Improving MySQL with Tarantool

Replicating MySQL is one of the in-memory-database Tarantool’s killer functions. It allows you to keep your existing MySQL database while at the same time accelerating it and scaling it out horizontally. Even if you aren’t interested in extensive expansion, simply replacing existing replicas with Tarantool can save you money, because Tarantool is more efficient per core than MySQL. To read a testimonial of a company that implemented Tarantool replication on a large scale, please see here, as well as here.

I wanted to point out at the outset that if you run into any trouble with regards to the basics of Tarantool, you may wish to consult the first two tutorials in this Tarantool 101 series, which can be found here and here.

And please note that these instructions are for CentOS 7.5 and MySQL 5.7. They also assume that you have systemd installed and are working with an existing MySQL installation. Finally, a helpful log for troubleshooting during this tutorial is replicatord.log in /var/log. You can also have a look at the instance’s log example.log in /var/log/tarantool.

So let’s proceed.

  1. First we’ll install the necessary packages in CentOS:
     yum -y install git ncurses-devel cmake gcc-c++ boost boost-devel wget unzip nano bzip2 mysql-devel mysql-lib 
  2. Next we’ll clone the Tarantool-MySQL replication package from GitHub:
     git clone 
  3. Now we can build the replicator with cmake:
     cd mysql-tarantool-replication
    git submodule update --init --recursive
    cmake .
  4. Our replicator will run as a systemd daemon called replicatord, so let’s edit its systemd service file, replicatord.service, in the mysql-tarantool-replication repo.
     nano replicatord.service 
    Change the following line:
     ExecStart=/usr/local/sbin/replicatord -c /usr/local/etc/replicatord.cfg 
    It should read:
     ExecStart=/usr/local/sbin/replicatord -c /usr/local/etc/replicatord.yml 
  5. Next let’s copy some files from our replicatord repo to other necessary locations:
     cp replicatord /usr/local/sbin/replicatord
    cp replicatord.service /etc/systemd/system
  6. Now let’s enter the MySQL console and create a sample database (depending on your existing installation, you may of course be a user other than root):
     mysql -u root -p
    CREATE DATABASE menagerie;
  7. Next we’ll get some sample data from MySQL, which we’ll pull into our root directory, then install from the terminal:
    cd menagerie-db
    mysql -u root -p menagerie < cr_pet_tbl.sql
    mysql -u root -p menagerie < load_pet_tbl.sql
    mysql menagerie -u root -p < ins_puff_rec.sql
    mysql menagerie -u root -p < cr_event_tbl.sql
  8. Let’s enter the MySQL console now and massage the data for use with the Tarantool replicator (we are adding an ID, changing a field name to avoid conflict, and cutting down the number of fields; note that with real data, this is the step that will involve the most tweaking):
     mysql -u root -p
    USE menagerie;
    ALTER TABLE pet CHANGE COLUMN `name` `name2` VARCHAR(255);
    ALTER TABLE pet DROP sex, DROP birth, DROP death;
  9. Now that we have the sample data set up, we’ll need to edit MySQL’s configuration file for use with the replicator. Everything will go directly under “[mysqld]” in the file. (Note that your my.cnf for MySQL could be in a slightly different location.)
     cd nano /etc/my.cnf 
     binlog_format = ROW server_id = 1 log-bin=mysql-bin interactive_timeout=3600 wait_timeout=3600 max_allowed_packet=32M 
  10. After exiting nano, we’ll restart mysqld:
     systemctl restart mysqld 
  11. Next, let’s install Tarantool and set up spaces for replication. Copy the entire script at and paste it into your terminal. You may have to press “enter” for the last line (“yum -y install tarantool”).
  12. Now, we’ll write out a basic Tarantool program by editing the Lua example that ships with Tarantool:
    nano /etc/tarantool/instances.available/example.lua
  13. Replace the entire contents of the file with the following:
     box.cfg {
        listen = 3301;
        memtx_memory = 128 * 1024 * 1024; -- 128Mb
        memtx_min_tuple_size = 16;
        memtx_max_tuple_size = 128 * 1024 * 1024; -- 128Mb
        vinyl_memory = 128 * 1024 * 1024; -- 128Mb
        vinyl_cache = 128 * 1024 * 1024; -- 128Mb
        vinyl_max_tuple_size = 128 * 1024 * 1024; -- 128Mb
        vinyl_write_threads = 2;
        wal_mode = "none";
        wal_max_size = 256 * 1024 * 1024;
        checkpoint_interval = 60 * 60; -- one hour
        checkpoint_count = 6;
        force_recovery = true;

