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Previous 30 Newer Entries Showing entries 31 to 53

Displaying posts with tag: open query (reset)

Will your production MySQL server survive a restart?
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Do you know if your production MySQL servers will come back up when restarted? A recent support episode illustrates a number of best practices. The task looked trivial: Update a production MySQL server (replication master) with a configuration tuned and tested on a development server. Clean shutdown, change configuration, restart. Unfortunately, the MySQL daemon did not just ‘come back’, leaving 2 sites offline. Thus begins an illuminating debugging story. First place to look is the daemon error log, which revealed that the server was segfaulting, seemingly at the end of or just after InnoDB recovery. Reverting to the previous configuration did not help, nor did changing the InnoDB recovery mode. Working with the client, we performed a failover to a replication slave, while I got a second opinion from a fellow engineer to work out what had gone wrong on the server. Since  [Read more...]
Tool of the Day: screen
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Only the other day I was talking with someone who does a lot of work on the shell command line, but hadn’t used the GNU screen tool, so I’d better scribble a post about it as I regard it as an absolute must-have for any remote work, for multiple reasons.

First of all, what screen does. You start screen inside a terminal session (local or SSH remote), and then you can create additional sessions though Ctrl-A C. The initial screen is number 0, the next one 1, and so on. You can switch between screens with Ctrl-A # where # is the screen number. This way, you can have multiple things going within a single ssh connection, very handy. But that’s not all!

If you get disconnected (it happens and you reconnect, your screen sessions will still be there,

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Tool of the day: inotify
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I was actually exploring inotify-tools for something else, but they can also be handy for seeing what goes on below a mysqld process. inotify hooks into the filesystem handlers, and sees which files are accessed. You can then set triggers, or just display a tally over a certain period.

It has been a standard Linux kernel module since 2.6.13 (2005, wow that’s a long time ago already) and can be used through calls or the inotify-tools (commandline). So with the instrumentation already in the kernel, apt-get install inotify-tools is all you need to get started.

 # inotifywatch -v -t 20 -r /var/lib/mysql/* /var/lib/mysql/zabbix/*
Establishing watches...
Setting up watch(es) on /var/lib/mysql/mysql/user.frm
OK, /var/lib/mysql/mysql/user.frm is now being watched.
Total of 212 watches.
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Just another day at the office…
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OQ Engineer Walter Heck working from Samara, Costa Rica

Life as a Location Independent Professional can be hard at times, and very good at others!

Book: Pro Linux System Administration
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Peter Lieverdink (also known as cafuego on IRC/identi.ca, engineer on OurDelta builds and for Open Query) has co-authored a book that’s available since Monday. The title is Pro Linux System Administration published by Apress.

These days some people don’t want to bother with system administration, and either hire or outsource. Others want to find out more and do things themselves (home and small office use), and that’s the intended audience for this book.

100% subscription renewal
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I’m happy to note (this is internal Open Query happiness but I’m pleased to share) that so far we have a 100% renewal rate for our Proactive Services for MySQL subscriptions. Some of the early clients have grown in the initial period and are have now moved to a higher # of hours (this can also be changed upward during a term), which is of course excellent both for the clients and for us.

I was in eager anticipation of this time since the introduction of the concept late last year, as it is of course the essential proof of whether a subscription service actually works over time. Ideally, you’d want renewal to be a simple straightforward process, with the client having experienced the value of the service. This is relatively straightforward in this case, since it’s not an insurance, emergency or retainer type arrangement

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Modular vs Integrated
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There’s actually no single “correct” answer! It all depends on

  • where in a stack the component lives;
  • the state of the market for that component region;
  • sometimes even geographic location of the user comes into play.
  • Yes, for OSS projects modularity is handy in terms of handling contributions, but modularity may not be the best way to deal with a problem in a certain market state and situation!

    Research has shown (see, for example, “The Innovator’s Solution” by Clayton Christensen) that the “integrated” region over time actually shifts to a subcomponent of an original integrated component that has since gone modular. An interesting example of this for MySQL its pluggable storage engine interface since version 5.1. MySQL is more modular now, but individual storage engines are tightly integrated for performance

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    451 CAOS Links 2009.05.15
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    Open Database Alliance formed. Oracle buys Virtual Iron. AccesStream reaches version 1.0. And more.

    Follow 451 CAOS Links live @caostheory

    I’ve just met a fork named Maria
    MySQL founder Monty Widenius and Percona CEO Peter Zaitsev announced the launch of the Open Database Alliance - “a collection of companies working together to provide the software, support and services for MariaDB, an enterprise-grade, community-developed branch of MySQL.”

    Continuent and Open Query quickly announced their membership, while Monty later

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    What to do with the Falcon engine?
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    Keep it. Make sure it gets correctly positioned in the coming months.

    It appears that with the Oracle acquisition, the reason-to-exist for Falcon is regarded as gone (a non-Oracle-owned InnoDB replacement), previously seen as a strategic imperative - much delayed though.

