I'm having a lot of issues with a dedicated MySQL server and it seems like upgrading to the XtraDB version of InnoDB will probably have a positive effect, but I'm hesitant to get involved with it since I am not really a sysadmin and prefer to stick with things that start with "yum update".
What is the easiest way to get XtraDB installed? Should I use the Percona server? MariaDB? OurDelta? Is there a way to avoid using custom RPMs and sticking to a repo instead?
The current yum version of MySQL is 5.0.xx, whereas a lot of the alternate MySQL builds are based on 5.1.xx. How does this factor in? Do I need to figure out 5.1 on CentOS before working on getting XtraDB in?
For bonus points: Do I need to seriously test XtraDB with my server before implementing it, or is it relatively safe to have the brief downtime for switching servers followed by putting the site back online with XtraDB?