        -- 1 – SYSERROR
        -- 2 – ERROR
        -- 3 – CRITICAL
        -- 4 – WARNING
        -- 5 – INFO
        -- 6 – VERBOSE
        -- 7 – DEBUG
        log_level = 7;
        log_nonblock = true;
        too_long_threshold = 0.5;


    local function bootstrap()

        if not then
            s ='mysqldaemon')
            {type = 'tree', parts = {1, 'unsigned'}})

        if not then
            t ='mysqldata')
            {type = 'tree', parts = {1, 'unsigned'}})


    To understand more of what’s happening here, it would be best to have a look back at the earlier articles in our Tarantool 101 series.
  14. Now we need to create a symlink from instances.available to a directory named instances.enabled (similar to NGINX). So in /etc/tarantool run the following:
     mkdir instances.enabled
    ln -s /instances.available/example.lua instances.enabled
  15. Next we can start up our Lua program with tarantoolctl, a wrapper for systemd:
     tarantoolctl start example.lua 
  16. Now let’s enter our Tarantool instance, where we can check that our target spaces were successfully created:
     tarantoolctl enter example.lua 
    You should see the “mysqldaemon” and “mysqldata” spaces at the very bottom. Exit with “CTRL-C”.
  17. Now that we have MySQL and Tarantool set up, we can proceed to configure our replicator. First let’s work with replicator.yml in the main tarantool-mysql-replication directory.
     nano replicatord.yml 
    Change the entire file as follows, making sure to add your MySQL password and to set the appropriate user:
     mysql:     host:
        port: 3306
        user: root
        password: <your MySQL password>
        connect_retry: 15 # seconds

        binlog_pos_space: 512
        binlog_pos_key: 0
        connect_retry: 15 # seconds
        sync_retry: 1000 # milliseconds

        - database: menagerie
        table: pet
        columns: [ id, name2, owner, species]
        space: 513
        key_fields: [0]
        # insert_call: function_name
        # update_call: function_name
        # delete_call: function_name
  18. Now we need to copy replicatord.yml to the location where systemd looks for it:
     cp replicatord.yml /usr/local/etc/replicatord.yml 
  19. Next we can start up the replicator:
     systemctl start replicatord 
  20. Now we can enter our Tarantool instance and do a select on the “mysqldata” space. We will see the replicated content from MySQL:
     tarantoolctl enter example.lua
    The results will be:
     - - [1, 'Fluffy', 'Harold', 'cat']
      - [2, 'Claws', 'Gwen', 'cat']
      - [3, 'Buffy', 'Harold', 'dog']
      - [4, 'Fang', 'Benny', 'dog']
      - [5, 'Bowser', 'Diane', 'dog']
      - [6, 'Chirpy', 'Gwen', 'bird']
      - [7, 'Whistler', 'Gwen', 'bird']
      - [8, 'Slim', 'Benny', 'snake']
      - [9, 'Puffball', 'Diane', 'hamster']
  21. Finally let’s enter a record into MySQL and then go back to Tarantool to make sure it’s replicated. So first we’ll exit our Tarantool instance:
     mysql -u root -p
    USE menagerie;
    INSERT INTO pet(name2, owner, species) VALUES (‘Spot’, ‘Brad’, ‘dog’);
    (Note that for the insert statement above, you may need to change the quotes to straight quotes if you are having issues.)
    Once back in the terminal enter:
     tarantoolctl enter example.lua
    You should see the replicated data in Tarantool!


Earlier Tarantool 101 Articles
Tarantool 101, Guide 1: 10 Steps for Beginners, the Chronically Busy, or the Impatient
Tarantool 101, Guide 2: Build Yourself an IP Logging Microservice in 7 Basic Steps
Tarantool 101, Guide 3: Spawning with Fibers and Channels
Tarantool 101, Guide 4A: Your Basic CRUD: A Simple Tarantool Web App
Tarantool 101, Guide 4B: Your Basic CRUD: A Simple Tarantool Web App Part 2