July 31, 2014

How Percona does a MySQL Performance Audit

Our customers or prospective customers often ask us how we do a performance audit (it’s our most popular service). I thought I should write a blog post that will both answer their question, so I can just reply “read all about it at this URL” and share our methodology with readers a little bit. This […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Optimization That (Often) Isn’t: Index Merge Intersection

Prior to version 5.0, MySQL could only use one index per table in a given query without any exceptions; folks that didn’t understand this limitation would often have tables with lots of single-column indexes on columns which commonly appeared in their WHERE clauses, and they’d wonder why the EXPLAIN plan for a given SELECT would […]

Quickly finding unused indexes (and estimating their size)

I had a customer recently who needed to reduce their database size on disk quickly without a lot of messy schema redesign and application recoding.  They didn’t want to drop any actual data, and their index usage was fairly high, so we decided to look for unused indexes that could be removed. Collecting data It’s […]

Percona XtraDB Cluster: Failure Scenarios with only 2 nodes

During the design period of a new cluster, it is always advised to have at least 3 nodes (this is the case with PXC but it’s also the same with PRM). But why and what are the risks ? The goal of having more than 2 nodes, in fact an odd number is recommended in […]

Find unused indexes

I wrote one week ago about how to find duplicate indexes. This time we’ll learn how to find unused indexes to continue improving our schema and the overall performance. There are different possibilites and we’ll explore the two most common here. User Statistics from Percona Server and pt-index-usage. User Statistics User Statistics is an improvement […]

Find and remove duplicate indexes

Having duplicate keys in our schemas can hurt the performance of our database: They make the optimizer phase slower because MySQL needs to examine more query plans. The storage engine needs to maintain, calculate and update more index statistics DML and even read queries can be slower because MySQL needs update fetch more data to […]


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 […]

Converting Character Sets

The web is going the way of utf8. Drizzle has chosen it as the default character set, most back-ends to websites use it to store text data, and those who are still using latin1 have begun to migrate their databases to utf8. Googling for “mysql convert charset to utf8″ results in a plethora of sites, […]