Percona Live MySQL Conference Santa Clara 2014

The Percona Live MySQL Conference was held once again in Santa Clara from April 1-4, 2014.

Executive Summary:

  1. Percona hosted another excellent conference, with 1,150 attendees from 43 countries plus a vibrant exhibit hall.
  2. The overall themes that emerged this year were “What’s new in MySQL 5.6?” and “The rise of Galera Cluster.” Unfortunately, Oracle delivered the 5.6 features they promised, but didn’t bother to ask production DBAs what they really needed (ie. GTIDs don’t support multimaster replication and require downtime to configure (SR 3-8856341942), and ALTER ONLINE doesn’t support throttling or background operation on slaves (SR 3-8856341908).)
  3. MySQL 5.7 is promising about double the performance of 5.6, but note that the 5.7 feature micro-benchmark effort hasn’t translated into a complete understanding of whole database performance yet.
  4. the current active branches are now: Oracle 5.6/5.7, MariaDB 10.0/10.1, Webscale SQL (Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, and Twitter), Facebook 5.6 with Deployable GTIDs, and Percona Server 5.6. (The version you want to migrate to is one based on MySQL 5.6.17 or later.)

Severalnines Booth booth. They create and support cluster and cloud database solutions. Photo credit: Steve Barker,


Wed. Keynotes

Percona Live 2014 opening keynote with Percona CEO Peter Zaitsev
Robert Hodges – Getting Serious about MySQL and Hadoop at Continuent
(Continuent needs to pivot into another market as MySQL’s new built-in features displace their replication products.)
‘Raising the MySQL Bar’ with Oracle’s Tomas Ulin, VP of Engineering for MySQL, Oracle
Adventures in MySQL at Dropbox, Renjish Abraham

Wed. Talks

Online schema changes for maximizing uptime, David Turner, Dropbox, Ben Black, Tango

- MySQL 5.6 has online schema change capability, however there’s no way to throttle IO consumed during the operation and the single-threaded slave will lag
- David has tested the ALTER ONLINE in MySQL 5.6.17 and will use it when ported to Percona Server
- for now uses Percona Online Schema Change utility for its throttling feature.

Be the hero of the day with the InnoDB Data recovery tool, Marco “The Grinch” Tusa and Aleksandr Kuzminsky, Percona Services

- tools have been created by Percona to recover Innodb data if you don’t have backups and you’re out of business otherwise. Call them! :)

Galera Cluster New Features, Seppo Jaakola, Codership

- reviewed features in Galera Cluster versions 3 and 4
- looking good.

MySQL Cluster Performance Tuning, Johan Andersson,

- Disable NUMA
- echo 0 /proc/sys/vm/swappiness
- bind data node threads to CPUs
- cat /proc/interrupts


LDM = cores/2

TC = LDM/4



Tune redo log



Practical sysbench, Peter Boros, Percona

- prefers “latency” graph style with transparent dots vs. line charts
- uses R and ggplot2 for graphing
- attendees tried to guess SSD performance on Peter’s notebook for different block sizes, most were proven totally wrong by sysbench

Birds of a Feather (BoF) Sessions

“Meet MySQL Team (at Oracle)” BoF

- discussion again this year about parallel query execution (same as at MariaDB BoF last year), with Peter Zaitsev also bringing it up again
- discussion about raw partitions (belief is that they will be 20% more space-efficient and 30% faster, and avoid Linux endless limitations and bugs)
- internal “development roadmap” only extends about 12 months at a time, subject to customer demands
- I griped about FK panic/data loss issues in MySQL Cluster 7.3.3. Tomas Ulin, Vice President, MySQL Engineering, said that was news to him. (See SR 3-8717994851 and SR 3-87646727311)
- Mark Callaghan, Facebook, said he was working on MongoDB now, but requested named keys in flexible schema in MySQL.
- Peter Zaitsev, Percona, said several clients are using GTIDs and they seem to work.
- Oracle pleaded with users to drop MyISAM. I mentioned the main reason was that legacy systems used older compression methods, but InnoDB could be used since it has compression too
- The Oracle MySQL Fabric project is an attempt to counter MongoDB’s automatic slave promotion.


