October 1, 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 […]

Multi Range Read (MRR) in MySQL 5.6 and MariaDB 5.5

This is the second blog post in the series of blog posts leading up to the talk comparing the optimizer enhancements in MySQL 5.6 and MariaDB 5.5. This blog post is aimed at the optimizer enhancement Multi Range Read (MRR). Its available in both MySQL 5.6 and MariaDB 5.5 Now let’s take a look at […]

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 […]

Explaining Indexes with a Library Metaphor

My favorite metaphor for explaining indexes is comparing them to index cards in an old library. In an old library, you used to (or still do) have index cards at the front desk which have some brief description of the books in the library. They also used to be categorized alphabetically. (image taken from http://www.flickr.com/photos/reedinglessons/2239767394/) […]

Joining on range? Wrong!

The problem I am going to describe is likely to be around since the very beginning of MySQL, however unless you carefully analyse and profile your queries, it might easily go unnoticed. I used it as one of the examples in our talk given at phpDay.it conference last week to demonstrate some pitfalls one may […]

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.

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 […]

Using UNION to implement loose index scan in MySQL

One little known fact about MySQL Indexing, however very important for successfull MySQL Performance Optimization is understanding when exactly MySQL is going to use index and how it is going to do them. So if you have table people with KEY(age,zip) and you will run query something like SELECT name FROM people WHERE age BETWEEN […]