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Troubleshooting MySQL Crashes Webinar: Q&A

 | February 15, 2018 |  Posted In: InnoDB, MySQL, Technical Webinars

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Troubleshooting MySQL CrashesIn this blog, I will provide answers to the Q & A for the Troubleshooting MySQL Crashes webinar.

First, I want to thank everybody for attending our January 25, 2018, webinar. The recording and slides for the webinar are available here. Below is the list of your questions that I was unable to answer fully during the webinar.

Q: I have the 600 seconds “Long semaphore wait” assertion failure / crashing issue following DDL queries, sometimes on the master, sometimes just the slaves. Any hints for troubleshooting these? How can I understand what semaphore holding threads are doing?

A: These are hardest errors to troubleshoot. Especially because in some cases (like long-running CHECK TABLE commands) long semaphore waits could be expected and appropriate behavior. If you see long semaphore waits when performing DDL operations, it makes sense to consider using pt-online-schema-change or gh-ost utilities. Also, check the list of supported online DDL operations in the MySQL User Reference Manual.

But if you want to know how to analyze such messages, let’s check the output from page #17 in the slide deck used in the webinar:

The line

Shows that some transaction was waiting for a semaphore. The code responsible for this wait is located on line 3454 in file ibuf0ibuf.cc. I received this crash when I ran Percona Server for MySQL version 5.7.14-8. Therefore, to check what this code is doing, I need to use Percona Server 5.7.14-8 source code:

A few lines above in the same file contain function definition and comment:

The first line of the comment gives us an idea that InnoDB tries to insert data into change buffer.

Now, let’s check the next line from the error log file:

And again let’s check what this function is doing:

Even without knowledge of how InnoDB works internally, by reading only these comments I can guess that a thread waits for some global InnoDB lock when it tries to insert data into change buffer. The solution for this issue could be either disabling change buffer, limiting write concurrency, upgrading or using a software solution that allows you to scale writes.

Q: For the page cleaner messages, when running app using replication we didn’t get them. After switching to PXC we started getting them. Something we should look at particular to PXC to help resolve this?

A: Page cleaner messages could be a symptom of starving IO activity. You need to compare Percona XtraDB Cluster (PXC) and standalone server installation and check how exactly the write load increased.

Q: Hi, I have one question, we have a query we were joining on  BLOB or TEXT fields that is causing system locks and high CPU alerts and causing a lot of system locks, can you please suggest how can we able to make it work? Can you please send the answer in a text I missed some information?

A: If you are joining on BLOB or TEXT fields you most likely don’t use indexes. This means that InnoDB has to perform a full table scan. It increases IO and CPU activity by itself, but also increases the number of locks that InnoDB has to set to resolve the query. Even if you have partial indexes on the  BLOB and TEXT columns, mysqld has to compare full values for the equation, so it cannot use index only to resolve ON clause. It is a best practice to avoid such kinds of JOINs. You can use surrogate integer keys, for example.

Q: Hi, please notice that “MySQL server has gone away” is the worst one, in my opinion, and there was no mention about that ….can you share some tips on this? Thank you.
Both MySQL from Oracle and Percona error log does not help on that, by the way …

A:MySQL Server has gone away” error maybe the result of a crash. In this case, you need to handle it like any other crash symptom. But in most cases, this is a symptom of network failure. Unfortunately, MySQL doesn’t have much information why connection failures happen. Probably because, from mysqld’s point of view, a problematic network only means that the client unexpectedly disconnected after a timeout, and the client still waiting for a response receives “ MySQL Server has gone away”. I discussed these kinds of errors in my  “Troubleshooting hardware resource usage” webinar. A good practice for situations when you see this kind of error often is don’t leave idle connections open for a long time.

Q: I see that a lot of work is doing hard investigation about some possibilities of what is going wrong….is there a plan at development roadmap on improve error log output messages? If you can comment on that …

A: Percona Engineering does a lot for better diagnostics. For example, Percona Server for MySQL has an extended slow log file format, and Percona Server for MySQL 5.7.20 introduced a new innodb_print_lock_wait_timeout_info  variable that allows log information about all InnoDB lock wait timeout errors (manual). More importantly, it logs not only blocked transaction, but also locking transaction. This feature was requested at lp:1657737 for one of our Percona Support customers and is now implemented

Oracle MySQL Engineering team also does a lot for better error logging. The start of these improvements happened in version 5.7.2, when variable log_error_verbosity was introduced. Version 8.0.4 added much better tuning control. You can read about it in the Release Notes.

Q: Hello, you do you using strace to find what exactly table have problems in case there is not clear information in mysql error log?

A: I am not a big fan of strace when debugging mysqld crashes, but Percona Support certainly uses this tool. I myself prefer to work with strace when debugging client issues, such as trying to identify why Percona XtraBackup behaves incorrectly.

Thanks everybody for attending the webinar. You can find the slides and recording of the webinar at the Troubleshooting MySQL Crashes web page.

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Sveta Smirnova

Sveta joined Percona in 2015. Her main professional interests are problem solving, working with tricky issues, bugs, finding patterns that can solve typical issues quicker and teaching others how to deal with MySQL issues, bugs and gotchas effectively. Before joining Percona Sveta worked as a Support Engineer in the MySQL Bugs Analysis Support Group in MySQL AB-Sun-Oracle. She is the author of the book "MySQL Troubleshooting" and JSON UDF functions for MySQL.

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