September 1, 2014

Percona Toolkit collection: pt-visual-explain

This is the first in a series of posts highlighting a few of the seldom-used but still handy Percona Toolkit tools. Have you ever had a problem understanding the EXPLAIN statement output? And are you the type of person who would rather use the command line than a GUI application? Then I would recommend that […]

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 […]

MySQL 5.6.10 Optimizer Limitations: Index Condition Pushdown

While preparing the webinar I will deliver this Friday, I ran into a quite interesting (although not very impacting) optimizer issue: a “SELECT *” taking half the time to execute than the same “SELECT one_indexed_column” query in MySQL 5.6.10. This turned into a really nice exercise for checking the performance and inner workings of one […]

The Optimization That (Often) Isn’t: Index Merge Intersection

Prior to version 5.0, MySQL could only use one index per table in a given query without any exceptions; folks that didn’t understand this limitation would often have tables with lots of single-column indexes on columns which commonly appeared in their WHERE clauses, and they’d wonder why the EXPLAIN plan for a given SELECT would […]

Full table scan vs full index scan performance

Earlier this week, Cédric blogged about how easy we can get confused between a covering index and a full index scan in the EXPLAIN output. While a covering index (seen with EXPLAIN as Extra: Using index) is a very interesting performance optimization, a full index scan (type: index) is according to the documentation the 2nd […]

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 […]

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 […]