April 19, 2014

Using any general purpose computer as a special purpose SIMD computer

Often times, from a computing perspective, one must run a function on a large amount of input. Often times, the same function must be run on many pieces of input, and this is a very expensive process unless the work can be done in parallel. Shard-Query introduces set based processing, which on the surface appears […]

Flexviews – part 3 – improving query performance using materialized views

Combating “data drift” In my first post in this series, I described materialized views (MVs). An MV is essentially a cached result set at one point in time. The contents of the MV will become incorrect (out of sync) when the underlying data changes. This loss of synchronization is sometimes called drift. This is conceptually […]

How to debug long-running transactions in MySQL

Among the many things that can cause a “server stall” is a long-running transaction. If a transaction remains open for a very long time without committing, and has modified data, then other transactions could block and fail with a lock wait timeout. The problem is, it can be very difficult to find the offending code […]

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, […]

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 […]

Fixing column encoding mess in MySQL

Just had an interesting issue with an encoding mess on a column containing non-ASCII (Russian) text. The solution was not immediately obvious so I decided it’s worth sharing. The column (actually the whole table) was created with DEFAULT CHARSET cp1251. Most of the data was in proper cp1251 national encoding indeed. However, because of web […]

Using VIEW to reduce number of tables used

Many Open Source software solutions use database per user (or set of tables per user) which starts to cause problems if it is used on massive scale (blog hosting, forum hosting etc), resulting of hundreds of thousands if not millions of tables per server which can become really inefficient. It is especially inefficient with Innodb […]

MySQL VIEW as performance troublemaker

I start to see applications being built utilizing VIEWs functionality which appeared in MySQL 5.0 and quite frequently VIEWs are used to help in writing the queries – to keep queries simple without really thinking how it affects server performance. Even worse than that – looking at the short table which just gets single row […]

Implementing efficient counters with MySQL

On many web sites you would see a counter how many time given object – blog post, forum thread, image, movie etc was viewed. This is sometimes handy feature but it can be rather expensive from performance point of view. The nasty thing with counters as they are implemented the most trivial way – they […]