September 18, 2014

When EXPLAIN estimates can go wrong!

I have been working with a few customer cases and one interesting case popped up. The customer was facing a peculiar problem where the rows column in the EXPLAIN output of the query was totally off. The actual number of rows was 18 times more than the number of rows reported by MySQL in the […]

Advanced index analysis with mk-index-usage

The new release of Maatkit has a useful feature in mk-index-usage to help you determine how indexes are used in more flexible ways. The default report just prints out ALTER statements for removing unused indexes, which is nice, but it’s often helpful to ask more sophisticated questions about index usage. I’ll use this blog’s queries […]

EXPLAIN EXTENDED can tell you all kinds of interesting things

While many people are familiar with the MySQL EXPLAIN command, fewer people are familiar with “extended explain” which was added in MySQL 4.1 EXPLAIN EXTENDED can show you what the MySQL optimizer does to your query. You might not know this, but MySQL can dramatically change your query before it actually executes it. This process […]

Extending Index for Innodb tables can hurt performance in a surprising way

One schema optimization we often do is extending index when there are queries which can use more key part. Typically this is safe operation, unless index length increases dramatically queries which can use index can also use prefix of the new index are they ? It turns there are special cases when this is not […]

How (not) to find unused indexes

I’ve seen a few people link to an INFORMATION_SCHEMA query to be able to find any indexes that have low cardinality, in an effort to find out what indexes should be removed.  This method is flawed – here’s the first reason why:

The cardinality of status index is woeful, but provided that the application […]

Multi Column indexes vs Index Merge

The mistake I commonly see among MySQL users is how indexes are created. Quite commonly people just index individual columns as they are referenced in where clause thinking this is the optimal indexing strategy. For example if I would have something like AGE=18 AND STATE=’CA’ they would create 2 separate indexes on AGE and STATE […]

Statistics of InnoDB tables and indexes available in xtrabackup

If you ever wondered how big is that or another index in InnoDB … you had to calculate it yourself by multiplying size of row (which I should add is harder in the case of a VARCHAR – since you need to estimate average length) on count of records. And it still would be quite […]

3 ways MySQL uses indexes

I often see people confuse different ways MySQL can use indexing, getting wrong ideas on what query performance they should expect. There are 3 main ways how MySQL can use the indexes for query execution, which are not mutually exclusive, in fact some queries will use indexes for all 3 purposes listed here.

A rule of thumb for choosing column order in indexes

I wanted to share a little rule of thumb I sometimes use to decide which columns should come first in an index. This is not specific to MySQL, it’s generally applicable to any database server with b-tree indexes. And there are a bunch of subtleties, but I will also ignore those for the sake of […]

Should you name indexes while doing ALTER TABLE ?

MySQL Server does not require you to specify name of the index if you’re running ALTER TABLE statement – it is optional. Though what might be good practical reasons to specify the key name or omit ? Things what you should be looking at is how MySQL names indexes automatically as well as what maintaining […]