Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Linux Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Jason Bloomberg, Jacob Olcott, Srinivasan Sundara Rajan

Related Topics: Linux

Linux: Article

Book Rookery: High Performance MySQL

Sharing lessons learned over time

In this installment of the Book Rookery, High Performance MySQL authors Jeremy Zawodny and Derek J. Balling share some of the MySQL lessons they've learned over the years and offer insight into the performance gains possible when you use the techniques covered in the book.

What kinds of applications do people use MySQL for? Is it really free?

People are using MySQL in all types of applications, both personal and corporate, from "quickie one-off applications" to helping power Sabre's ticketing reservation system.

For almost all users, it really is free, since it is released under the GPL. There has been some confusion about licensing issues, namely commercial versus noncommercial use and what constitutes "redistribution." Their Web site likes to make the analogy "If you make money, you need a license," which is simply not the case, since the GPL'ed code is free for use in both commercial and noncommercial applications. The only time it would not be free is if you intend to redistribute code based on the MySQL code, and don't intend to release your own code as open source. In that case, you would need to purchase a commercial license from MySQL AB, to permit you to redistribute binary-only versions of your derivative work. For almost all Web-based applications, though, that restriction is moot since you almost never redistribute your code to an outside party.

And, in reality, most companies will buy a support agreement for the software, which helps to ensure they get help when needed and MySQL AB is able to stay in business.

Can you tell us more about the intention of the book and what's covered inside?

Jeremy first conceived the book when he was encountering growth problems while deploying MySQL at Yahoo. They weren't necessarily "MySQL problems," per se, but they were gotchas and best-practice configurations that hadn't really been documented anywhere (or at least not very well). Our book was conceived as a place to write down the lessons learned over time, and try to put them all in one place so that future administrators didn't have to scour the Web, or mailing lists, or even worse, try to pick through the source code, in order to find the answer to their problem.

We cover a wide range of topics, starting from baseline decisions like "what storage engine should I use for my data," and progressing further into query optimization, hardware configurations, replication, and load balancing. We also touch on, because it's important, the security and backup situations that a large installation will encounter.

How much of a performance increase do you think you can make through using the techniques outlined in your book?

That depends a great deal on what you're starting out with in the first place. If you've got a fairly well-designed database, on decent hardware, maybe you don't see much improvement at all. On the other hand, if you're like many installations where MySQL made its inroads "through the back door," and there's not been a lot of formal DBA experience in the organization, it's possible the optimizations we discuss can give you performance increases of several thousand percent.

If you could only tweak one system within MySQL to get the best performance, what would you tweak?

The key_buffer setting for the MyISAM storage engine. Once you set up the correct indexes, MySQL needs sufficient memory to keep the most actively used indexes cached in memory. For primarily InnoDB users, the answer is the innodb_buffer_pool for very similar reasons.

You must have experienced lots of different databases of information over the years - what was your favorite use for a database system?

That's a tough one. I (Jeremy) really like the aviation database that Jeremy Cole (MySQL AB's training manager) has been building. He's combined freely available information from the FAA and NTSB with MySQL and a simple Web interface in a way that brings together previously separate and hard-to-find information. If you want to know which airports or airlines experience the most delays, it'll tell you. If you want to know what types of planes American Eagle flies, it'll tell you.

What is the relative performance using the various underlying database technologies with MySQL (InnoDB vs ISAM, etc.)?

That's going to depend a great deal on the type of data you have, how you access it (write once read often? write often read seldom?), and how complex your needs are (for example, do you need transactions, or are you just simply using the database as your Apache server log?).

Do you believe that MySQL can compete with more commercial systems, like SQL Server?

Over time, yes. MySQL doesn't have all the bells and whistles that SQL Serve, Oracle, or DB2 have. But what it lacks in features it generally makes up for in simplicity and raw performance, both of which often translate into cost savings.

As times goes on, MySQL will get closer and closer to the "big name" databases.

How much of a performance hit is there in using a remote database versus a local one via sockets?

If the "remote" database is fairly close, on a network-scale the performance impact is pretty marginal (a few milliseconds). Most of the bottlenecks in MySQL (or any database, really) are in disk accesses - how quickly can the database engine find the right spot on the disk to give you the information you asked for. Almost everything you optimize in a database server centers around speeding up that basic act. The added time for accessing a database via TCP/IP instead of via a Unix socket, is fairly negligible. If you have the server truly "remote" (like, the other side of the country), then you might have issues with network latency.

What is your favorite cartoon daily?

Derek says: Depending on my mood, either "Dilbert" or "Doonesbury"... I guess it just depends on which is frustrating me more lately, work or politics.

Jeremy says: "Dilbert" or "The Far Side," which is sadly no longer being written.

About the Authors
Jeremy Zawodny is Yahoo's resident MySQL Geek and the lead author of High Performance MySQL. He lives in San Jose, California and flies gliders around Northern California and Nevada in his spare time. He also maintains a Weblog at http://jeremy.zawodny.com/blog.

Derek J. Balling has been a Perl programmer and Unix/Linux system administrator since 1996, having helped build two different ISPs from the ground up in the midwestern United States. He spent several years of his career at Yahoo!, working in their Infrastructure Group, where he worked on tools to help improve system uptime. He presently works at a healthcare supply company, helping infiltrate the open source virus into their infrastructure.

