November 26, 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 […]

Innotop: A real-time, advanced investigation tool for MySQL

GUI monitoring tools for MySQL are not always suitable for all our needs or situations. Most of them are designed to provide historical views into what happens to our database over time rather then real-time insight into current MySQL server status. Excellent free tools for this include Cacti, Zabbix, Ganglia, Nagios, etc. But each of […]

Impact of the sort buffer size in MySQL

The parameter sort_buffer_size is one the MySQL parameters that is far from obvious to adjust. It is a per session buffer that is allocated every time it is needed. The problem with the sort buffer comes from the way Linux allocates memory. Monty Taylor (here) have described the underlying issue in detail, but basically above […]

One more InnoDB gap lock to avoid

While troubleshooting deadlocks for a customer, I came around an interesting situation involving InnoDB gap locks. For a non-INSERT write operation where the WHERE clause does not match any row, I expected there should’ve been no locks to be held by the transaction, but I was wrong. Let’s take a look at this table and […]

utf8 data on latin1 tables: converting to utf8 without downtime or double encoding

Here’s a problem some or most of us have encountered. You have a latin1 table defined like below, and your application is storing utf8 data to the column on a latin1 connection. Obviously, double encoding occurs. Now your development team decided to use utf8 everywhere, but during the process you can only have as little […]

Can’t Create Thread: Errno 11 (A Tale of Two Ulimits)

Recently some of my fellow Perconians and I have noticed a bit of an uptick in customer cases featuring the following error message:

The canonical solution to this issue, if you do a bit of Googling, is to increase the number of processes / threads available to the MySQL user, typically by adding a […]

Sphinx search performance optimization: attribute-based filters

One of the most common causes of a poor Sphinx search performance I find our customers face is misuse of search filters. In this article I will cover how Sphinx attributes (which are normally used for filtering) work, when they are a good idea to use and what to do when they are not, but […]

How to obtain the “LES” (Last Executed Statement) from an Optimized Core Dump?

Ever ran into a situation where you saw “some important variable you really needed to know about=<optimized out>” while debugging?

A case for MariaDB’s Hash Joins

MariaDB 5.3/5.5 has introduced a new join type “Hash Joins” which is an implementation of a Classic Block-based Hash Join Algorithm. In this post we will see what the Hash Join is, how it works and for what types of queries would it be the right choice. I will show the results of executing benchmarks […]

Why Index could refuse to work ?

Have you ever seen index which refused to be used even if there is every reason for it to work (from the glance view):

Why on the earth index would not be used you would think, even if MySQL is mentioning it in “possible keys” ? Should you try to force it ?