April 20, 2014

Using MMM to ALTER huge tables

Few months ago, I wrote about a faster way to do certain table modifications online. It works well when all you want is to remove auto_increment or change ENUM values. When it comes to changes that really require table to be rebuilt – adding/dropping columns or indexes, changing data type, converting data to different character […]

Hacking to make ALTER TABLE online for certain changes

Suppose you want to remove auto_increment from 100G table. No matter if it’s InnoDB or MyISAM, you’d usually ALTER TABLE huge_table CHANGE id id int(6) NOT NULL and then wait hours for table rebuild to complete. If you’re unlucky i.e. you have a lot of indexes and not too much RAM – you could end […]

Common MySQL traps webinar questions followup

Thanks to all attendees of the webinar yesterday! If you missed it, you can watch the video recording. Here are some questions that remained unanswered due to time constraints. Q: Are there any technical considerations or best practice tips to have a replicated slave in the cloud, for example on Amazon AWS? Hardware resources are […]

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 […]


Quite common task during schema review is to find the optimal data type for the column value – for example column is defined as INT but is it really needed or may be SMALLINT or even TINYINT will do instead. Does it contain any NULLs or it can be defined NOT NULL which reduces space […]

Picking datatype for STATUS fields

Quite commonly in the applications you would need to use some kind of “status” field – status of order – “new”, “confirmed”, “in production”, “shipped” status of job, message etc. People use variety of ways to handle them often without giving enough thought to the choice which can cause problems later. Perhaps worst, though quite […]

Redundant index is not always bad

About year ago Peter wrote about redundant indexes and mentioned sometimes it is good to leave two indexes, even one is first part of another. I’m speaking about BTREE indexes, for example, KEY (A), and KEY (A,B). From SQL point of view KEY(A) is not needed, as for queries like WHERE A=5 the index (A,B) […]