How TheLadders Found Simple Database Scalability with Clustrix

Limited Database Scalability Before Clustrix

With more than five million members, TheLadders is the premier online job-matching service for all career-driven professionals. This case study concentrates on how TheLadders decided on the database scalability of Clustrix to support its fast and unpredictable growth.

TheLadders searched for over a year to find a scalable database that could provide fault tolerance and eliminate the need for sharding. The company was preparing to grow rapidly and needed a database that could handle scaling beyond one machine. Rewriting 200,000+ lines of SQL code and using precious developer resources to work on a database layer seemed wasteful. TheLadders knew there must be a more elegant solution.

They tried a handful of MySQL plugins and extensions, analyzed eight different ways to architect their structured data infrastructure, and ultimately concluded that Clustrix was the only way to move forward.

Database Scalability, Fault Tolerance and Online Schema Changes – Oh My!

TheLadders chose Clustrix because it offers several advantages for sustaining long-term company growth, including:

  • Shared-nothing massively parallel architecture that eliminates the need for sharding
  • Full SQL support
  • High-availability with automatic recovery
  • Online operations such as schema changes, re-provisioning, and cluster software upgrades
  • Concurrency and transaction control
  • Administration simplicity, scaling read/write throughput by adding more nodes
  • High node performance, provided by a high-tuned software package and optimized hardware
  • Excellent support
  • Testing Clustrix

As early adopters, TheLadders needed to test everything, including MySQL network protocol compatibility tests and the compatibility with the schema and SQL code base (200,000+ lines of SQL code). They also tested write performance by type (Figure 1): single/multi-row inserts and updates, bulk data load and read performance by query type (Figure 2): PK, short/long range scans, sub-queries, derived tables and joins.


Figure 1: Write Performance Test

Figure 2: Read Performance Test


The time and cost savings that TheLadders earned by moving to Clustrix was significant. They were able to reduce overall development costs by increasing the time spent implementing high-end user functionality and decreasing time wasted fixing database bottlenecks. By using Clustrix, TheLadders saved CAPEX, replaced a half-million dollar setup with a $150K Clustrix cluster, and even made their database setup greener.

Read more about how TheLadders achieved unparalleled database scalability with Clustrix.