This chapter from High Performance MySQL by Jeremy Zawodny and Derek J. Balling. (O'Reilly Media, ISBN: 0-596-00306-4, April 2004) talks about binary distributions, the sections in a configuration file, and some SHOW commands that provide a window into whatís going on inside MySQL. This book is for the MySQL administrator who has the basics down but realizes the need to go further.
Many MySQL users and administrators slide into using MySQL. They hear its benefits, find that itís easy to install on their systems (or better yet, comes pre-installed), and read a quick book on how to attach simple SQL operations to web sites or other applications.
It may take several months for the dragons to raise their heads. Perhaps one particular web page seems to take forever, or a system failure corrupts a database and makes recovery difficult.
Real-life use of MySQL requires forethought and careóand a little benchmarking and testing. This book is for the MySQL administrator who has the basics down but realizes the need to go further. Itís a good book to read after youíve installed and learned how to use MySQL but before your site starts to get a lot of traffic, and the dragons are breathing down your neck. (When problems occur during a critical service, your fellow workers and friendly manager start to take on decidedly dragon-like appearances.)
The techniques we teach are valuable in many different situations, and sometimes to solve different problems. Replication, for instance, may be a matter of reliability for youóan essential guarantee that your site will still be up if one or two systems fail. But replication can also improve performance; we show you architectures and tech niques that solve multiple problems.
We also take optimization far beyond the simple use of indexes and diagnostic ( EXPLAIN ) statements: this book tells you what the factors in good performance are, where bottlenecks occur, how to benchmark MySQL, and other advanced perfor mance topics.
We ask for a little more patience and time commitment than the average introduc tory computer book. Our approach involves a learning cycle, and experience con vinces us that itís ultimately the fastest and most efficient way to get where you want.
After describing the problems weíre trying to solve in a given chapter, we start with some background explanation. In other words, we give you a mental model for under standing what MySQL is doing. Then we describe the options you have to solve the problem, and only after all that do we describe particular tools and techniques.
Before we dig into how to tune your MySQL system to optimum performance, itís best if we go over a couple of ground rules and make sure everyone is on the same page.
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