Posts Tagged ‘memcached’

Part 2 – Simple lessons in improving scalability

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Given the popular response from my first lesson in improving scalability where I detailed simple ways to eliminate unnecessary SQL, let me share another common bottleneck with MySQL scalability that can be instantly overcome.

Analyzing the writes that occur on a system can expose obvious potential bottlenecks. The MySQL Binary Log is a wealth of information that can be mined. Simple DML Counts per table can be achieved by a single line command.

Let’s look at the following example output of a production system:

mysqlbinlog /path/to/mysql-bin.000999 |  \
   grep -i -e "^update" -e "^insert" -e "^delete" -e "^replace" -e "^alter"  | \
   cut -c1-100 | tr '[A-Z]' '[a-z]' |  \
   sed -e "s/\t/ /g;s/\`//g;s/(.*$//;s/ set .*$//;s/ as .*$//" | sed -e "s/ where .*$//" |  \
   sort | uniq -c | sort -nr

Of the approx 100,000 DML statements we get the following breakdown.

  55283 update sessions
  25204 insert into sessions
  12610 update items
  10536 insert into item_categories
   7532 update users
   5168 delete from item_categories

More then 50% of the statements that are written to the binary log and therefore replicated are INSERT’s into the sessions table. A further 25% are UPDATE’s to the same table. This represents 75% of DML statements in just the two most frequent statements.

What is disappointing is that these statements do not belong in MySQL. This is an example of when MySQL is being abused for a purpose where other products are more suited. While there is the argument in using MySQL for storing data, the impact in MySQL memory management, backup/recovery and slave replication throughput and lag can significantly impact scalability of your important MySQL data.

What is observed here is session management where a key value store product should be used as an alternative. In most circumstances it is likely this information is not even required to be persisted. The obvious replacement here is using memcached. If you do wish to persist this data there is an ever increasing list of products including Redis, Tokyo Cabinet/Kyoto Cabinent, Membrain, Voldemort etc that are specifically designed as a key-value store. Even the popular noSQL MongoDB can be easily substituted to perform as a key-value session manager with the added benefits of being a more fully functional product for other purposes.

This is often a common mistake when you use a framework such as Ruby on Rails (RoR) or PHP Code Igniter and many others.

10x Performance Improvements in MySQL – A Case Study

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

The slides for my presentation at FOSDEM 2010 are now available online at slideshare. In this presentation I describe a successful client implementation with the result of 10x performance improvements. My presentation covers monitoring, reviewing and analyzing SQL, the art of indexes, improving SQL, storage engines and caching.

The end result was a page load improvement from 700+ms load time to a a consistent 60ms.

SQL Analysis with MySQL Proxy – Part 2

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

As I outlined in Part 1 MySQL Proxy can be one tool for performing SQL analysis. The impact with any monitoring is the art of monitoring will affect the results, in this case the performance. I don’t recommend enabling this level of detailed monitoring in production, these techniques are designed for development, testing, and possibly stress testing.

This leads to the question, how do I monitor SQL in production? The simple answer to this question is, Sampling. Take a representative sample of your production system. The implementation of this depends on many factors including your programming technology stack, and your MySQL topology.

If for example you are using PHP, then defining MySQL proxy on a production system, and executing firewall rules to redirect incoming 3306 traffic to 4040 for a period of time, e.g. 2 seconds can provide a wealth of information as to what’s happening on the server now. I have used this very successfully in production as an information gathering an analysis tool. It is also reasonably easy to configure, execute and the impact on any failures for example are minimized due to the sampling time.

If you run a distributed environment with MySQL Slaves, or many application servers, you can also introduce sampling to a certain extent as these specific points, however like scaling options, it is key to be able to handle and process the write load accurately.

Another performance improvement is to move processing of the gathered information in MySQL proxy to a separate thread or process, removing this work from the thread execution path and therefore increasing the performance. I’m interested to explore the option of passing this information off to memcached or gearman and having MySQL proxy simply capture the packet information and distributing the output. I have yet to see how memcached and/or gearman integrate with the Lua/C bindings. If anybody has experience or knowledge I would be interested to know more.

It is interesting to know that Drizzle provides a plugin to send this level of logging information to gearman automatically.