September 18, 2014

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 […]

Knowing what pt-online-schema-change will do

pt-online-schema-change is simple to use, but internally it is complex.  Baron’s webinar about pt-online-schema-change hinted at several of the tool’s complexities.  Consequently, users often want to know before making changes what pt-online-schema-change will do when it runs.  The tool has two options to help answer this question: –dry-run and –print. When ran with –dry-run and –print, pt-online-schema-change changes nothing […]

Edge-case behavior of INSERT…ODKU

A few weeks back, I was working on a customer issue wherein they were observing database performance that dropped through the floor (to the point of an outage) roughly every 4 weeks or so. Nothing special about the environment, the hardware, or the queries; really, the majority of the database was a single table with […]

Replaying database load with Percona Playback

If you are planning to upgrade or make any configuration change on your MySQL database the first advice usually is: – Benchmark! How should we do that benchmark? People usually run generic benchmark tools like sysbench, tpcc or mysqlslap that are good to know the number of transactions per seconds that a database can do […]

Recovery deleted ibdata1

Recently I had a case when a customer deleted the InnoDB main table space – ibdata1 – and redo logs – ib_logfile*. MySQL keeps InnoDB files open all the time. The following recovery technique is based on this fact and it allowed to salvage the database. Actually, the files were deleted long time ago – […]

pt-online-schema-change and default values

When I’m doing conventional ALTER TABLE in MySQL I can ignore default value and it will be assigned based on the column type. For example this alter table sbtest add column v varchar(100) not null would work even though we do not specify default value. MySQL will assign empty string as default default value for […]

Connecting orphaned .ibd files

There are two ways InnoDB can organize tablespaces. First is when all data, indexes and system buffers are stored in a single tablespace. This is typicaly one or several ibdata files. A well known innodb_file_per_table option brings the second one. Tables and system areas are split into different files. Usually system tablespace is located in […]

Instrumentation and the cost of Foreign Keys

I occasionally get in to light arguments healthy discussions with students about whether or not to use Foreign Key constraints on InnoDB tables.  My standard response has always been: “it depends on how much of a tradeoff you are willing to make for performance. In some situations the cost can be considerable”. .. that’s when […]

Estimating Replication Capacity

It is easy for MySQL replication to become bottleneck when Master server is not seriously loaded and the more cores and hard drives the get the larger the difference becomes, as long as replication remains single thread process. At the same time it is a lot easier to optimize your system when your replication runs […]

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 […]