28 Jan

How slow can SSD be or why is testing a new server performance important?

Recently we have helped our customer to migrate their entire application stack from one data center to another. Before we were brought on-board, customer had already placed an order for a new set of servers with the new hosting provider. All of them were suppose to be high-end systems – many CPU cores, plenty of RAM and RAID array build on top of SSD drives. As the new machines started being available to us, we began setting up the new environment. At some point it turned out that the new machines were actually slower compared to the several year old systems and their load was much higher under comparable traffic.

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07 Aug

Tip: how to save 10 minutes a day?

For any person actively working with MySQL databases on the command line level, logging in, logging out for a few moments, and then logging in again, all repeated many times, not only eventually becomes annoying, especially with passwords that aren't easy to type, but it also can take a lot of time over the course of a day. For a long time I've been relaying on something that allows me to avoid most of this effort while working. The solution is of course not to log out unless you actually want to.

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20 Jul

Amazon EC2 now powered by high performance storage (benchmark)

A while ago I had a discussion with someone about the future of server infrastructure. Among other things, we were wondering whether companies will continue to run on dedicated servers or if eventually everyone just ends up in a Cloud environment. During the discussion I raised a point that in principle Cloud is a great idea that will keep attracting more and more people, but it is missing one important piece that stops many from using it - a high performance storage. Apparently, this has just changed.

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09 Jul

Data fragmentation problem in MySQL & MyISAM

The other day at PSCE I worked on a customer case of what turned out to be a problem with poor data locality or a data fragmentation problem if you will. I tought that it would make a good article as it was a great demonstration of how badly it can affect MySQL performance. And while the post is mostly around MyISAM tables, the problem is not really specific to any particular storage engine, it can affect a database that runs on InnoDB in a very similar way.

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12 Jun

pt-diskstats 2.1 may return bad results

Do you rely on pt-diskstats from Percona Toolkit instead of the standard iostat a lot? There appears to be a nasty bug in pt-diskstats 2.1, which makes it produce bad results.

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