Challenges Monitoring MySQL Performance


MySQL is one of the most popular relational database management systems (RDBMS). Applications are now becoming more data-dependent, and they are expecting more performance from the database applications. Every database system performs well when configured optimally; however, the real challenge is how to monitor all the configurations, particularly the one that matters the most. 

We have all the configuration values auto-configured for the hardware setup and dynamically adapt to changing workloads in the perfect world. The biggest challenge is identifying the most important configuration for our database and monitoring them in the real world. 

This blog discusses three of the biggest challenges in monitoring MySQL Performance and its potential solution. 

1) Multi-platform Installation for MySQL

MySQL supports multiple platforms like Linux, Windows and others. As it works with multiple platforms, MySQL monitoring becomes more challenging as it is often influenced by the Operating System on which it is installed. If your organizations support multiple platforms, monitoring all the parameters becomes more complex as some parameter only affects specific platforms. 

Let me explain with the help of a variable join_buffer_size. The value of this variable is increased to get a faster join when adding an index is not possible for any query. Now the value of this variable is different for each operating system.

variable join_buffer_size:

Default Value: 262144

Maximum Value (Windows): 4294967168

Maximum Value (Other, 64-bit platforms): 18446744073709551488

Maximum Value (Other, 32-bit platforms): 4294967168

Now you can see how difficult it would be to monitor such variables with different values on different platforms. It is difficult for DBAs to remember all the details when there are so many things to monitor with the daily responsibilities of managing the system. 

2) MySQL Configuration Change History

There are over 500+ configuration variables in MySQL. Not all the variables are the same, and their impacts on the server’s performance also vary. It is observed that when any configuration change in MySQL, the impact of change is not immediately visible. 

It is often observed that the impact of the change of the variable is visible after a few hours or even days. Any experienced DBA have often encountered a situation when there has been no change in the configuration; however, the performance of the MySQL server degrades suddenly. The life of DBA is tough when they have to troubleshoot the system where many have access to change configurations. When an unknown and unpredictable happens, it is critical to have a changelog history of all the configurations so DBA can go back and observe the change with its impact on the timeline.

3) United View of All Servers in MySQL Database

There are multiple relational database installations in most organizations on multiple platforms. The multiple databases are usually gradually installed across a few years. It is common to have different configurations (and platforms) for all the databases performing different business routines. 

When disaster happens for one or many servers, DBA’s biggest challenge In my earlier career, my first reaction to the MySQL Server crash was to find a suitable alternate server to drive traffic of my crashed server. Once the current catastrophe is overcome, the next task for DBA is to do root cause analysis where they have to find out what went wrong with the server and, in the future, how to avoid such a disaster. 

All this requires a unified few of health of the all the servers. There is a constant need for unified views of all the monitored database server that helps DBAs proactively monitor all the server based on various available metrics.

Solution: 

SQL Diagnostic Manager for MYSQL

Monitoring MySQL Performance is critical, but it is not easy to do without the help of any third-party tool. I have been using Monyog aka SQL DM for MySQL for quite a few years, and I can handle some of the common challenges quite easily. It easily overcomes the three critical issues I mentioned in the blog post and helps us proactively monitor all the crucial touchpoints.