MySQL, perhaps in writing code, Stored Object (SPs, Views, Functions, etc) and other day-to-day use comparisons.

    Keep up the good work!


  • Is anyone else having issues with MySQL's documentation and addition/removal of features? Things like database renaming (added then removed), local file imports having to use the option -L (was optional, now required) ... It seems like each release, no matter how minor, means I have to re-learn everything. Scripts I save in 1 version fail when run against the next minor release. I realize things like the database renaming were better off removed as they did not work at all. But how about fixing instead of just removing!

    Also I would have to agree with performance issues, I have tables with 144 million rows, in MyISAM and the performance is worse than that of an MS Access DB!

    Overall MySQL is not my DB of choice - SQL Server, Oracle and Sybase are better in every aspect. But MySQL is free, so I guess its worth all my time re-writing scripts!?

  • Great intro - as said before, please consider turning this into a series of "hands on" articles.


  • Great article. I'm almost surprised that this has not drawn more fire ... er ... posts. It's early in the US though.

    The cost of MySQL is great. The open source thing is a bit to get over at first. I can download it and use it myself. My customer can download it and use it. I can't download it and install it for them. We give the customer a sheet of instructions and set with them while they download it and install it. Once done the sheet says, "Now your consultant can be engaged to reconfigure and tune the installation." 😎

    The other thing about MyIsam is the way you can do backups. Stop the service, copy the files, start the service. Restore is the same way. To reinstall run your create table scripts and do the restore. This won't work with the other engines.

    The GUI admin was not built into version 4. SqlYog to the rescue. Version 5 has a lot of new cool stuff in it. Since we have become MS partners we do a lot less with MySQL. We have to support the stuff in the field still. The stuff runs every day.

    ATBCharles Kincaid

  • If you haven't yet, bnordberg, you may want to take a look at PostgreSQL; it's also free and I would expect the learning curve to be a bit more reasonable for someone with a MS SQL Server/Oracle/Sybase background.


  • In present times when companies are looking to add projects and cut costs open source is a very viable option. In my experience more than 75% of the SQL Server projects would work well on MySQL. At an internet company I worked at we used MySQL for over 300GB of data. There are great analysis tools for it and lots of community driven support.

    Where I do see a vacuum in the open source world as it relates to databases is ETL & multidimensional databases. There are some recent projects in this area of BI, but they are not close to as mature as the commercial offerings from companies like Business Objects or Oracle.

    I would also recommend sticking with InnoDB for enterprise projects because of transactional support, performance and supportability of large databases.

  • bnordberg I think you must have some serious config issues if you are finding a myisam table's performance to be worse than access.

    Some of these posts really get to the crux of the issue in any MSSQL vs MYSQL debate. With SQL server pretty much what you see is what you get. MySQL is infinitely configurable, which can be difficult at first, but is incredibly rewarding once you get past the first few gotchas. Hell, you can even add your own functions and recompile if you so wish.

    In fact, MySQL is the first thing I ever built from source, a painful experience to begin with. Now, I am an ecstatic linux hacker and would never go back to black boxes and closed source. It all comes down to budget levels, comfort zones and what you need it for. As I said above, I used MySQL initially as it had a feature that SQL server didnt' have until 2008, namely spatial extensions and R-tree indexes.

  • I would really love to see this same type of article written for PostgreSQL vs. MSSQL.

  • This was a very informative article. I would join the call to expand it into a series going into more detail on the differences and when it is appropriate to use MySQL along side MsSQL.

    Timothy A Wiseman
    SQL Blog:

  • Just to pile on, I agree it was an interesting article and cleared some things up for me. It has been a few years since I have looked a MySQL mainly because I have worked in MS shops and I am more concerned with being a credible expert in MSSQL than learning open source. My only comment is that from a tools perspective, MSSQL beats out MySQL or at least did when I last looked at it.

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