GCI Achieves Carrier-grade Uptime and Slashes IT Costs
with MySQL Enterprise Edition

"We’ve had a good working relationship with Oracle over the past 10 years. The low license costs, improvements in MySQL Enterprise Edition features, and Oracle’s reputation made the decision really easy."

Janell Ellis,
Manager of Cloud Database Systems, GCI

GCI migrates critical telecommunications databases and applications to MySQL Enterprise Edition 8.0 for enhanced availability, performance, and security.


Founded in 1979, GCI Communication Corp. is the largest telecommunications company in Alaska, delivering a wide variety of services to businesses, public sector, and residential consumers across the state. The company provides 200 communities across Alaska access to cable television service, high-speed broadband Internet, wireline and wireless telephone service through its fiber optic, satellite, and metropolitan area network facilities.

Business Challenges & Goals

In their mission to deliver Alaskans a wide range of services that cater to all communication needs, GCI's applications relied on a mixed database environment comprised of 50 multipurpose applications distributed across 400 MySQL instances. The various requirements that these applications covered included outage status checks made by customers on their website through Single-Sign-On applications, customer loyalty applications delivering reward programs, and critical telecommunications solutions such as embedded subscriber identity modules (eSIMs).

The main goal was to support the rapid growth, reduce IT costs while meeting the requirements of their network critical applications. The company wanted to move to a homogeneous and stable database environment that delivers cost-effectiveness, ease of administration, security, and high availability.

GCI also needed to address the risk of data loss and perform full and fast instance backup and recovery. This required more advanced failover and monitoring functionalities than the tools that they previously used.

Business Results & Metrics

GCI deployed MySQL Enterprise Edition 8.0 as a homogeneous and stable database environment, transferring 25% of their solutions.

Relying on MySQL InnoDB Cluster to create self-healing replication clusters, GCI was able to meet their goals for high availability, performance, and scalability. Automatic failover helps the company achieve carrier-grade uptime in applications and network services.

After switching to MySQL Enterprise Edition, the company's DBAs experienced 80 times faster performance in restoring data and 49 times better backup performance as compared to the previous solution.

GCI leveraged MySQL Enterprise Edition's security, backup, and monitoring tools to deliver real-time communication services. MySQL Enterprise Monitoring helps GCI keep data safe and improve team productivity.

Thanks to MySQL Enterprise Edition's Transparent Data Encryption feature, GCI benefitted from an extra security layer through efficient data encryption. This allowed the company to implement stronger security policies to protect private user information and meet regulatory compliance.

In terms of total cost of ownership, MySQL Enterprise Edition 8.0 subscriptions delivered a 90% savings compared to other database vendors.

Flexibility and ease of use of MySQL Enterprise Edition has also allowed GCI's developers to improve their productivity levels by reducing complexity in developing, deploying, and managing application changes themselves.


MySQL Enterprise Edition was GCI's first choice as the main database for its homegrown applications due to product's reputation as well as its improved set of features.

MySQL Enterprise Edition offered lower licensing cost, higher performance and availability, as well as superior security features as compared to the MariaDB, MongoDB, and other databases.

Being MySQL's customer for over 10 years, GCI counted on Oracle's extensive know-how and solid track record in successfully delivering Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) solutions. Product stability, ease of use, and direct access to the MySQL team also were key influencers for GCI's decision.


Since the start of the migration in 2019, GCI has moved 25% of their database estate to MySQL Enterprise Edition 8.0 with the help of a MySQL engineer assigned to the project from Oracle. For the remaining time of the migration process, GCI plans to use the services of Oracle Platinum Partner Datavail.