Percona Live New York is underway

Today we have a dedicated MySQL conference in New York with Percona Live. It is great to see an overflowing room in the opening keynote. With over 20 speakers and 4 dedicated tracks there is a lot of content for attendees.

With all the confusion over conference ownership since the Oracle acquisition I applaud Percona for taking an initiative, first in San Francisco and now here in New York. Also announced today is the next Percona Live in London which is great for the MySQL ecosystem in Europe.

Another reason to avoid RDS

My list of reasons for never using or recommending Amazon’s MySQL RDS service grows every time I experience problems with customers. This was an interesting and still unresolved issue.

ERROR 126 (HY000): Incorrect key file for table '/rdsdbdata/tmp/#sql_5b7_1.MYI'; try to repair it

You may see this is a MyISAM table. The MySQL database is version 5.5, all InnoDB tables and is very small 100MB in total size.
What is happening is that MySQL is generating a temporary table, and this table is being written to disk. I am unable to change the code to improve the query causing this disk I/O.

What I can not understand and have no ability to diagnose is why this error occurs sometimes and generally when the database is under additional system load. With RDS you have no visibility of the server running the production database. While you have SQL access, an API for managing MySQL configuration options (I also add not all MySQL variables), and limited system statistics via a graphical interface, all information about the system performance, disk configuration etc is hidden and not accessible. This is a frustrating limitation of using RDS.

NOTE: While I cannot recommend RDS, I am very happy with AWS EC2 services when correctly configured. For a cloud based MySQL solution I would definitely recommend greater control over your MySQL database using EC2 and EBS.

query_cache_size=0 is not enough

Last week at the OUG Harmony conference thanks to Dimitri Kravtchuk I learned that setting query_cache_size=0 does not disable and remove locking from the Query Cache. You actually need to also set query_cache_type=0. This appears to been a bug, seen in the presently still open MySQL bugs database entry #38511.

My recommendation to customers now is to set both variables on all existing MySQL versions if you are not using the MySQL Query Cache.

Thanks to the Performance Schema in MySQL 5.5 for uncovering this. More information in Dimitri’s detailed post at MySQL Performance: Using Performance Schema

Details of all MySQL presentations at OUG Harmony 2011 in Helsinki, Finland.

Free does not mean cheap

Many organizations consider MySQL as a database because the initial license cost is free (*). Larger organizations that use Oracle and SQL Server also consider implementing MySQL as a means to lower the total cost of software infrastructure due to the initial cost for new software licenses or expensive upgrades due to new hardware.

However free software does not mean that services to support MySQL should be also free or even cheap. Recently a large multi-national customer wanted professional consulting and training for MySQL resources and they seemed shocked that I wanted to charge a reasonable rate for professional services. My MySQL consulting rates are cheaper then industry MySQL peers and also similar skilled resources providing Oracle consulting.

With over 10 years experience in MySQL, many doing consulting and also over 10 years professional experience before MySQL I am more then qualified to provide the best possible consulting available for architecture design, performance analysis and tuning, high availability, training and education. My significant contributions to the MySQL community including blogging, speaking and presenting is also not an indicator that companies should expect a significantly different nor cheaper price for professional consulting.