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The Innovation Brigade Blog

This is where we share our wisdom with the rest of the world. We hope you will find our blog informative and sometimes even entertaining to read.

Benchmarking PHP Resource Loading: JSON vs. Serialized vs. Raw PHP vs. Mysql

During recent discussions with one of our customers the subject of performance was raised. They want us to build a site for them which they expect will have to cope with up to 100 requests per second and wondered how they could ensure performance would remain good. Apart from advising them to get a beefy server, we came up with the idea of offloading some of the database requests, which were essentially read-only, to files which would then be parsed by the PHP code. This sounded like a good idea, but we had to admit that we had no idea what exactly the performance implications of this would be. Since we don't like not knowing the answers to such questions, we wrong some test code to measure this.

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Fedora 20: Replacing MariaDB with MySql (when MariaDB crashes on a query)

With Fedora 20, one of the more drastic changes is the move from MySql to MariaDB. While MariaDB is designed to be a drop-in replacement for MySql, the replacement of our long-time (and favorite) workhorse (MySql) with another package is something which we both looked forward to and dreaded. Don't get us wrong, we're entirely for the evolution of the LAMP stack, but at the same time we like what we know. Read below why (for us at this very time) MariaDB doesn't quite cut it yet and what we had to do in order to get MySql installed on our Fedora 20 system.

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Project management the Marx Brothers style

Have you ever been involved in an enterprise level project and found yourself surrounded by a project team which seemed at least twice as big as it should have been? If you were involved with some of the biggest and most reputable names in IT consulting, the answer to this question is almost certainly 'yes'. The truth is that we all have our favorite and least favorite consulting organizations and that everybody's list is determined by their personal experiences. You may have had great projects with a certain organization and your friends may have had horrible experiences with them. Every organization has its stars and it's duds, but project staffing can give you a hint as to what to expect right as you walk in the door.

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MySql vs Hive Import Speed: can you say 'Wow'?

You may wonder: what is Hive and why should I care? Straight from Wikipedia: 'Apache Hive is a data warehouse infrastructure built on top of Hadoop for providing data summarization, query, and analysis. While initially developed by Facebook, Apache Hive is now used and developed by other companies such as Netflix. Amazon maintains a software fork of Apache Hive that is included in Amazon Elastic MapReduce on Amazon Web Services.' As for why you should care? If all you're doing is small-data stuff on MySql, you don't really have a reason to care. On the other hand, if you're dealing with massive amounts of data, you probably already know about Hive. What's really interesting though, is the import speed Hive provides. Below are the results of some tests we've done to illustrate this point.

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Using TPC-DS to generate RDBMS performance benchmark data

If you ever find yourself in need to generate massive quantities of benchmark data to test your database's data-import or query performance, the TPC (Transaction Processing Performance Council) provides a handy tool which can easily generate gigabytes of data. Yes, the data it generates and the queries it provides are geared towards decision support applications, but that doesn't prevent these scripts from being a good testing ground for your database; especially if you wish to compare performance on several database platforms.

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Making it go faster: Tuning MySQL InnoDB Insert Speed for Fun and Profit

We like MySQL, we really do. Generally it performs well and does what it’s supposed to do without much fuss. It’s a dependable workhorse that we usually trust blindly to get the job done. However, during a recent cry for help from one of our customers we experienced a severe performance issue when trying to import their old production database. What took 2 minutes using MyISAM tables, took more than 3 hours using InnoDB. Of course we could have just been happy that the import completed and that we now had it in our database, but we are curious folks and when the performance devil pokes us, we want to know why.

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