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Displaying posts with tag: Stéphane Combaudon (reset)
super_read_only and GTID replication

Percona Server 5.6.21+ and MySQL 5.7.8+ offer the super_read_only option that was first implemented in WebscaleSQL. Unlike read_only, this option prevents all users from running writes (even those with the SUPER privilege). Sure enough, this is a great feature, but what’s the relation with GTID? Read on!


Enabling super_read_only on all slaves when using GTID replication makes your topology far less sensitive to errant transactions. Failover is then easier and safer because creating errant transactions is much harder.

GTID replication is awesome…

For years, all MySQL DBAs in the world have been fighting with positioning when working with replication. Each time you move a slave from one master to another, you must be very careful to start …

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How much could you benefit from MySQL 5.6 parallel replication?

I have heard this question quite often: “At busy times, our replicas start lagging quite frequently. We are using N schemas, so which performance boost could we expect from MySQL 5.6 parallel replication?” Here is a quick way to give you a rough estimate of the potential benefit.

General idea

In MySQL 5.6, parallelism is added at the schema level. So in theory, if you have N schemas and if you use N parallel threads, replication could be up to N times faster. This assumes at least 2 things:

  • Replication throughput scales linearly with the number of parallel threads.
  • Writes are evenly distributed across schemas.

Both assumptions are of course not realistic. But it is easy to know the distribution of writes, and that can already give you an idea about how much you could benefit from parallel replication.

Writes are stored in binary logs but it is much easier to work with the …

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The MySQL query cache: Worst enemy or best friend?

During the last couple of months I have been involved in an unusually high amount of performance audits for e-commerce applications running with Magento. And although the systems were quite different, they also had one thing in common: the MySQL query cache was very useful. That was counter-intuitive for me as I’ve always expected the query cache to be such a bottleneck that response time is better when the query cache is turned off no matter what. That lead me to run a few experiments to better understand when the query cache can be helpful.

Some context

The query cache is well known for its contentions: a global mutex has to be acquired for any read or write operation, which means that any access is serialized. This was not an issue 15 years ago, but with today’s multi-core servers, such serialization is the best way to kill performance.

However from a performance …

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SELinux and the MySQL init script

I recently worked with a customer who had a weird issue: when their MySQL server was started (Percona Server 5.5), if they try to run service mysql start a second time, the init script was not able to detect that an instance was already running. As a result, it tried to start a second instance with the same settings as the first one. Of course this fails and this creates a mess. What was the issue? A missing rule in SELinux. At least it looks like


If SELinux is set to enforcing and if you are using Percona Server on CentOS/RHEL 6 (other versions could be affected), service mysql start doesn’t work properly and a fix is simple to run:

# grep mysqld_safe /var/log/audit/audit.log | audit2allow -M mysqld_safe
# semodule -i mysqld_safe.pp
# service mysql restart

Other options are:

  • Set SELinux to permissive
  • Use the CentOS/RHEL standard MySQL init script …
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Percona XtraDB Cluster (PXC): How many nodes do you need?

A question I often hear when customers want to set up a production PXC cluster is: “How many nodes should we use?”

Three nodes is the most common deployment, but when are more nodes needed? They also ask: “Do we always need to use an even number of nodes?”

This is what we’ll clarify in this post.

This is all about quorum

I explained in a previous post that a quorum vote is held each time one node becomes unreachable. With this vote, the remaining nodes will estimate whether it is safe to keep on serving queries. If quorum is not reached, all remaining nodes will set themselves in a state where they cannot process any query (even reads).

To get the right size for you cluster, the only question you should answer is: how many nodes can simultaneously fail while leaving the …

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Percona XtraDB Cluster: Quorum and Availability of the cluster

Percona XtraDB Cluster (PXC) has become a popular option to provide high availability for MySQL servers. However many people are still having a hard time understanding what will happen to the cluster when one or several nodes leave the cluster (gracefully or ungracefully). This is what we will clarify in this post.

Nodes leaving gracefully

Let’s assume we have a 3-node cluster and all nodes have an equal weight, which is the default.

What happens if Node1 is gracefully stopped (service mysql stop)? When shutting down, Node1 will instruct the other nodes that it is leaving the cluster. We now have a 2-node cluster and the remaining members have 2/2 = 100% of the votes. The cluster keeps running normally.

What happens now if Node2 is gracefully stopped? Same thing, Node3 knows that Node2 is no longer part of the …

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Optimizing Percona XtraDB Cluster for write hotspots

Some applications have a heavy write workload on a few records – for instance when incrementing a global counter: this is called a write hotspot. Because you cannot update the same row simultaneously from multiple threads, this can lead to performance degradation. When using Percona XtraDB Cluster (PXC), some users try to solve this specific issue by writing on multiple nodes at the same time. Good idea or bad idea? Read on!

Simultaneous writes on a standalone InnoDB server

Say you have these 3 transactions being run simultaneously (id is the primary key of the table):

# T1
UPDATE t SET ... WHERE id = 100
# T2
UPDATE t SET ... WHERE id = 100
# T3
UPDATE t SET ... WHERE id = 101

All transactions will require a row lock on the record they want to modify. So T3 can commit at the same time than T1 and/or T2, because it will …

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MySQL indexing 101: a challenging single-table query

We discussed in an earlier post how to design indexes for many types of queries using a single table. Here is a real-world example of the challenges you will face when trying to optimize queries: two similar queries, but one is performing a full table scan while the other one is using the index we specially created for these queries. Bug or expected behavior? Read on!

Our two similar queries

# Q1
mysql> explain select col1, col2 from t where ts >= '2015-04-30 00:00:00';
| id | select_type | table         | type | possible_keys | key  | key_len | ref  | rows    | Extra       |
|  1 | SIMPLE      | t …
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MongoDB’s flexible schema: How to fix write amplification

Being schemaless is one of the key features of MongoDB. On the bright side this allows developers to easily modify the schema of their collections without waiting for the database to be ready to accept a new schema. However schemaless is not free and one of the drawbacks is write amplification. Let’s focus on that topic.

Write amplification?

The link between schema and write amplification is not obvious at first sight. So let’s first look at a table in the relational world:

mysql> SELECT * FROM user LIMIT 2;
| id | login | first_name | last_name | city      | country                          | zipcode | address                           | password   | birth_year | …
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Test your knowledge: Percona XtraDB Cluster (PXC) quiz

I often talk with people who are very interested in the features of Percona XtraDB Cluster (PXC) such as synchronous and parallel replication, multi-node writing and high availability. However some get confused when operating a real PXC cluster because they do not fully realize the implications of these features. So here is a fun way to test your PXC knowledge: try to solve these 12 questions related to PXC! (you will find the answers at the end of the post.)


1. With Galera 3.x, support for MyISAM is experimental. When can we expect to have full MyISAM support?
a. This will never happen as Galera is designed for transactional storage engines.
b. This is planned for Galera 4.0.

2. Why aren’t all workloads a good fit for PXC?
a. Execution plans can change compared to a regular MySQL server, so performance is sometimes not as good as with a regular MySQL server.
b. Large …

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