August 30, 2014

Percona Toolkit collection: pt-visual-explain

This is the first in a series of posts highlighting a few of the seldom-used but still handy Percona Toolkit tools. Have you ever had a problem understanding the EXPLAIN statement output? And are you the type of person who would rather use the command line than a GUI application? Then I would recommend that […]

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/) […]

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 […]

When EXPLAIN can be misleading

One think I can see with people using EXPLAIN is trusting it too much, ie assuming if number of rows is reported by EXPLAIN is large query must be inefficient. It may not be the case. The question is not only about stats which may be wrong and which is why you may want to […]

Extended EXPLAIN

One nice feature added for EXPLAIN statement in MySQL 4.1 is EXTENDED keyword which provides you with some helpful additional information on query optimization. It should be used together with SHOW WARNINGS to get information about how query looks after transformation as well as what other notes optimizer may wish to tell us. It is […]

MySQL EXPLAIN limits and errors.

Running EXPLAIN for problematic queries is very powerful tool for MySQL Performance optimization. If you’ve been using this tool a lot you probably noticed it is not always provide adequate information. Here is list of things you may wish to watch out. EXPLAIN can be wrong – this does not happen very often but it […]

Galera data on Percona Cloud Tools (and other MySQL monitoring tools)

I was talking with a Percona Support customer earlier this week who was looking for Galera data on Percona Cloud Tools. (Percona Cloud Tools, now in free beta, is a hosted service providing access to query performance insights for all MySQL uses.) The customer mentioned they were already keeping track of some Galera stats on Cacti, and […]

When (and how) to move an InnoDB table outside the shared tablespace

In my last post, “A closer look at the MySQL ibdata1 disk space issue and big tables,” I looked at the growing ibdata1 problem under the perspective of having big tables residing inside the so-called shared tablespace. In the particular case that motivated that post, we had a customer running out of disk space in his […]

A closer look at the MySQL ibdata1 disk space issue and big tables

A recurring and very common customer issue seen here at the Percona Support team involves how to make the ibdata1 file “shrink” within MySQL. I can only imagine there’s a degree of regret by some of the InnoDB architects on their design decisions regarding disk-space management by the shared tablespace* because this has been a big […]