April 16, 2014

How to monitor ALTER TABLE progress in MySQL

While working on a recent support issue as a Percona Support Engineer,  I got one question from a customer asking how to monitor ALTER TABLE progress. Actually, for MySQL 5.5 and prior versions, it’s quite difficult to ALTER the table in a running production environment especially for large tables (with millions records). Because it will rebuild and lock the table […]

The MySQL ARCHIVE storage engine – Alternatives

In my previous post I pointed out that the existing ARCHIVE storage engine in MySQL may not be the one that will satisfy your needs when it comes to effectively storing large and/or old data. But are there any good alternatives? As the primary purpose of this engine is to store rarely accessed data in disk […]

utf8 data on latin1 tables: converting to utf8 without downtime or double encoding

Here’s a problem some or most of us have encountered. You have a latin1 table defined like below, and your application is storing utf8 data to the column on a latin1 connection. Obviously, double encoding occurs. Now your development team decided to use utf8 everywhere, but during the process you can only have as little […]

Schema changes – what’s new in MySQL 5.6?

Among many of the improvements you can enjoy in MySQL 5.6, there is one that addresses a huge operational problem that most DBAs and System Administrators encounter in their life: schema changes. While it is usually not a problem for small tables or those in early stages of product life cycle, schema changes become a […]

MySQL optimizer: ANALYZE TABLE and Waiting for table flush

The MySQL optimizer makes the decision of what execution plan to use based on the information provided by the storage engines. That information is not accurate in some engines like InnoDB and they are based in statistics calculations therefore sometimes some tune is needed. In InnoDB these statistics are calculated automatically, check the following blog […]

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 […]

On Character Sets and Disappearing Tables

The MySQL manual tells us that regardless of whether or not we use “SET FOREIGN_KEY_CHECKS=0″ before making schema changes, InnoDB will not allow a column referenced by a foreign key constraint to be modified in such a way that the foreign key will reference a column with a mismatched data type. For instance, if we […]

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 […]

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 […]