MySQL Cluster is a technology that enables clustering of in-memory databases in a shared-nothing system. The shared-nothing architecture enables the system to work with very inexpensive hardware, and with a minimum of specific requirements for hardware or software.
MySQL Cluster is designed not to have any single point of failure. In a shared-nothing system, each component is expected to have its own memory and disk, and the use of shared storage mechanisms such as network shares, network file systems, and SANs is not recommended or supported.
MySQL Cluster integrates the standard MySQL server with an in-memory clustered storage engine called NDB (which stands for “Network DataBase”). In our article, the term NDB refers to the part of the setup that is specific to the storage engine, whereas “MySQL Cluster” refers to the combination of one or more MySQL servers with the NDB storage engine.
A MySQL Cluster consists of a set of computers, known as hosts, each running one or more processes. These processes, known as nodes, may include MySQL servers (for access to NDB data), data nodes (for storage of the data), one or more management servers, and possibly other specialized data access programs. The relationship of these components in a MySQL Cluster is shown here:
All these programs work together to form a MySQL Cluster. When data is stored by the NDB storage engine, the tables (and table data) are stored in the data nodes. Such tables are directly accessible from all other MySQL servers (SQL nodes) in the cluster. Thus, in a payroll application storing data in a cluster, if one application updates the salary of an employee, all other MySQL servers that query this data can see this change immediately.
Although a MySQL Cluster SQL node uses the mysqld server daemon, it differs in a number of critical respects from the mysqld binary supplied with the MySQL distributions, and the two versions of mysqld are not interchangeable.
In addition, a MySQL server that is not connected to a MySQL Cluster cannot use the NDB storage engine and cannot access any MySQL Cluster data. The data stored in the data nodes for MySQL Cluster can be mirrored; the cluster can handle failures of individual data nodes with no other impact than that a small number of transactions are aborted due to losing the transaction state. Because transactional applications are expected to handle transaction failure, this should not be a source of problems.
Individual nodes can be stopped and restarted, and can then rejoin the system (cluster). Rolling restarts (in which all nodes are restarted in turn) are used in making configuration changes and software upgrades.
Backing up and restoring MySQL Cluster databases can be done using the NDB-native functionality found in the MySQL Cluster management client and the ndb_restore program included in the MySQL Cluster distribution.
MySQL Cluster nodes can use a number of different transport mechanisms for inter-node communications, including TCP/IP using standard 100 Mbps or faster Ethernet hardware. It is also possible to use the highspeed
Scalable Coherent Interface (SCI) protocol with MySQL Cluster, although this is not required to use MySQL Cluster.
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