Author: Robert Agar
MySQL is one of the most popular and widely used database platforms in the world. If you are a DBA or database developer, there is a very high probability that at least some of the systems under your purview are powered by MySQL. The standard tasks such as user administration and ensuring that the databases are backed up and can be restored are important facets of your daily responsibilities. You will also be charged with maintaining a high level of performance that addresses the concerns of the database’s users.
Creating backup jobs and setting up new user accounts are fairly straightforward tasks that should not be overly challenging to an experienced DBA. Even if you do not have extensive experience with MySQL, you will very quickly become comfortable with any idiosyncrasies that the platform presents. Performance tuning, on the other hand, can be a complicated undertaking. It can be difficult to identify the particular modifications that are required to speed up database response time and minimize calls from dissatisfied users. Most DBAs would welcome some assistance in optimizing their database performance.
Monitoring to the Rescue
Finding the areas in a database that need to be addressed to improve performance cannot be done randomly. You could spend months implementing hit or miss changes that do little to make things better. In some cases, your incorrect guesses can make things much worse. The issue of performance tuning needs to be done systematically. Information with which to make tuning decisions is vitally important.
The most common reason for user complaints when interacting with a web application is the speed at which the program returns the desired results. This might be a report which takes an inordinate amount of time to produce or queries that demonstrate a painfully slow response time. The problems are often not associated with the front-end application but are the results of issues with the underlying MySQL database. As a DBA, your job is to address this issue and find out where and why the database speed is being impacted.
Performance issues can suddenly pop up in places where everything was previously running smoothly. Slow and inefficiently coded queries are usually the prime culprit when performance lags on a MySQL database. Quickly identifying the top three queries that are causing the problems is a great place to begin your tuning efforts. The ability to look back at least three hours to find these queries gives you the best chance of addressing the real problems affecting your database.
Realtime monitoring will display the current state of your database and allows you to see which queries are being executed and which ones are slow. You can drill down on a particular query to analyze its details. This can shed light on ways that the query can be optimized. Perhaps the query needs to have an index added to it to streamline its performance. A built-in query analyzer can expedite this process by allowing you to locate performance gains directly from monitored data.
Generating alerts is a fundamental feature of a comprehensive monitoring tool that informs the database team of problems before they start affecting users. The ability to customize the monitoring application allows you to determine exactly what gets monitored and how warning messages are created. You want to control alert generation to avoid overload which can eventually lead to important messages being ignored.
The Right Tool for MySQL Monitoring
The monitoring tips outlined above make use of SQL Diagnostic Manager for MySQL. It offers an agentless MySQL monitoring solution which enables your database team to identify the problem queries that need to be tuned to optimize performance. Proactive altering, the ability to quickly find slow-running queries, and the capacity to kill locked queries are features that make this an excellent tool for MySQL DBAs.
IDERA’s SQL Diagnostic Manager for MySQL was recently renamed from its previous title, Monyog. Don’t be confused when the application is referenced by that name in this instructional video which demonstrates how the tool can be used to tune database performance. The video takes a deeper look at the points discussed in this post and is well worth watching if you want to improve the performance of your MySQL databases. The 60 minutes spent viewing the video will repay you handsomely in ideas for tuning your systems and keeping your users happy.