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WebScaleSQL is an open source database management system (DBMS) created as a software branch of MySQL 5.6. By joining efforts of a few companies and incorporating various changes and new features into MySQL, WebScaleSQL aims toward fulfilling various needs arising from deploying MySQL in large-scale environments.[1][2]

Project's source code is licensed under version 2 of the GNU General Public License, and hosted on GitHub.[3][4]


Running MySQL on numerous servers with large amounts of data (at the scale of terabytes and petabytes of data) creates a set of difficulties that in many cases arises the need for implementing specific customized MySQL features, or for introducing changes to MySQL. More than a few companies were facing the same (or very similar) set of difficulties in their production environments, what used to result in multiple solutions for similar challenges.[3][5][6]

WebScaleSQL was announced on 27 March 2014 by Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and Twitter as a joint effort, aiming to provide a centralized development structure for extending MySQL with new features specific to its large-scale deployments, such as building large replicated databases running on server farms. Thus, WebScaleSQL opens a path toward deduplicating the efforts each company had been putting into maintaining its own branch of MySQL, and toward bringing together more developers.[1][4]

WebScaleSQL is created as a branch of the MySQL's latest production-ready community release, which is version 5.6 as of March 2013. As the project aims to tightly follow new MySQL community releases, branching path has been chosen instead of becoming a software fork. Selection of MySQL community releases for the WebScaleSQL's upstream, instead of selecting some of MySQL forks, was the result of a consensus between the four founding companies; it was concluded that features already existing in version 5.6 of MySQL are adequate for large-scale deployments, with even more such features planned for version 5.7 of MySQL.[1][3][4]


WebScaleSQL's initial changes and additions to the MySQL 5.6 source code came from the four founding companies' engineers; however, the project is open to peer-reviewed community contributions.[7] As of March 27, 2014, available new features and changes include the following:[4][8]

  • a framework providing automated testing of all proposed changes
  • a customized suite of database performance tests
  • various changes to the tests provided by MySQL's community release
  • performance improvements in various areas, including buffer pool flushing, execution of certain types of SQL queries, and support for NUMA architectures
  • changes related to large-scale deployments, such as the ability to specify sub-second client timeouts.

As of March 28, 2014, planned new features and changes include the following:[1]

  • asynchronous MySQL client that will eliminate waiting on the client-side while establishing database connections, sending queries and receiving results
  • availability of various table, user and compression statistics
  • changes to internal compression mechanisms
  • addition of a logical read-ahead mechanism that brings significant performance improvements for full table scans.


WebScaleSQL is distributed in source-only form, with no official binaries available. As of March 27, 2014, compiling the source code and running WebScaleSQL is supported only on x86-64 Linux hosts, requiring at the same time a toolchain that supports C99 and C++11 language standards.[4]

The source code is hosted on GitHub, available under the GPL v2 license.[3][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (March 28, 2013). "WebScaleSQL: MySQL for Facebook-sized databases". ZDNet. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  2. ^ Klint Finley (March 27, 2013). "Google and Facebook Team Up to Modernize Old-School Databases". Wired. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d Jack Clark (March 27, 2013). "Forkin' 'L! Facebook, Google and friends create WebScaleSQL from MySQL 5.6". The Register. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Frequently Asked Questions". webscalesql.org. March 27, 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Patches for MySQL 5 - MySQL tools released by Google". code.google.com. June 24, 2011. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  6. ^ "facebook/mysql-5.1". github.com. June 2013. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Is Your Change Appropriate?". webscalesql.org. March 27, 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  8. ^ Michael Larabel (March 28, 2014). "Facebook & Others Announce WebScaleSQL". Phoronix. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 

External links[edit]