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Percona Live Featured Session with Ilya Kosmodemiansky: Linux IO internals for Database Administrators

 | April 6, 2017 |  Posted In: MySQL, Percona Live

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Percona Live Featured SessionWelcome to another post in the series of Percona Live featured session blogs! In these blogs, we’ll highlight some of the session speakers that will be at this year’s Percona Live conference. We’ll also discuss how these sessions can help you improve your database environment. Make sure to read to the end to get a special Percona Live 2017 registration bonus!

In this Percona Live featured session, we’ll meet Ilya Kosmodemiansky, CEO and Consultant of Data Egret. His session is Linux IO Internals for Database Administrators. Input/output performance problems are an everyday agenda item for DBAs since the beginning of databases. Data volume grows rapidly, and you need to get your data quickly from the disk – and more importantly to the disk. This talk covers how Linus IO works, how database pages travel from the disk level to the database shared memory and back, and what mechanisms exist to help control the exchange.

NOTE: As of this interview, Ilya’s company has rebranded from PostgreSQL Consulting to Data Egret. You can read about this change here.

I had a chance to speak with Ilya about Linux IO Internals for Database Administrators:

Ilya KosmodemianskyPercona: How did you get into database technology? What do you love about it?

Ilya: I am actually a biologist by training, so my first programming experience was in basic bioinformatics rather than general programming. That was a long time ago. Then I started trying myself in pure informatics and found it really exciting. I then worked as an Oracle, DB2 and Postgres DB. Today, my main focus is Postgres.

Dealing with open source technology is very different, and I enjoy the sense of community it brings.

Databases are the bread and butter of any business, and are crucial to its success. I find it exciting to be able to support the different types of businesses we are working with, and really enjoy solving problems and troubleshooting complex issues. This is what makes my day-to-day really enjoyable and keeps me on my toes.

Percona: Your talk is called Linux IO internals for Database Administrators. Why are Linux IO internals important for DBAs?

Ilya: Databases are really a part of a larger ecosystem, they heavily rely on operating system’s internal mechanisms, hardware, etc. To be an expert DBA and have a full control over your database, you should have a deeper understanding of how this system works. This knowledge also helps you to tackle different situations and avoid problems where possible.

After you reach a certain level of database optimization, you need to scrutinize your system on a deeper level. This is the only way you can ensure its optimal function.

Percona: What value does understanding how the IO internals work add to their ability to do their jobs?

Ilya: I would say it’s similar to driving vs. troubleshooting a car. To drive a car, you only need to know how you change gears, adjust the mirrors, add fuel and have a good driving technique. But if your car breaks down you need to understand what happens under the hood, and how its different components work on a deeper level. It not only makes you a better and more confident driver, but it also helps you get the best out of your car.

The same thing is true with databases. If you know how they really work, you will be able to better optimize their performance. As a DBA, you are in a sense an F1 mechanic. You need to know how they work to be able to do a good job, efficiently and fast.

Percona: What do you want attendees to take away from your session? Why should they attend?

Ilya: I would like my audience to really start and see the bigger picture, while at the same time not forgetting the importance of detail. It’s always easy to rely on a checklist, and an average DBA always looks for one. My talk is going to disappointment them: there is no ultimate checklist that finds all the possible failures and fixes. You really need to have a deeper understanding of database internals. Only that knowledge allows you to quickly make the right decision in critical situations. Having this knowledge will also allow you to be the judge of what to optimize and what to improve, so that you can get most out of your system.

Percona: What are you most looking forward to at Percona Live 2017?

Ilya: This is going to be my third conference, and it always attracts fantastic speakers and a great audience. I am looking forward to learning a lot about broader technologies I would normally have no chance to look at, making new friends and hanging out with old ones. Being part of the open source community is like having an extended family, and I find events such as Percona Live contribute to its strength by bringing together different communities.

For the first time, we will have PostgreSQL community booth at Percona Live this year. I think it’s a fantastic opportunity that will allow the two communities to get together and provide a fertile ground for new discussions, collaborations and mutual technology improvements.

For more information on Linux IO internals, or PostgreSQL in general, see Ilya and Data Egret’s various social handles:

Register for Percona Live Data Performance Conference 2017, and see Ilya present his session on Linux IO Internals for Database Administrators. Use the code FeaturedTalk and receive $100 off the current registration price!

Percona Live Data Performance Conference 2017 is the premier open source event for the data performance ecosystem. It is the place to be for the open source community, as well as businesses that thrive in the MySQL, NoSQL, cloud, big data and Internet of Things (IoT) marketplaces. Attendees include DBAs, sysadmins, developers, architects, CTOs, CEOs, and vendors from around the world.

The Percona Live Data Performance Conference will be April 24-27, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara & The Santa Clara Convention Center.

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