Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Pat Romanski, Dana Gardner, Adine Deford, Kevin Jackson, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Linux Containers

Linux Containers: 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
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and analyzed? As an area of investment, how might a retail company move towards an innovation methodolo...
Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Treloar, President and COO of Bebaio, will explore examples of brands transforming their businesses by t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. It features built-in integration with Azur...
A producer of the first smartphones and tablets, presenter Lee M. Williams will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lee Williams, COO of ETwater, will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of technology leadership, Micron's memory solutions enable the world's most innovative computing, consumer,...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevOps to advance innovation and increase agility. Specializing in designing, imple...
While many app developers are comfortable building apps for the smartphone, there is a whole new world out there. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Narayan Sainaney, Co-founder and CTO of Mojio, will discuss how the business case for connected car apps is growing and, with open platform companies having already done the heavy lifting, there really is no barrier to entry.
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes about through a Communications Platform as a Service which allows for messaging, screen sharing, video...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IceWarp will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IceWarp, the leader of cloud and on-premise messaging, delivers secured email, chat, documents, conferencing and collaboration to today's mobile workforce, all in one unified interface
The Internet of Things (IoT) is about the digitization of physical assets including sensors, devices, machines, gateways, and the network. It creates possibilities for significant value creation and new revenue generating business models via data democratization and ubiquitous analytics across IoT networks. The explosion of data in all forms in IoT requires a more robust and broader lens in order to enable smarter timely actions and better outcomes. Business operations become the key driver of IoT applications and projects. Business operations, IT, and data scientists need advanced analytics t...
Akana has announced the availability of the new Akana Healthcare Solution. The API-driven solution helps healthcare organizations accelerate their transition to being secure, digitally interoperable businesses. It leverages the Health Level Seven International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (HL7 FHIR) standard to enable broader business use of medical data. Akana developed the Healthcare Solution in response to healthcare businesses that want to increase electronic, multi-device access to health records while reducing operating costs and complying with government regulations.
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducted a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply wit...
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
MuleSoft has announced the findings of its 2015 Connectivity Benchmark Report on the adoption and business impact of APIs. The findings suggest traditional businesses are quickly evolving into "composable enterprises" built out of hundreds of connected software services, applications and devices. Most are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) and microservices technologies like Docker. A majority are integrating wearables, like smart watches, and more than half plan to generate revenue with APIs within the next year.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...