The mysqlnd replication and load balancing plugin (mysqlnd_ms) adds easy to use MySQL replication support to all PHP MySQL extensions that use mysqlnd.

As of version PHP 5.3.3 the MySQL native driver for PHP (mysqlnd) features an internal plugin C API. C plugins, such as the replication and load balancing plugin, can extend the functionality of mysqlnd.

The MySQL native driver for PHP is a C library which ships together with PHP as of PHP 5.3.0. It serves as a drop-in replacement for the MySQL Client Library (AKA libmysql/libmysqlclient). Using mysqlnd has several advantages: no extra downloads because it comes with PHP, PHP license, lower memory consumption in certain cases, new functionality such as asynchronous queries.

Mysqlnd plugins such as the replication and load balancing plugin operate mostly transparent from an user perspective. The replication and load balancing plugin supports all PHP applications and all PHP MySQL extensions ( mysqli, mysql, PDO_MYSQL). It does not change existing APIs. Therefore, it can easily be used with existing PHP applications.


The mysqlnd replication and load balancing plugin is in alpha status. It is not feature complete.

Key Features

  • Transparent and therefore easy to use

    • supports all PHP MySQL extensions

    • no API changes

    • very little, if any, application changes required, dependent on the usage scenario required

  • Featured read-write split strategies

    • Automatic detection of SELECT, supports SQL hints to overrule automatism

    • user-defined

  • Featured load balancing strategies

    • Round Robin: choose different slave in round robin fashion for every slave request.

    • Random: choose random slave for every slave request.

    • Random once (sticky): choose random slave once to run all slave requests for the duration of a web request.

    • User-defined. The application can register callbacks with mysqlnd_ms.


The plugin does not support MySQL replication setups with more than one master server.

The built-in read/write-split mechanism is very basic. Every query which starts with SELECT is considered a read request to be sent to a MySQL slave server. All other queries, including, for example, SHOW statements, are considered as write requests to be sent to the MySQL master server. The build-in behaviour can be overruled using SQL hints or an user-defined callback function.

The read/write splitter is not aware of multi-statements. Multi-statements are considered as one statement. The decision of where to run the statement will be based on the beginning of the statement string.

The plugin does not support native prepared statements. Please note that PDO_MySQL is using a client-side prepared statement emulation by default. Client-side emulated prepared statements are fully supported by the replication and load balancing plugin because the emulation is not using native prepared statements. If you are using PHP based database abstraction, please consult the vendor manual to learn if a client-side prepared statement emulation is used.


Application must be aware of the consequences of connection switches performed for load balancing purpose. Please check the documentation on connection pooling and switching, transaction handling, failover load balancing and read-write splitting carefully.

On the name

The shortcut mysqlnd_ms stands for mysqlnd master slave plugin. The name was choosen for a quick-and-dirty proof-of-concept. In the beginning the developers did not expect to continue using the code base.

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User Contributed Notes 1 note

9 months ago
Does it work with Amazon RDS MySQL instances?
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