Gumtree.com was started in March 2000 as a local online community notice board. The company has grown to cover over 70 cities across 8 countries, and is now the UK's biggest website for local community classifieds, including flat share, flat rentals and jobs — with more than 1 million live ads at any one time, and over 5.5 million visitors per month.
From the beginning, Gumtree needed a database to power its operations that would be reliable, robust and affordable - but most of all: scalable. The company chose MySQL, and has never looked back. According to Phil Chambers, Gumtree's head of technology, "We've used MySQL from the very start and have matured right along with several versions of the product. Due to MySQL's open source foundation, it has a very low barrier to entry and it's been very easy to recruit people who understand it. It was very important for us to select a database that would grow with our needs. It's absolutely critical to us. Without it, we wouldn't have a business."
Gumtree employs ten replicated MySQL master/slave database servers to manage its transaction data, and to power all of the searches on its site. The company subscribes to the MySQL Enterprise offering to help guarantee their database application reliability and uptime. According to Chambers, the 24-hour technical support via MySQL Enterprise has been excellent, "They've never failed to come up with a solution to anything we've posed to them. It is MySQL's technical expertise and business insight into what it actually takes to support high-growth, high-volume businesses that really set them apart."