    But look, each engine has unique architectural aspects and thus a niche where it does particularly well. Given that Falcon exists, I’d suggest to not just “ditch it” but have it live as one of the pluggables. What Oracle will do to it is unknown, but Sun/MySQL can make sure of this positioning by making sure in the coming months that Falcon works in 5.1 as a pluggable engine, perhaps also creating a separate bzr project/tree for it on Launchpad.

    Then the good work can find its way into the real world, now.

    MySQL User Groups on meetup.com - sponsorship - ask Open Query
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    This is about the ending of the sponsorship of the mysql.meetup.com user groups by Sun/MySQL and their suggested move to Facebook.

    If people want to move to Facebook, that’s fine. For those who want to stay but don’t have the local funding, I have an offer for you. Contact Open Query, and we’ll sponsor your group for the coming months. This is not open-ended, I think a more permanent solution is important (moving, sponsorship, whatever) but I want to make the effort for the community to prevent any groups from disappearing now just because of this.

    I was the one who originally set up the agreement with meetup.com when they first started charging for meetups (and it turned out to be a very good business model for them!). When that change was announced, quite a

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    Visiting Darwin/NT
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    From this Tuesday 12 May until Sunday 17 May I’m going to be in Darwin (Northern Territory, Australia), teaching custom MySQL training days for a medical research institute. DarLUG has been extinct for a while, but perhaps there are some local Linux/OSS people reading this? Please do drop me a line if you’d like to catch up while I’m there! I’ve only flown through Darwin before, never visited/stayed… and I love the tropics (I lived in Cairns for a while) so this shall be a joyous few days! Oh the tough things we have to do in business. I’m also doing a day trip to Litchfield… Kakadu will have to wait until another time (perhaps with Phoebe) as I’m told it’s  [Read more...]
    Joomla Day Brisbane
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    After the morning and afternoon tutorials today by Andrew Eddie (Joomla dev lead), tomorrow is Joomla Day - Brisbane Joomla Users Group where I’ll be doing talk as well.

    I’ve already noticed that Joomla users are a slightly different crowd. Joomla is a pretty powerful CMS with many modules/extensions, just like Drupal which runs the Open Query web site. I’m not sure the two even compete directly although there might be some overlap. It occurred to me that Joomla might be what I would call an “enabling technology” on the web, just like PHP and MySQL have been since 1995. It has a very easy entry, which of course is both good as well as bad. Again that’s quite similar to the M and the P…. love it or hate it.

    I’m kinda agnostic on the subject of CMSses,

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    Call for Papers: Open Source Developers’ Conference 2009 - Brisbane
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    This year the fabulous OSDC conference is 25-27 November 2009 and returning to Brisbane (Bardon Centre, Mt.Cootha which is a great venue tucked into a rainforest setting). Stephen Thorne leads the organisation team for this event.

    The call for papers is now open, until June 30th. For full details, see OSDC 2009 call for papers.

    We’ll definitely be there, particularly since it’s very close to Arjen’s house. And perhaps we’ll get some talks accepted on MySQL and other topics. We’ll definitely be submitting some proposals!

    Measuring HD latency in ways relevant to MySQL
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    As I described yesterday, Open Query is doing some tests on SSDs and other devices pretending to be harddisks (SANs, battery-backed RAID controllers, etc). To aid this, I wrote a small tool to test the different kind of I/O operations MySQL would/could do, which is not quite the same as what other general purpose apps would do, and also not what other test tools measure. For instance, it tries Direct I/O as well as fsync() after each write, and also it a range of different I/O block sizes.

    In a nutshell, it’s aimed to do what MySQL does, without MySQL! Testing lots of different setups for this particular purpose (even with fantastic tools like MySQL Sandbox) is a complete pest, and changing InnoDB page size requires a recompile. While Percona has tried a larger page size in the past and decided it wasn’t worth it (the default

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    MySQL SSD experiments and a request
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    Open Query too is exploring utilising SSDs in a MySQL infrastructure, but we wouldn’t be us if we didn’t also try some alternative perspective on it. Right now we’re running some comparative tests against various spinning HD setups in the same box, using the same controller, so we’re looking for differences rather than absolute speed.

    The results so far are interesting, but the selection of SSDs we have available is limited (never enough toys!) So, a request: do you have an SSD, it’d be great if we could run our test tool on it for a bit. It won’t take long, but naturally the box shouldn’t be used for something else while the test is running. We can either log in remotely, or exchange code and results over email. Simply contact us through our site’s contact form, and we’ll sort things out!

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    Move from LiveJournal to Open Query blog
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    I’m shifting away from LiveJournal. It lacks ability to search and otherwise peruse archived blog posts. And of course it’s only me, while Open Query has more people.

    From now on the posts will be at http://openquery.com/blog/ and this is aggregated to Planet MySQL as a group blog. You may have already seen Walter posting from his seat at the MySQL Conf. All posts and comments from my LJ blog have been migrated to WordPress, thanks to magic performed by young Akash Mehta. Unfortunately the comment threading can’t be exported.

