I previously wrote about how to install Drupal 7 completely on Akiban. However, this is not how our current customers are using us. The vast majority of all Drupal installations currently run on MySQL. What we at Akiban are currently aiming to do is to be deployed as a regular MySQL slave and if there are any queries that are problematic for MySQL, we work with customers to make sure those queries get executed by Akiban (and with a significant performance improvement).

In this post, I wanted to cover how to setup Akiban as a MySQL slave and how a query is typically re-directed to an Akiban server from Drupal. This article is specific to Drupal 7.

First, I setup a regular Drupal install on Ubuntu 12.04 with MySQL 5.5.28. This is going to serve as the master server. To configure replication in MySQL is pretty straightforward. The following needs to be placed in your my.cnf file and MySQL needs to be re-started:


A user needs to be created for replication:

CREATE USER 'repl'@'%' IDENTIFIED BY 'password';

Next steps are to take a consistent snapshot of your Drupal schema with mysqldump and capture the output of SHOW MASTER STATUS to get the appropriate binlog co-ordinates.

Next, we need to setup an Akiban MySQL slave. We will use an entirely separate instance for this purpose. First, the software to install on this slave is:

sudo apt-get install -y mysql-client mysql-server
sudo apt-get install -y python-software-properties
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv 0AA4244A
sudo add-apt-repository "deb http://software.akiban.com/apt-developer/lucid main"
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y akiban-server akiban-adapter-mysql postgresql-client
echo "INSTALL PLUGIN akibandb SONAME 'libakibandb_engine.so'" | mysql -u

Issuing the SHOW PLUGINS command on this slave will now show the AkibanDB storage engine. The next step is to now import the mysqldump file taken from the master and configure replication. On the slave server, you need to make sure server-id is set in the my.cnf file. Then to enable replication, a CHANGE MASTER command needs to be issued. An example of what that command might look like is:

  MASTER_HOST = 'ec2-23-20-112-161.compute-1.amazonaws.com',
  MASTER_USER = 'repl',
  MASTER_PASSWORD = 'password',
  MASTER_LOG_FILE = 'mysql-bin.000001',

Finally, issuing START SLAVE starts up replication. The observant among you will notice all tables are still InnoDB on the slave. We have done nothing to convert any tables to Akiban yet. Before we get to that I want to configure Drupal running on the master server to know about the Akiban slave so it can send queries to it. First, we need to install the Akiban database module in Drupal (the akiban directory should be copied to whatever the appropriate location for your Drupal install is) and the PHP client drivers for PostgreSQL:

sudo apt-get install -y git php5-pgsql
git clone http://git.drupal.org/sandbox/posulliv/1835778.git akiban
cd akiban
git checkout 7.x
cd ../
sudo cp -R akiban /var/www/drupal/includes/database/.

Now, the settings.php file needs to be updated to know about this Akiban server:

$databases = array (
  'default' =>
  array (
    'default' =>
    array (
      'database' => 'drupal',
      'username' => 'drupal',
      'password' => 'drupal',
      'host' => 'localhost',
      'port' => '',
      'driver' => 'mysql',
      'prefix' => '',
    'slave' =>
    array (
      'database' => 'drupal',
      'username' => 'drupal',
      'password' => 'drupal',
      'host' => 'ec2-23-22-113-161.compute-1.amazonaws.com',
      'port' => '15432',
      'driver' => 'akiban',
      'prefix' => '',

I would suggest enabling query logging on the Akiban server so you can see read queries being sent to the slave. Query logging can be enabled by modifying the /etc/akiban/config/server.properties file to have these entries:


All queries issued against Akiban will now be logged to the /var/log/akiban/queries.log file since we set the query execution time threshold to 0. Akiban needs to re-started for this to take effect.

By default, very few queries from Drupal core are sent to a slave database. The search module is probably the best module to test with to see queries being sent to Akiban. The search module can be accessed from your Drupal site by going to http://your.ip.address/drupal/?q=search

First, we need to convert those tables to Akiban, otherwise any search will now fail since no tables have been converted to Akiban yet. To convert these tables to Akiban, we simply issue the following in MySQL:

ALTER TABLE search_total ENGINE=AkibanDB;
ALTER TABLE search_index ENGINE=AkibanDB;
ALTER TABLE search_index ADD CONSTRAINT `__akiban_fk_00` FOREIGN KEY (sid) REFERENCES node (nid);
ANALYZE TABLE search_index;
ANALYZE TABLE search_total;

The relevant tables are now converted to Akiban. Now, try searching content for a keyword. If everything is working correctly, queries should start appearing in the query log on the Akiban server when issuing content searches.

This is obviously a pretty simple example but now its pretty trivial to send more queries to Akiban. Just change the database target, convert the appropriate tables to Akiban on the slave, and away you go!

If there is anything you would like more information on, please let me know in the comments or hit me up on twitter and I’d be more than happy to dig in. We also have a public mailing list for the Akiban project and I’d encourage anyone who’s interested to subscribe to that list and let us know how we’re doing! Finally, I’ll be presenting on this topic at drupalcamp MA on January 19th and I am also delivering a joint webinar with Acquia in February on this topic.

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11 January 2013


planet drupal