Frankly speaking, my knowledge of databases is very very limited. In all the similar situations a few months ago; it was HTTP that'd crash. We moved over to LiteSpeed and life's been wonderful since then.
It was only until a few hours ago that the traffic spiked like anything and we got mySQL crashed. Note that the 'load' on the server, as indicated in our server control panel was still about 1.5 and LiteSpeed handeled it all well.
The problem was with MySQL. It crashed every time our online user count crossed 6k. Analytics would report about 800 real-time visitors and restarting MySQL was only option. The server admins (host) said they didn't see anything unusual in the logs.
I'm reading all the nice things about Percona. But I feel comfortable with phpMyadmin. I'll also have to check whether my web hosting folks would support it.