    The full export means that my personal posts are now also present at Open Query, although I may move those elsewhere later. The existing blog entries on LJ will stay for a while at least, although I do have to pay for the LiveJournal subdomain to keep the URLs

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    Open Query at MySQL Users Conference 2009
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    I’m not personally there this year, but Walter Heck will be. In case you haven’t met Walter yet, photo enclosed

    He’s a techie, like you, and he’d love to meet you and hear how you’re using MySQL and surrounding technologies and what things might make your life easier in terms of application architecture, development, deployment, maintenance, and so on.

    This may or may not fit with the services that Open Query provides, but the key point is to listen, not sell. If there’s a good match, of course that’s fine too!

    As a sidenote, just to pre-empt the inevitable question

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    On Oracle (and MySQL), Enterprise, Suitability and Sense
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    50 things to know before migrating Oracle to MySQL by Baron Schwartz is an interesting read, it points out clearly that MySQL is not Oracle. However, Oracle is not the benchmark by which all others are to be judged. So what do we compare with, or actually, why do we compare at all?

    Hmm, so we take three steps back, and get a much better view... Marten Mickos (MySQL CEO from 2001 until the Sun acquisition in 2008) said it all along "MySQL does not compete with Oracle". I don't think people actually appreciated what he was saying, or even believed that he meant precisely what he said. They might have thought "oh that's just positioning and protesting too much to make the opposite point". But he wasn't, it was the clear plain truth and it still is today (and so it should remain,

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    On Value and Cost - part 1
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    Did you know that by banging your head against the wall you burn about 150 calories per hour? However, there are more effective and less painful ways to exercise (no surprise there). Personally, I like an early morning walk and playing some Wii games around lunch time.

    Most companies aim towards high(er) value offerings, sold at a higher price, so that their margin increases. Right?
    But what they're actually doing is desperately trying to outrun their own high (and escalating) cost structure. I ask you this: why should a client have to pay for inefficiencies in a provider's organisation? Also, why says that a higher value offering needs to a) be priced higher and b) have a higher profit margin?

    This is not the unavoidable way of things, but the reason it's the usual is that you can't just decide to change one aspect (such as a higher value offering), yet keep the way the company

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    OQ and the GFC, lessons about email
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    As you may know, Open Query is entirely self-funded, which means the banks owe OQ and me money not vice versa. Things like interest rates are of little concern, which is helpful in volatile times! Of course I do rely on my bank staying in business, but that's now subject to a government guarantee in Australia so I'll just have to go with that for now ;-)

    So far, OQ has not experienced much from the economic troubles. But I'll tell you about the possible encounters, since I think they're of interest and lessons can be learnt.

    We give away one book to each student at a training day, that is, provided they've paid on time (basically a personalised quick payment bonus). I've got a small shortlist of decent books, but generally I've been handing out copies of

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    Review/support scope of MySQL server infrastructure
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    Many systems are already in production when we get asked to take a look or, interestingly, a few weeks before deployment. The latter is not optimal, but it's still better than not contacting us until something goes wrong. At Open Query we like to focus on problem prevention and skills transfer. This saves so many hassles and thus over time saves money for the client = win.

    The reasons for asking for external input late(r) are diverse, and generally not even technical or financial. But we all know the saying "prevention is better than a cure" and that has benefits for a company's bottom line; potentially even its future. Particularly in the current economic climate, such advantages are gold.

    Another other important aspect is scope. MySQL operates in a larger architecture; we can look at the server and improve the configuration there, but if queries are just wrong, they need

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    Open Query is hiring!
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    Arjen & gang are looking for skilled and enthusiastic colleagues!


    • guru level practical skills in MySQL schema/query design, server administration and tuning;
    • expertise with common dev and deployment infrastructure (mainly Linux but also other *nix and Windows);
    • freedom to travel without restriction;
    • self-motivated, ability to work independently (from anywhere - good Internet access required);
    • excellent written/verbal English, comfortable public speaker.
    Being a small, company, the range of possible work tasks can be quite diverse, although you are not required to be able to do everything. That said, your application will be more highly regarded if you exhibit a broad range of skills and interests, both directly technical and otherwise.

    Desirable abilities

    • shell and Perl scripting;
    • C/C++

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    Send your employees to the MySQL Conference
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    A lot of people contact me asking if I’m looking for a job. (I have an unanswered email in my inbox right now.) People are looking desperately for qualified, knowledgeable MySQL professionals. There’s a critical shortage of people who can admin MySQL moderately well, much less at the guru level.

    If you are one of the many who are trying to hire a MySQL DBA, you should send your employees to the MySQL Conference and Expo. Not just this year — every year. Train a smart person instead of trying to hire someone who’s ready to go now.

    This is the unfortunate reality: MySQL’s popularity has caused demand to far exceed supply. That’s what happens when a great disruptive innovation takes hold.

    What do you do in the meantime?

    If you just need a little help,

      [Read more...]
    Previous 30 Newer Entries Showing entries 31 to 53

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