Wish list for MySQL thread polling events

It is great to draw inspiration from other Open Source communities. Brad Fitzpatrick recently wrote about Android Strict Mode. His twitter tag line for this post was “I see you were doing 120 ms in a 16 ms zone” which is all I needed to hear from somebody who also worries unreasonably about responsiveness (Web site quote).

How would I apply this to a MySQL context? This is what happens in Android. “Strict Mode lets you set a policy on a thread declaring what you’re not allowed to do on that thread, and what the penalty is if you violate the policy. Implementation-wise, this policy is simply a thread-local integer bitmask. By default everything is allowed and it won’t get in your way unless you want it to”

In a MySQL thread I would like to know certain things every time they occurs. Some events I’d consider relevant are:

  • Any disk writes (e.g. Created_tmp_disk_tables) occured
  • Any disk reads (e.g. data was not in buffer_pool for example)
  • Exceeded execution time obviously
  • Internal memory buffer usage, size/amount of read/read_rnd/join/sort buffer
  • Other paths triggered, e.g. Sort_merges, read from disk for table_open_cache etc

Also with this mode is not just the instrumentation of the thread, but the penalty if violated. Do you log, kill, change priority, report an annoying message (difficult in SQL world).
I feel it would be unwise to consider this on a per thread request due to the complexity of SQL, so the next consideration is how to you categorize or identify given SQL query paths to a given polling policy.

While I have already raised more questions then answers for a possible solution the principle is important in what can we do to make our job easier and more simpler. These appproaches are the next generation of requirements in performance tuning, where you are becoming proactive rather then reactive in identification, analysis and correction.

What do MySQL Consultants do?

One role of a MySQL consultant is to review an existing production system. Sometimes you have sufficient time and access, and other times you don’t. If I am given a limited time here is a general list of things I look at.

  1. Review Server architecture, OS, Memory, Disks (including raid and partition type), Network etc
  2. Review server load and identify physical bottleneck
  3. Look at all running processes
  4. Look specifically at MySQL processes
  5. Review MySQL Error Log
  6. Determine MySQL version
  7. Look at MySQL configuration (e.g. /etc/my.cnf)
  8. Look at running MySQL Variables
  9. Look at running MySQL status (x n times)
  10. Look at running MySQL INNODB status (x n times) if used
  11. Get Database and Schema Sizes
  12. Get Database Schema
  13. Review Slow Query Log
  14. Capture query sample via SHOW FULL PROCESSLIST (locked and long running)
  15. Analyze Binary Log file
  16. Capture all running SQL

Here are some of the commands I would run.

2. Review server load and identify physical bottleneck

$ vmstat 5 720 > vmstat.`date +%y%m%d.%H%M%S`.txt

4. Look at MySQL processes

$ ps -eopid,fname,rss,vsz,user,command | grep -e "RSS" -e "mysql"
 5463 grep       764   5204 ronald   grep -e RSS -e mysql
13894 mysqld_s   596   3936 root     /bin/sh /usr/bin/mysqld_safe
13933 mysqld   4787812 5127208 mysql /usr/sbin/mysqld --basedir=/usr --datadir=/vol/mysql/mysqldata --user=mysql --pid-file=/var/run/mysqld/mysqld.pid --skip-external-locking --port=3306 --socket=/var/run/mysqld/mysqld.sock
13934 logger     608   3840 root     logger -p daemon.err -t mysqld_safe -i -t mysqld

$ ps -eopid,fname,rss,vsz,user,command | grep " mysqld " | grep -v grep | awk '{print $3,$4}'
4787820 5127208

5. Review MySQL Error Log

The error log can be found in various different places based on the operating system and configuration. It is important to find the right log, the SHOW GLOBAL VARIABLES LIKE ‘log_error’ will determine the location.

This is generally overlooked, however this can quickly identify some underlying problems with a MySQL environment.

7. Look at MySQL configuration

$ [ -f /etc/my.cnf ] &&  cat /etc/my.cnf
$ [ -f /etc/mysql/my.cnf ] &&  cat /etc/mysql/my.cnf
$ find / -name  "*my*cnf" 2>/dev/null

8. Look at running MySQL Variables

$ mysqladmin -uroot -p variables

9. Look at running MySQL status (x n times)

$ mysqladmin -uroot -p extended-status

It is important to run this several times at regular intervals, say 60 seconds, 60 minutes, or 24 hours.

I also have dedicated scripts that can perform this. Check out Log MySQL Stats.

11. Get Database and Schema Sizes

Check out my scripts on my MySQL DBA page

14. Capture Locked statements

Check out my script for Capturing MySQL sessions.

15. Analyze Binary Log file

Check out my post on using mk-query-digest.

16. Capture all SQL

Check out my post on DML Stats per table

Moving forward

Of course the commands I run exceeds this initial list, and gathering this information is only