No, this is not a Spam Ad trying to get you to click on something to speed up your machine. You should take this seriously and look into it if you have a mysql instance on AWS.
Recently, I created a regular ubuntu12 EC2 m1.large instance on amazon. Then I used the standard apt-get tool to install mysql. This installed mysql 5.5 with all the defaults.
I ran a small import of about 5k records into an innodb table. This took about 10s on my macbook pro (with a 7200rpm HD, no solid state HD). I ran the same test on my EC2 instance and noticed it took 100s!!!
I tried adding and modifying a bunch of parameters in the my.cnf (mysql’s config file, probably located in /etc/mysql). Nothing really made much of a difference except this:
The default value is 1, which guarantees ACID compliance. But if you can live with a possible 1 second lost of data in case of a catastrophic event, then setting it to 0 or 2 will speed it up quite a bit. I set mine to 2.
You can read more about it here
Now, when I import the 5k records, it takes about 5s. That’s a 20X increase in speed.
So to review, this will affect you if the following apply:
- You launched an Ubuntu EC2 instance from AWS
- You installed mysql using apt-get
- You are using InnoDB tables
- You want greater WRITE performance (the change above does not affect READs)