October 23, 2014

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/) […]

Advanced index analysis with mk-index-usage

The new release of Maatkit has a useful feature in mk-index-usage to help you determine how indexes are used in more flexible ways. The default report just prints out ALTER statements for removing unused indexes, which is nice, but it’s often helpful to ask more sophisticated questions about index usage. I’ll use this blog’s queries […]

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 […]

Pacemaker, please meet NDB Cluster or using Pacemaker/Heartbeat to start a NDB Cluster

Customers have always asked me to make NDB Cluster starts automatically upon startup of the servers. For the ones who know NDB Cluster, it is tricky to make it starts automatically. I know at least 2 sets of scripts to manage NDB startup, ndb-initializer and from Johan configurator www.severalnines.com. If all the nodes come up […]

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.

What does Using filesort mean in MySQL?

If you were interviewing to work at Percona, and I asked you “what does Using filesort mean in EXPLAIN,” what would you say? I have asked this question in a bunch of interviews so far, with smart people, and not one person has gotten it right. So I consider it to be a bad interview […]