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Memcached and MySQL: Everything You Need to Know

Databases, Tutorial
Location: Portland 256 Level: Intermediate
Average rating: ****.
(4.11, 18 ratings)

Large MySQL deployments and Memcached go hand and hand. This tutorial details how to get started, the ins and outs of deploying Memcached as a key caching layer in your applications, and how to keep scaling.

Memcached is an amazing tool to assist in scaling web sites, originally developed for livejournal.com. Many large scale web sites such as Facebook, LiveJournal, SixApart, GaiaOnline, Mixi, Hi5, and others use and abuse Memcached to get the scalability they need.

This tutorial covers different ways to fit Memcached into your web site’s architecture. Decide on the best method to pull your web site into the big leagues from offerings provided by Brian Aker, director of architecture at MySQL, and Alan Kasindorf, MySQL DBA for Six Apart.

  • Start with the basics: Memcached’s Client/Server architecture.
  • Pick your poison: There are many clients for bridging MySQL and Memcached, pick one (or more!).
  • Get it out there: Tips for deploying Memcached in production.
  • What it all means: Master the mythical slab allocator, and tune the settings precisely for what you need.
  • Drive code: Work your MySQL data queries into Memcached. Avoid stale data, keep it fast.
  • Don’t get caught: There are limits!
  • Keep up to date: Where to go to stay up to date.
  • Learn how to integrate Memcached with MySQL through functions and MySQL’s Storage Engine Layer

Alan Kasindorf

Six Apart

Alan is the MySQL DBA for SixApart’s properties, as well as many of their scaling tools. Originally a sysadmin for livejournal.com in 2002, has since helped build numerous large websites with Open Source Software. Advocate and contributor for memcached, mogilefs, perlbal, and others.

Photo of Brian Aker

Brian Aker


Brian Aker is the Director of Technology for MySQL. At MySQL he helps set
direction for technology and looks for opportunies to harness and shape the
MySQL database for efforts in Web, OEM, and Telephony. In his copious amounts of free time he works on Apache and Perl modules, and hacks on the Asterisk Telephony System (hence never has a working home phone number). In the past, he has been involved with projects for the Army Engineer Corps, The Virtual Hospital, Splunk, and Slashdot. He lives in Seattle with his dog Rosalynd.

OSCON 2008