October 2, 2014

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 […]

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 […]

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.

Do you always need index on WHERE column ?

I believe we wrote about this before, but this topic popups again and again. Today I’ve read opinion that if we have clause WHERE has_something=1 we should have index on column has_something (the column has two values 0 and 1). In reality the right answer is not so simple.

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 […]