Vitess User Guide - Introduction

Platform support

We continuously test against Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty) and Debian 8 (Jessie). Other Linux distributions should work as well.

Database support

Vitess supports MySQL 5.6, MySQL 5.7, and MariaDB 10.0.

Data types and SQL support

In Vitess, database tables are like MySQL relational tables, and you can use relational modeling schemes (normalization) to structure your schema. Vitess supports both primary and secondary indexes.

Vitess supports almost all MySQL scalar data types. It also provides full SQL support within a shard, including JOIN statements.

Vitess does not currently support encoded protobufs or protocol buffer querying. (The latter is also known as cracking.) Protocol buffers can be stored as a blob in MySQL, but must be decoded and interpreted at the application layer.

Schema management

Vitess supports several functions for looking at your schema and validating its consistency across tablets in a shard or across all shards in a keyspace.

In addition, Vitess supports data definition statements that create, modify, or delete database tables. Vitess executes schema changes on the master tablet within each shard, and those changes then propagate to slave tablets via replication. Vitess does not support other types of DDL statements, such as those that affect stored procedures or grants.

Before executing a schema change, Vitess validates the SQL syntax and determines the impact of the change. It also does a pre-flight check to ensure that the update can be applied to your schema. In addition, to avoid reducing the availability of your entire system, Vitess rejects changes that exceed a certain scope.

See the Schema Management section of this guide for more information.

Supported clients

You can access your Vitess cluster using a variety of clients and programming languages.

Vitess' service is exposed through a proto3 service definition. Vitess supports gRPC, and you can use the proto compiler to generate stubs that can call the API in any language that the gRPC framework supports.

Client libraries

Client libraries that support a richer set of functionality are available for some languages. Client libraries help your application to more easily talk to your storage system to query data.

The following table lists those client libraries and other clients that Vitess supports.

Type Options
Client library gRPC
MapReduce Hadoop input


Vitess supports data backups to either a network mount (e.g. NFS) or to a blob store. Backup storage is implemented through a pluggable interface, and we currently have plugins available for Google Cloud Storage, Amazon S3, and Ceph.

See the Backing Up Data section of this guide for more information about creating and restoring data backups with Vitess.