More Stories By Martin C. Brown

Martin C. Brown is a former IT director with experience in cross-platform integration. A keen developer, he has produced dynamic sites for blue-chip customers, including HP and Oracle, and is the technical director of Foodware.net. Now a freelance writer and consultant, MC, as he is better known, works closely with Microsoft as an SME; has a regular column on both ServerWatch.com and IBM's DeveloperWorks Grid Computing site; is a core member of the AnswerSquad.com team; and has written books such as XML Processing with Perl, Python and PHP, and the Microsoft IIS 6 Delta Guide.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that BroadSoft, the leading global provider of Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) services to operators worldwide, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's WebRTC Summit, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BroadSoft is the leading provider of software and services that enable mobile, fixed-line and cable service providers to offer Unified Communications over their Internet Protocol networks. The Company’s core communications platform enables the delivery of a range of enterprise and consumer calling...
VoxImplant has announced full WebRTC support in the newest versions of its Android SDK and iOS SDK. The updated SDKs, which enable audio and video calls on mobile devices, are now compatible with the WebRTC standard to allow any mobile app to communicate with WebRTC-enabled browsers, including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and, when available, Microsoft Spartan. The WebRTC-updated SDKs represent VoxImplant's continued leadership in simplifying the development of real-time communications (RTC) services for app developers. VoxImplant (built by Zingaya, the real-time communication servi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that GENBAND, a leading developer of real time communications software solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's WebRTC Summit, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The GENBAND team will be on hand to demonstrate their newest product, Kandy. Kandy is a communications Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that enables companies to seamlessly integrate more human communications into their Web and mobile applications - creating more engaging experiences for their customers and boosting collaboration and productiv...
The IoT Bootcamp is coming to Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo on June 9-10 at the Javits Center in New York. Instructor. Registration is now available at http://iotbootcamp.sys-con.com/ Instructor Janakiram MSV previously taught the famously successful Multi-Cloud Bootcamp at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo in November in Santa Clara. Now he is expanding the focus to Janakiram is the founder and CTO of Get Cloud Ready Consulting, a niche Cloud Migration and Cloud Operations firm that recently got acquired by Aditi Technologies. He is a Microsoft Regional Director for Hyderabad, India, and one of the f...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Optimal Design, an Internet of Things solution provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Optimal Design is an award winning product development firm offering industrial design and engineering services to the consumer, medical, and defense markets.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vicom Computer Services, Inc., a provider of technology and service solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. They are located at booth #427. Vicom Computer Services, Inc. is a progressive leader in the technology industry for over 30 years. Headquartered in the NY Metropolitan area. Vicom provides products and services based on today’s requirements around Unified Networks, Cloud Computing strategies, Virtualization around Software defined Data Ce...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ciqada will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ciqada™ makes it easy to connect your products to the Internet. By integrating key components - hardware, servers, dashboards, and mobile apps - into an easy-to-use, configurable system, your products can quickly and securely join the internet of things. With remote monitoring, control, and alert messaging capability, you will meet your customers' needs of tomorrow - today! Ciqada. Let your products take flight. For more inform...
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
What exactly is a cognitive application? In her session at 16th Cloud Expo, Ashley Hathaway, Product Manager at IBM Watson, will look at the services being offered by the IBM Watson Developer Cloud and what that means for developers and Big Data. She'll explore how IBM Watson and its partnerships will continue to grow and help define what it means to be a cognitive service, as well as take a look at the offerings on Bluemix. She will also check out how Watson and the Alchemy API team up to offer disruptive APIs to developers.
With IoT exploding, massive data will transform businesses with opportunities to monetize almost anything that can be measured. In this C-Level Roundtable Discussion at @ThingsExpo, Brendan O’Brien, Aria Systems Co-founder and Chief Evangelist, will lead an expert panel of consultants, thought leaders and practitioners who will look at these new monetization trends, discuss the implications, and detail lessons learned from their collective experience. Finally, the panel will point the way forward for enterprises who wish to leverage the resulting complex recurring revenue models, adding valu...
How is unified communications transforming the way businesses operate? In his session at WebRTC Summit, Arvind Rangarajan, Director of Product Marketing at BroadSoft, will discuss how to extend unified communications experience outside the enterprise through WebRTC. He will also review use cases across different industry verticals. Arvind Rangarajan is Director, Product Marketing at BroadSoft. He has over 19 years of experience in the telecommunications industry in various roles such as Software Development, Product Management and Product Marketing, applied across Wireless, Unified Communic...
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? Join this panel of experts as they peel away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you’ll have no problem filling in your buzzword bingo cards.
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of robomq.io, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at robomq.io, will discuss how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at the same time reduce Time to Market (TTM) by using plug and play capabilities offered by a robust I...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this case) takes into account the number and quality of contextual references that a user receives.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet conditions, Dyn ensures traffic gets delivered faster, safer, and more reliably than ever.
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold. Mike Kavis is Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Pa...
The only place to be June 9-11 is Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo 2015 East at the Javits Center in New York City. Join us there as delegates from all over the world come to listen to and engage with speakers & sponsors from the leading Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data companies. Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo are the leading events covering the booming market of Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data for the enterprise. Speakers from all over the world will be hand-picked for their ability to explore the economic strategies that utility/cloud computing provides. Whether public, private, or in a hybrid form, clo...
The WebRTC Summit 2015 New York, to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 16th International Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit.
As Marc Andreessen says software is eating the world. Everything is rapidly moving toward being software-defined – from our phones and cars through our washing machines to the datacenter. However, there are larger challenges when implementing software defined on a larger scale - when building software defined infrastructure. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Boyan Ivanov, CEO of StorPool, will provide some practical insights on what, how and why when implementing "software-defined" in the datacenter.
While not quite mainstream yet, WebRTC is starting to gain ground with Carriers, Enterprises and Independent Software Vendors (ISV’s) alike. WebRTC makes it easy for developers to add audio and video communications into their applications by using Web browsers as their platform. But like any market, every customer engagement has unique requirements, as well as constraints. And of course, one size does not fit all. In her session at WebRTC Summit, Dr. Natasha Tamaskar, Vice President, Head of Cloud and Mobile Strategy at GENBAND, will explore what is needed to take a real time communications ...