Understanding How MySQL Works by Understanding Metadata

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We have spent countless hours researching over 1,000 pieces of metadata. In the process, we have learned a lot about how MySQL works, and realized that it was a pretty good learning method.

Understanding the “query_cache%” system variables and “Qcache%” status variables helps us learn about the query cache — what it is, when it is used, how to examine query cache efficiency, how to tune the query cache. This relates to the GLOBAL_VARIABLES and GLOBAL_STATUS system views and corresponding SHOW commands.

The CHECKSUM field of the TABLES system view in the INFORMATION_SCHEMA DATABASE seems straightforward — it holds the checksum. But when is that field updated, and for which storage engines?

Like CHECKSUM, there are many storage-engine features that are hiding in plain sight. By reverse engineering MySQL’s metadata, we will show you many of these features.

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Sheeri K. Cabral

Mozilla Foundation

Sheeri K. Cabral has a master’s degree in computer science specializing in databases from Brandeis University. She has background as a systems administrator; has worked with Oracle, Sybase, DB2, Solaris, RedHat/Fedora, AIX, and HP-UX. Unstoppable as a volunteer and activist since age 14, Cabral founded and organizes the Boston, Massachusetts, USA, MySQL User group, and co-wrote The MySQL Server Administrator’s Bible, to be published in May 2009. Keep up with all this at www.technocation.org

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Patrick Galbraith

Hewlett Packard

Patrick Galbraith is a principal engineer at HP in the Advanced Technology Group. He is the author or two books: “Developing Web Applications with Apache, MySQL, memcached, and Perl” (Wiley) “Expert PHP and MySQL” (Wiley) In his “spare time”, he also maintains DBD::mysql, DBD::drizzle, FederatedX storage engine and the Memcached Functions for MySQL as well as tinkering with various other OpenSource and OpenStack projects. Patrick lives up in the sticks of New Hampshire with his wife Ruth and son Kiran, daughter Sara, lots of trees and rocks, as well as his Kubota tractor.

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Sheeri K. Cabral
07/29/2009 6:10am PDT
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Sheeri K. Cabral
07/06/2009 9:29am PDT

People have reported that the “play” link loads for 15-20 minutes before actually streaming the content; however, the download link works just fine. I apologize for any inconvenience.

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Sheeri K. Cabral
05/19/2009 3:57am PDT
Video for this presentation: Play part 1 – technocation.org/node/714/play Play part 2 – technocation.org/node/715/play Download part 1, 374 Mb, .mov format – technocation.org/node/714/d... Download part 2, 382 Mb, .mov format – technocation.org/node/715/d...
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Sheeri K. Cabral
05/19/2009 3:55am PDT
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Sheeri K. Cabral
04/27/2009 3:44am PDT

John—thanx! Maybe next year we’ll do a full day tutorial so we can cram more examples in. Until then, you can use what you learned to figure out more examples by yourself, too. We hoped to give both practical examples and the methodology by which we figured the examples out, so that anyone can figure out other practical examples.

I hope the tutorial was extremely helpful for you!

04/20/2009 10:55pm PDT

lots of excellent practical examples. Would have liked more of the same.

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