April 20, 2014

Covering index and prefix indexes

I already wrote in the blog as well mentioned in presentation there is often a choice you have to make between having prefix index – which can be significantly smaller in size and having index being covering index, which means query can be executed using only data from the index without reading the row itself. […]

Recovering temporal types in MySQL 5.6: TIME, TIMESTAMP and DATETIME

MySQL 5.6 introduces a new feature – microseconds resolution in some temporal types. As of 5.6.4 TIME, TIMESTAMP and DATETIME can have a fractional part. To create a field with subseconds you can specify precision in brackets: TIME(3), DATETIME(6) etc. Obviously, the new feature requires the format change. All three types may now have a […]

MySQL 5.6.10 Optimizer Limitations: Index Condition Pushdown

While preparing the webinar I will deliver this Friday, I ran into a quite interesting (although not very impacting) optimizer issue: a “SELECT *” taking half the time to execute than the same “SELECT one_indexed_column” query in MySQL 5.6.10. This turned into a really nice exercise for checking the performance and inner workings of one […]

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 […]

Full table scan vs full index scan performance

Earlier this week, Cédric blogged about how easy we can get confused between a covering index and a full index scan in the EXPLAIN output. While a covering index (seen with EXPLAIN as Extra: Using index) is a very interesting performance optimization, a full index scan (type: index) is according to the documentation the 2nd […]

MySQL Indexing Best Practices: Webinar Questions Followup

I had a lot of questions on my MySQL Indexing: Best Practices Webinar (both recording and slides are available now) We had lots of questions. I did not have time to answer some and others are better answered in writing anyway. Q: One developer on our team wants to replace longish (25-30) indexed varchars with […]

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/) […]

Extending Index for Innodb tables can hurt performance in a surprising way

One schema optimization we often do is extending index when there are queries which can use more key part. Typically this is safe operation, unless index length increases dramatically queries which can use index can also use prefix of the new index are they ? It turns there are special cases when this is not […]

Multi Column indexes vs Index Merge

The mistake I commonly see among MySQL users is how indexes are created. Quite commonly people just index individual columns as they are referenced in where clause thinking this is the optimal indexing strategy. For example if I would have something like AGE=18 AND STATE=’CA’ they would create 2 separate indexes on AGE and STATE […]