What is the Best Operating System to run MySQL?

Tuesday, May 7, 2019 by Lucas Vogel

Which is the best operating system for MySQL 8.0 Enterprise loads? We make the case for considering Oracle Linux.

Category: Installation


uestion shows up frequently throughout internet history: Which operating system is best configured to run MySQL?

For the server side, despite all admirable performance by Windows, most people quite happily prefer Linux; for client tools, the opposite is typically true, though Apple products also make an appearance.

But there's usually some level of criteria for picking out an OS, especially as the size and value of your business data increase. As system uptime becomes a critical concern, access to updates and maintenance tools dedicated to minimizing any downtime becomes essential - one of the reasons people increasingly turn to the cloud for managed infrastructure.

If you're not using it (and there's nothing saying you should or you have to) there is certainly a case to be made for using Oracle Linux for your MySQL deployments. After all - if your database vendor builds an OS distribution for deploying its database products, there have to be some good reasons for it, right?

Oracle Linux takes the best features of Red Hat Linux, integrates it with features lifted from Solaris, hardens the kernel, and offers first-class enterprise features to the operating system to keep your systems running. It's free to use, download and distribute, as is access to Oracle's yum server for updates. Looking for a VM? Oracle Linux VMs are available too.

Let's take a look at some of the features found in Oracle Linux. (Note: some of these features are only unlocked through the support options listed below.)

Ksplice

Ksplice allows you to apply important kernel and critical user-space components and updates without rebooting. Ksplice works in virtual environments or bare metal and does not require a persistent process to run. It also comes with an API so you can monitor your machines using your own 3rd party system.

Unlocking this feature requires a subscription to Oracle Linux Premier Support, but it's also FREE to Ubuntu and Fedora desktop Linux users!

ktask

Whenever a large task (commonly found in databases!) needs to be completed, a request is made to the kernel, and the kernel assigns a single thread to take care of the work. More often than not, it's more work than the single thread can take care of, creating a large bottleneck.

The ktask framework helps the Linux kernel parallelize these tasks at the system level for tasks such as freeing up system resources during a shutdown operation. By patching it into the OS, it makes large machines more nimble in their resource allocation and provides consistent performance results acrossMySQL and other database platforms.

DTrace

Originally built for the Solaris operating system, the Dynamic Tracing Facility known as DTrace is a kernel framework that gives developers and admins the ability to debug problems in the operating system kernel as well as other applications. There are a number of providers for different things such as I/O and TCP.

XFS

The XFS file system is a high-performance, 64-bit journaling filesystem originally built by Silicon Graphics. XFS is designed for high scalability over multiple devices. XFS can support up to 500TB of data.

Oracle Container Runtime

Oracle provides its own Oracle Container Runtime for Docker which consists of the Docker Engine, which packages and runs the applications, and integrates with the Docker Hub, Docker Store and Oracle's own Container Registry. If you're looking to deploy MySQL Enterprise in a container environment, Oracle's pre-packaged images will come in handy.

Support

Nothing comes for free, and Oracle support options are no exception. When you purchase a support package for Oracle Linux, you are added to the Unbreakable Linux Network which gives you access to the ULN Channels, giving you the latest updates.

Basic Support

In addition to Unbreakable Linux Network access, Oracle Basic Support gives you Oracle Enterprise Manager and Oracle Clusterware access at no additional cost, as well as DTrace, load balancing, and 24/7 telephone and online support. You also get access to the Oracle Container runtime for Docker.

Premier Support

In addition to the features unlocked in Basic Support, Premier unlocks the ksplice feature discussed above, as well as access to the Oracle Linux Cloud Native Environment which offers a rich container environment and includes Kubernetes. The Gluster scalable network filesystem is now available, as is Ceph.

The Best OS

It all boils down to what you're comfortable with, what your objectives are, and what kind of support you're looking for from your OS vendor. Oracle makes a compelling case for using their Linux distribution.

The only possible case to be made for not using Oracle Linux would be if you were not looking for premier support and you wanted to deploy containers; if this is you, you're better off with CentOS or something specific to your container-driven workload. If you take your enterprise workloads seriously, however, there's still a case to be made here for using Oracle Linux.


Before you purchase anything from Oracle, contact us for a quote - not only is it free, but we might be able to get you what you're looking for at a better price!