What is the Percona Server?

Percona Server is a fork of MySQL that came into being back in 2014. The developers that built Percona Server were mostly former MySQL people. They used a storage engine called InnoDB’s to work with MySQL and the performance was so good that the developers injected 30,000 lines of code into the current MySQL version to allow for additional enhancements. They have been doing this since MySQL 5.0.

Find our more about cloud server hosting and database hosting services for both Percona and MySQL.

Percona Server is a powerful database management system that is built as a fork of the MySQL database server. It is designed to enhance MySQL’s superior performance, scalability, and reliability, making it a valuable choice for businesses and organizations that require robust database solutions.

Imagine Percona Server as a unique tool to help customers store data, manage data, and organize data in a structured, secure, and efficient manner. Just like how you use a filing cabinet to organize and access your important documents, Percona Server helps businesses organize and efficiently access their data. It’s particularly well-suited for applications where data integrity, speed, and scalability are critical, such as e-commerce websites, financial systems, and large-scale web applications.

Its focus on optimization and advanced features sets Percona Server apart from the standard MySQL environment. It includes enhancements and additional tools that help administrators and developers fine-tune their databases for optimal performance and reliability. These improvements can lead to faster response times, better resource utilization, and a smoother and more efficient user experience for users interacting with the associated applications.

Features of Percona Server compared to Percona Server for MySQL

You can use Percona Server instead of MySQL for free. It is an improved open-source database management system that works well with MySQL and offers better speed, scaling, and monitoring. When you use Percona Server, you can:

  • Run faster and more consistent queries.
  • Consolidate servers on powerful hardware.
  • Delay sharding or avoid it entirely.
  • Save money on hosting fees and power.
  • Spend less time tuning and administering.
  • Achieve higher uptime.

How does Percona Server differ from MySQL?

Percona Server and MySQL are both open-source RDBMS software that share common abilities, but they have several key differences and enhancements that set them apart. Let’s jump in to look at these differences in more detail.

Performance Optimization:

Performance is a key feature of Percona Server. It includes many tweaks and changes to InnoDB storage, query cache, and thread management, which makes it easier to run queries and speed up the whole system. Percona Server’s dedication to performance tuning often leads to more active and frequent changes and improvements to performance.

InnoDB Database Storage:

Percona Server incorporates advanced features and improvements to the InnoDB, making it highly efficient and reliable for handling ACID-compliant transactions and data storage. MySQL also utilizes the InnoDB storage engine, but many developers say Percona’s enhancements may offer better performance and scalability in certain scenarios.

Thread Pooling:

One of the noteworthy features of the Percona Server is its thread pooling capability. It efficiently manages database threads, ensuring optimal resource utilization and improved concurrency, particularly when dealing with a large number of client connections. MySQL relies on the operating system’s thread management, which may not provide the same level of control and optimization as Percona Server’s thread pool.

Buffer Pool Scalability:

Percona Server allows fine-grained configuration control over the InnoDB buffer pool size, enabling better caching and reducing I/O operations, thus enhancing database performance. MySQL offers buffer pool settings as well, but Percona Server’s approach allows for more precise tuning.

Query Cache:

The query cache in Percona Server has been improved to reduce contention and enhance cache efficiency, resulting in quicker query execution times. MySQL also includes a free query cache, but Percona’s optimizations can lead to better cache performance.

Security Enhancements:

Percona Server provides additional security features and options, including improved user account management, encryption capabilities, and auditing tools to help safeguard user data. MySQL offers robust security features but may not have all the advanced security enhancements compared to Percona Server.


Percona Server offers advanced replication configuration options and supports features like multi-threaded slave replication, making it suitable for demanding replication scenarios. With Percona Server for MySQL, you are provided with standard replication capabilities, but Percona Server extends and enhances these features for improved performance and reliability.

Integration with Galera Cluster:

While MySQL has its clustering options, Percona Server’s integration with Galera Cluster is a notable differentiator for organizations seeking reliable clustering and failover. Percona Server can be integrated seamlessly with Galera Cluster for high availability and synchronous multi-master replication, offering customers a robust clustering solution.

When should you consider moving from MySQL Database to Percona?

Moving from MySQL to Percona is a decision that requires careful consideration due to the fact that it involves various factors that could impact your database management and overall system performance. It’s important to carefully examine the benefits and drawbacks in the context of your specific requirements and objectives. Some circumstances and elements to consider that may require you to move from MySQL to Percona are as follows:

High Availability Needs: 

Moving to Percona might be beneficial if your application or business also calls for high availability with little downtime. High availability and data replication are cornerstones of Percona XtraDB Cluster.

Compatibility and Ease of Migration: 

Check to see if your current MySQL databases will work with Percona. Most of the time, Percona Server works well with MySQL, which makes migration much easier. Also, ensure your code and apps work with the Percona server.

Also worth noting is that Percona offers free software and tools to support its main product, like the XtraDB Cluster and the XtraDB Backup. You can take advantage of this free software to either grow the size of your database, improve the performance of your platform, or utilize hot backups on a project.

Cost and Budget:

Think about how much it will cost to migrate to Percona, including licensing fees, support costs, and any additional infrastructure requirements. Compare these costs to the possible rewards and performance gains before deciding which software to use.

Scalability and Security Requirement: 

If your database needs are growing quickly, Percona’s solutions are made to make that easy. Check to see whether your MySQL setup can handle future growth and security enhancements or if Percona offers improved options. Check out the security requirements that Percona provides, like encryption, login, and audit logging, to see if they meet your needs for security and compliance.

Advanced Monitoring and Management: 

Percona Monitoring and Management (PMM) is one of the advanced tracking and management tools that Percona offers. Percona’s tools may present a compelling reason to migrate if you need full insight on your database speed, including real-time tracking, query analysis, and past data.

Database Support: 

Percona delivers trustworthy MySQL and associated technology support. Migrating to Percona may be advantageous if you need timely and experienced database and cloud infrastructure support.

Comparison Table — Percona Server vs MySQL

Percona ServerMySQL
Primary Database ModelRelational DBMSRelational DBMS (memcached API)
Release year20081995
Replication MethodMulti-source replication
Source-replica replication
Multi-source replication
Source-replica replication
XtraDB Cluster
Supported programming languagesAda, C, C#, C++, D, Eiffel, Erlang, Haskell, Java, Objective-C, OCaml, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, Scheme, TclAda, C, C#, C++, D, Delphi, Eiffel, Erlang, Haskell, Java, JavaScript (Node.js), Objective-C, OCaml, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, Scheme, Tcl
Server Operating SystemLinuxFreeBSD, Linux, OS X, Solaris, Windows
APIs and other access methodsADO.NET, JDBC, ODBCADO.NET, JDBC, ODBC,
Proprietary native API

Insights and Takeaways

In comparing Percona and MySQL, efficiency and performance remain the defining factors between these two pieces of software. However, both are at the forefront of our ever-evolving tech world, which prioritizes a multi-faceted approach.

As a next step to choosing which software meets your unique business needs, install Percona Server or MySQL on an Ubuntu operating system to test their capabilities.

We hope this article provides you with the basic knowledge and understanding of your different choices when it comes to MySQL. At the end of the day, it will be your task to decide what software is best for your particular use case.