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5 MySQL Performance Tuning Tips

By Ari Weil Subscribe to RSS | May 18th 2012 | Views:
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MySQL has been known for its high performance, reliability, and ease of use. These are the reasons why it has become the world’s most popular open-source database. A lot of popular websites including Facebook and Google rely on this database. However no matter how powerful this database can be, it has its share of weaknesses unless regularly tuned-up.

Two common signs alerting the need to tune-up your MySQL database include application slowdowns and slow queries. If not addressed immediately, it can greatly affect the number of visitors to your Web site or worse, you might lose clients and business opportunities. Only when you avoid these problems can you achieve optimum performance, competitive advantage and scalability in your Web site. And this can be done by tuning your MySQL application.

MySQL has intermediate and advanced features calling for you to explore to tune-up its performance. However, there is also some MySQL performance tuning tips which you can take advantage of. Although these tips don’t cover all the problems you might encounter in the database, these MySQL performance tuning tips can come in handy in dealing with certain types of issues.

1. Change one thing at a time.

If you are trying to change some parameters in your MySQL database, it is advisable to change one setting at a time and re-run your benchmarks to see the results of your changes. This way you will be able to easily ascertain whether a certain change proves beneficial or not. On the other hand, if there are several changes at a time, it will be hard to pinpoint to what improvements in performance are attributed to.

2. The MySQL Cache

Being familiar with the cache feature, can substantially improve performance. Sizing your cache excessively large can increase overhead and slow-down performance. The ideal size is in the tens of megabytes. Cache sizes in the hundreds of megabytes are usually disadvantageous. Whenever you are running your benchmarks, don’t forget to set the cache size to zero.

3. Normalization

To optimize database design, you must focus on normalization. To prevent redundant data from being stored in the same table, you can use this technique. Redundant data should be moved to its own table to lessen requirements for storage and overhead and for faster processing of queries.

4. Table Optimization

Using short columns can greatly optimize tables. If possible, define columns as ‘not null.’ To speed up performance, you can use summary tables for data warehousing or reporting systems.

5. Index Optimization

For faster queries, make sure to fit more indexes into a single block of memory. You can use composite indexes for searches on the first column in the index. You don’t have to always index the whole column. Prefix indexes are also proven to make the performance faster.

If despite all your efforts you are still having trouble with your MySQL performance in your database, you can try some of the products in the market that can aid you in MySQL performance tuning. Akiban is an exemplary company that has developed several products for this purpose. Their products are worth the investment because they will save you the trouble of going through complicated and timely processes to tune up your MySQL database. They guarantee that their products will make things easier for you.

Ari Weil - About Author:
The article about optimizing mysql queries is written by author Ari Weil who contributes articles on mysql performance tuning as well.

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