Case Studies

Ixaris Grows Company with Pythian’s Expert Data Infrastructure Support

Company: Ixaris
Headquarters: London, England UK
Market: Financial Services
Technology: MySQL

With over $15 million in transactions monthly, Ixaris, a global provider of electronic payment applications, turned to Pythian for its database administration expertise and 24×7 support.

  • 16x reduction in downtime
  • Increased stability and scalability with MySQL version upgrades
  • Improved availability and performance through system backups and refreshes

Since 2002, Ixaris has developed innovative, global payment applications based on open-loop (Visa and MasterCard) prepaid card systems. The company’s payment services are accepted at millions of merchants worldwide, spanning a spectrum of industries. With over $15 million in transactions per month, Ixaris engaged Pythian to manage their growing MySQL database.


The increasing popularity of Ixaris’s financial services required a dedicated team to provide 24×7 monitoring for their database system. While searching for the best option to increase manpower, Ixaris’s DBA left the company, leaving them without the in-house expertise to optimize queries and create backup procedures. Instead of recruiting multiple people to fill the roles, Ixaris decided to outsource its DBA requirements.


In 2009, Pythian was recommended to Ixaris by a trusted associate and initially engaged to provide 24×7 monitoring, including emergency support. Impressed with Pythian’s expertise, Ixaris expanded the scope of service to include creating replication setups and performing MySQL version updates to provide scalability and reliability to the environment. Pythian also executed and optimized queries to improve performance, created backup procedures for high availability, and handled release scripts to assist with data integration.

Application release downtime was also impacting Ixaris’s database, limiting their client’s ability to access services. This was due to large data tables which required 4-6 hours to update. Taking an innovative approach, Pythian DBAs decreased downtime to 15 minutes per update by creating a shadow table, which mirrors the existing table and includes updates. By swapping the shadow table with the existing table, updates could be made quickly.


Throughout the course of their ongoing partnership, Pythian has provided a range of database services for Ixaris, helping them develop a scalable database system capable of supporting a rapidly growing company. Thanks to Pythian’s MySQL expertise and experience, they were able to enhance scalability, reliability, performance and availability, providing increased stability for Ixaris’s MySQL database. In 2013, with the database system running smoothly, Ixaris was able to hire an on-staff DBA to maintain the environment, retaining Pythian for 24×7 emergency support.

“I would recommend Pythian to any company that either does not have the manpower or the skills internally to handle their database operations. For rapidly growing start-ups, like Ixaris, Pythian’s skills and round-the-clock support were invaluable and helped us meet the resource demands we needed.”

-Andre Vella, Head of Data Management, Ixaris

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