MySQL is an open-source relational database management system (RDBMS) that is widely used for managing data in various applications. Developed and initially released in 1995, it uses Structured Query Language (SQL), the most popular language for adding, accessing, and managing content within a database. MySQL is known for its reliability, robustness, and ease of use. It is a central component of the LAMP open-source web application software stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl/PHP/Python) and is used in a variety of applications, ranging from small-scale websites to large-scale, high-demand web applications like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Being open-source, MySQL offers the flexibility of customization and is available under the GNU General Public License, allowing users to modify and integrate the database system in their own software projects.

The benefits of MySQL are significant, particularly in terms of its performance, reliability, and ease of use. MySQL features a powerful and efficient storage-engine framework that facilitates the system's high performance and flexibility. The database is known for its fast data processing and ability to effectively handle large volumes of data, making it suitable for both small and large-scale applications. Furthermore, MySQL offers high reliability and security with features such as atomic, consistent, isolated, durable (ACID) transactions, and full data integrity. It is also user-friendly, with a straightforward installation process and easy-to-use tools for database administration and querying. Another notable advantage of MySQL is its scalability; it can be scaled to meet the demands of a growing application or website. This combination of performance, reliability, and ease of use makes MySQL a top choice for developers and companies looking for a robust database management solution.