opinion

Database Dilemmas

Stephen Yagielowicz
Robust, reliable and redundant technologies are, or at least should be, the basis of all successful e-commerce operations; yet somewhat surprisingly, many adult companies seem to forego maximum uptime in favor of enhanced interactivity and “bells and whistles.”

A case in point is the widespread use of MySQL databases in mission-critical applications.

The backbone of many staple features of today’s adult Internet, from advanced content management systems to automated gallery post, traffic trading and community message board scripts, the Open Source MySQL database is a favorite among adult webmasters, many of whom have a love/hate relationship with the technology. The reason for this occasional hatred is simple: MySQL crashes catastrophically, and in the process, takes your site down with it.

I watched XBIZ go down for awhile yesterday, the culprit obvious from the many MySQL error messages littering our previously dynamic, content-filled pages. Not just limited to our operations here, I’ve seen similar “doomsday” messages on any number of other websites, from industry-leading forum “GFY” to paysites, free sites, and even my own projects that use this database technology.

Although it’s easy to say “I’ll avoid MySQL” – and indeed, my niche TGP runs on a far more stable CGI-driven flat text database, while my pay site’s member’s area is going back to its previously static, non-database-driven roots in an effort to avoid the downtime, cancellations and chargebacks that MySQL problems can induce; there are applications where using this technology can’t be avoided, such as in my trade script and mainstream community forum.

Still, the point remains that whenever feasible, any “vulnerable” technologies that can be replaced by more robust solutions, should be. Remember, no matter how “cool” your site is, you can only make money when it’s up and running.

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