October 24, 2014

Generating test data for MySQL tables

One of the common tasks requested by our support customers is to optimize slow queries. We normally ask for the table structure(s), the problematic query and sample data to be able to reproduce the problem and resolve it by modifying the query, table structure, or global/session variables. Sometimes, we are given access to the server […]

Multiple column index vs multiple indexes with MySQL 5.6

A question often comes when talking about indexing: should we use multiple column indexes or multiple indexes on single columns? Peter Zaitsev wrote about it back in 2008 and the conclusion then was that a multiple column index is most often the best solution. But with all the recent optimizer improvements, is there anything different with […]

Understanding the maximum number of columns in a MySQL table

This post was initially going to be two sets of polls: “What is the maximum number of columns in MySQL?” and “What is the minimum maximum number of columns in MySQL?”. Before you read on, ponder those questions and come up with your own answers… and see if you’re right or can prove me wrong! […]

Data compression in InnoDB for text and blob fields

Have you wanted to compress only certain types of columns in a table while leaving other columns uncompressed? While working on a customer case this week I saw an interesting problem where a table had many heavily utilized TEXT fields with some read queries exceeding 500MB (!!), and stored in a 100GB table. In this […]

Beware of MySQL Data Truncation

Here is nice gotcha which I’ve seen many times and which can cause just a minefield for many reasons. Lets say you had a system storing articles and you use article_id as unsigned int. As the time goes and you see you may get over 4 billions of articles you change the type for article_id […]

Picking datatype for STATUS fields

Quite commonly in the applications you would need to use some kind of “status” field – status of order – “new”, “confirmed”, “in production”, “shipped” status of job, message etc. People use variety of ways to handle them often without giving enough thought to the choice which can cause problems later. Perhaps worst, though quite […]

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 […]

Q&A: Common (but deadly) MySQL Development Mistakes

On Wednesday I gave a presentation on “How to Avoid Common (but Deadly) MySQL Development Mistakes” for Percona MySQL Webinars. If you missed it, you can still register to view the recording and my slides. Thanks to everyone who attended, and especially to folks who asked the great questions. I answered as many as we had time […]

The MySQL ARCHIVE storage engine – Alternatives

In my previous post I pointed out that the existing ARCHIVE storage engine in MySQL may not be the one that will satisfy your needs when it comes to effectively storing large and/or old data. But are there any good alternatives? As the primary purpose of this engine is to store rarely accessed data in disk […]

How InnoDB promotes UNIQUE constraints

The other day I was running pt-duplicate-key-checker on behalf of a customer and noticed some peculiar recommendations on an InnoDB table with an odd structure (no PRIMARY key, but multiple UNIQUE constraints). This got me thinking about how InnoDB promotes UNIQUE constraints to the role of PRIMARY KEYs. The documentation is pretty clear: [DOCS] When […]