April 18, 2014

Introducing backup locks in Percona Server

TL;DR version: The backup locks feature introduced in Percona Server 5.6.16-64.0 is a lightweight alternative to FLUSH TABLES WITH READ LOCK and can be used to take both physical and logical backups with less downtime on busy servers. To employ the feature with mysqldump, use mysqldump –lock-for-backup –single-transaction. The next release of Percona XtraBackup will […]

Innodb Table Locks

Innodb uses row level locks right ? So if you see locked tables reported in SHOW ENGINE INNODB STATUS you might be confused and rightfully so as Innodb table locking is a bit more complicated than traditional MyISAM table locks. Let me start with some examples. First lets run SELECT Query:

As you can […]

How FLUSH TABLES WITH READ LOCK works with Innodb Tables

Many backup tools including Percona Xtrabackup, MyLVMBackup and others use FLUSH TABLES WITH READ LOCK to temporary make MySQL read only. In many cases the period for which server has to be made read only is very short, just few seconds, yet the impact of FLUSH TABLES WITH READ LOCK can be quite large because […]

Moving from MyISAM to Innodb or XtraDB. Basics

I do not know if it is because we’re hosting a free webinar on migrating MyISAM to Innodb or some other reason but recently I see a lot of questions about migration from MyISAM to Innodb. Webinar will cover the process in a lot more details though I would like to go over basics in […]


A week or so ago at the MySQL conference, I visited one of the backup vendors in the Expo Hall. I started to chat with them about their MySQL backup product. One of the representatives told me that their backup product uses FLUSH TABLES WITH READ LOCK, which he admitted takes a global lock on […]

Using Multiple Key Caches for MyISAM Scalability

I have written before – MyISAM Does Not Scale, or it does quite well – two main things stopping you is table locks and global mutex on the KeyCache. Table Locks are not the issue for Read Only workload and write intensive workloads can be dealt with by using with many tables but Key Cache […]

Concurrent inserts on MyISAM and the binary log

Recently I had an interesting surprise with concurrent inserts into a MyISAM table. The inserts were not happening concurrently with SELECT statements; they were blocking and the process list was filling up with queries in Locked status. My first thought was that the customer had deleted from the table, which leaves “holes” in the middle […]

MyISAM Scalability and Innodb, Falcon Benchmarks

We many times wrote about InnoDB scalability problems, this time We are faced with one for MyISAM tables. We saw that several times in synthetic benchmarks but never in production, that’s why we did not escalate MyISAM scalability question. This time working on the customer system we figured out that box with 1 CPU Core […]

How much overhead is caused by on disk temporary tables

As you might know while running GROUP BY and some other kinds of queries MySQL needs to create temporary tables, which can be created in memory, using MEMORY storage engine or can be created on disk as MYISAM tables. Which one will be used depends on the allowed tmp_table_size and also by the data which […]

Merge Tables Gotcha

I had the interesting customer case today which made me to do a bit research on the problem. You can create merge table over MyISAM tables which contain primary key and global uniqueness would not be enforced in this case, this is as far as most people will think about it. In fact however it […]