Replication enables data from one MySQL database server (the master) to be replicated to one or more MySQL database servers (the slaves). Replication is asynchronous - slaves need not be connected permanently to receive updates from the master. This means that updates can occur over long-distance connections and even over temporary or intermittent connections such as a dial-up service. Depending on the configuration, you can replicate all databases, selected databases, or even selected tables within a database.
The target uses for replication in MySQL include:
Scale-out solutions - spreading the load among multiple slaves to improve performance. In this environment, all writes and updates must take place on the master server. Reads, however, may take place on one or more slaves. This model can improve the performance of writes (since the master is dedicated to updates), while dramatically increasing read speed across an increasing number of slaves.
Data security - because data is replicated to the slave, and the slave can pause the replication process, it is possible to run backup services on the slave without corrupting the corresponding master data.
Analytics - live data can be created on the master, while the analysis of the information can take place on the slave without affecting the performance of the master.
Long-distance data distribution - if a branch office would like to work with a copy of your main data, you can use replication to create a local copy of the data for their use without requiring permanent access to the master.