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With major clustering terms and concepts defined, it's now time to look at strategies and best practices you can employ to set up the right clustering environment.
This section provides an important discussion about the performance-related capabilities of the 4.1.x and 5.x series of MySQL Cluster, followed by some ideas on defining the right cluster topology.
Choosing the Right Version
As previously stated several times in this chapter, dramatic performance differences exist between different versions of MySQL Cluster. Perhaps the easiest way to view these differences is as follows: Version 4.1.x delivers high availability but might hurt performance, whereas version 5.x will address these performance issues through a collection of enhancements. These enhancements include the following:
In spite of these performance challenges with version 4.1.x, it's still worthwhile to explore MySQL Cluster, if for no other reason than to gain experience and prepare for upgrading to version 5.x.
Whenever configuring a distributed computing environment, it's natural to wonder how to allocate servers, or in the case of MySQL Cluster, hosts and nodes.
This is yet another example of the site-specific nature of performance tuning: What works for a read-intensive search engine might be anathema to a site that processes thousands of data-modifying transactions per second. Administrators must strike a balance between the high-availability benefits brought about by deploying numerous redundant data nodes and the added network costs that these extraneous nodes incur.
With that said, consider a few suggestions that should be appropriate in the majority of situations in which MySQL Cluster is deployed.
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