Optimizing Oracle Performance by Cary Millsap and Jeff Holt uses Oracle to make its points, but these points apply also to MySQL. The primary lesson I took away from this book is: all else aside, optimize/fix the user-action that provides the most economic benefit to the company; do this by profiling just that action and optimizing/fixing the most time-consuming events even if they are “idle” or “wait” events.
The authors call the aforementioned approach to performance optimization “Method R”. It’s meant to be deterministic and teachable unlike “Method C”–the conventional method–whereby one uses their best judgment and experience to find the cause(s) of problems and fix them. I agree, and Method R is fundamentally, imho, just the scientific method in practice. Therefore, I like Method R because it puts “science” back into “computer science.” …[Read more]