November 28, 2014

table_cache negative scalability

Couple of months ago there was a post by FreshBooks on getting great performance improvements by lowering table_cache variable. So I decided to investigate what is really happening here. The “common sense” approach to tuning caches is to get them as large as you can if you have enough resources (such as memory). With MySQL […]

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 […]

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 […]

Multiple column index vs multiple indexes

(There is an updated version of the content in this post by Percona’s Stephane Combaudon available here.) After my previous post there were questions raised about Index Merge on Multiple Indexes vs Two Column Index efficiency. I mentioned in most cases when query can use both of the ways using multiple column index would be […]

How adding another table to JOIN can improve performance ?

JOINs are expensive and it most typical the fewer tables (for the same database) you join the better performance you will get. As for any rules there are however exceptions The one I’m speaking about comes from the issue with MySQL optimizer stopping using further index key parts as soon as there is a range […]

Learning about MySQL Table Fragmentation

Recently I was working with the customer who need quick warmup – to get Innodb table fetched in memory as fast as possible to get good in memory access performance. To do it I run the query: “SELECT count(*) FROM tbl WHERE non_idx_col=0″ I use this particular form of query because it will do full […]

Performance gotcha of MySQL memory tables

One performance gotcha with MEMORY tables you might know about comes from the fact it is the only MySQL storage engine which defaults to HASH index type by default, instead of BTREE which makes indexes unusable for prefix matches or range lookups. This is however not performance gotcha I’m going to write about. There is […]

Enum Fields VS Varchar VS Int + Joined table: What is Faster?

Really often in customers’ application we can see a huge tables with varchar/char fields, with small sets of possible values. These are “state”, “gender”, “status”, “weapon_type”, etc, etc. Frequently we suggest to change such fields to use ENUM column type, but is it really necessary (from performance standpoint)? In this post I’d like to present […]

Using index for ORDER BY vs restricting number of rows.

One interesting problem with MySQL Optimizer I frequently run into is making poor decision when it comes to choosing between using index for ORDER BY or using index for restriction. Consider we’re running web site which sell goods, goods may be from different categories, different sellers different locations which can be filtered on, and there […]