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Reviewed by Major Keary
The second edition of High Performance MySQL "includes deeper coverage of all the topics in the first edition and many new topics as well … partly [as] a response to the changes [to MySQL] that have taken place …" and reflects the developments that have resulted in the current version (5.0 and 5.1).
As the title suggests, this is not an introduction for novices or a text for MySQL end users. The authors say the book is "focused not just on the needs of the MySQL application developer but also on the rigorous demands of the MySQL administrator, who needs to keep the system up and running no matter what the programmers or users may throw at the server". They "assume that you are already relatively experienced with MySQL and, ideally, have read an introductory book on it. We also assume some experience with general systems administration, networking, and Unix-like operating systems".
The opening chapter is a an excellent overview of MySQL architecture, which is "very different from that of other database servers". A chapter, Optimizing Server Settings, provides an in-depth examination of configuration options.
Operating System and Hardware Optimization discusses "what limits MySQL's performance", covering the most common problems (CPU, memory, and I/O bottlenecks), how to choose a CPU for MySQL servers, RAID issues, storage, and "the threading support MySQL needs to work well, and how to avoid swapping"; it also includes examples of operating system status output.
Replication and scalability are topics that each have their own chapter; apart from providing a lucid and comprehensive discussion, they could form the basis for presentations where it is necessary to explain to a less-than-well-informed audience (or client) the significance of MySQL's replication capability, and the importance of scaling and high availability.
A chapter describes available tools for high performance: interface tools; MySQL visual tools; SQLyog; phpMyAdmin; monitoring tools; analysis tools; and MySQL utilities (MySQL Proxy, Dormanso's Proxy, and Maatkit utilities).
Chapter headings indicate the scope and depth of this title:
There are four appendices: Transferring Large Files; Using EXPLAIN; Using Sphinx with MySQL; and Debugging Locks.
Comprehensive, well organised, exceptionally well written, and excellent typographic design. The RepKover binding is durable and enables the book to lay flat at an opening.
Baron Schwartz et al.: High Performance MySQL 2/e
Published by O'Reilly, 684 pp., RRP AU$ 79.95
O'Reilly titles are distributed in Australia by Woodslane www.woodslane.com.au