Thursday Keynotes

’9 Things You Need to Know…’, Peter Zaitsev, Percona
The Evolution of MySQL in the All-Flash Datacenter, Nisha Talagala, Fusion-IO
MySQL, Private Cloud Infrastructure and OpenStack, Sean Chighizola, Big Fish Games
Keynote Panel: The Future of Operating MySQL at Scale

Thu. Talks

Benchmarking Databases for Scale, Peter Boros and Kenny Gryp, Percona

Question: “What is Percona’s secret to professional benchmarks?”
Answer: “Benchmark absolutely everything multiple times, time permitting.”

MySQL 5.7: Performance & Scalability Benchmarks, Dimitri KRAVTCHUK

- comprehensive micro-benchmarking graphs of 5.7 to gain a deeper understanding of parts
- the challenge remains: how to tune the whole database to perform well?

Use Your MySQL Knowledge to Become an Instant Cassandra Guru, Robert Hodges, Continuent and Tim Callaghan, Tokutek

- good comparison of relational data modelling and C* data modelling, lots of similarities
- note that MariaDB has a Cassandra plugin

RDS for MYSQL, Tips, Patterns and Common Pitfalls, Laine Campbell, Blackbird (formerly PalominoDB)

Write Conflicts in Multi-Master Replication Topologies, Seppo Jaakola, Codership

- it’s good to see that Codership is paying attention to the details of replication

MySQL Community Awards

Shlomi has a comprehensive post on this years winners.

MySQL Lightning Talks (5 minutes each)

Truncating Sub Optimal DBA Verbal Responses Vectors, David Stokes (Oracle)

MySQL 5.6 Global Transaction IDs: Benefits and Limitations, Stephane Combaudon (Percona)


Zero database downtime using the Federated storage engine and Replication, prasad mani (BBC)

Scaling via adding a Table, Rick James (self)

Rick knows some clever ways to optimize solutions with MySQL. He’s doing consulting now, so contact him.

Extra Table Saves the Day: Slides

No es ‘ano’, es ‘año’! A take on encoding in your DB, Ignacio Nin (Vivid Cortex)

What Not to Say to the MySQL DBA, Gillian Gunson (Blackbird (formerly PalominoDB))
“I’ll code around it. ”
“Stop micro-optimizing. ”
“Use passive master for QA”
“MySQL is a toy database. ”
This conference is a support group. ”

Hall of Shame, Shlomi Noach
Triple active-replication in gaming anecdote: don’t do that.

The bash slave-prefetch oneliner, Art van Scheppingen (Spil Games)

Unsung Relay Log, Vishnu Rao, FlipKart
Com_relaylog_dump for tungsten and mysql 5.5

Unique User Count — Rollup, Rick James (self)

Formula for user visit estimation by counting bits.

Logical Backups in the Cloud, Bill Karwin, Percona
Backups for PHP designers
PHP class Mysql/Dump

How to Squat, Kyle Redinger (VividCortex, Inc)

Iron DBA Replication Challenge, Attunity


Friday Keynotes

Percona CMO Terry Erisman opens the 3rd and final day of Percona Live 201

Keynote: OpenStack Co­Opetition, A View from Within, Boris Renski, Mirantis and OpenStack Boardmember

- one of the best conference keynotes ever, and a great primer on Open Source marketing … up there with the O’Reilly Open Source Conference keynote on the importance of Android – before it shipped.

Friday Talks

Global Transaction ID at Facebook, Evan Elias, Santosh Banda and Yoshinori Matsunobu, Facebook

- just write your own MySQL branch if a feature is too hard to deploy :)

R for MySQL DBAs, Ryan Lowe and Randy Wigginton, Percona

- R has about 1,000 interesting sample databases (demos included diamonds)
- good interface for quick graphing, not so great for complex programs
- Percona usess R and gg graph module for most of the graphs you see now.

MariaDB for Developers, Colin Charles, Chief Evangelist, MariaDB

Closing Prize Drawing

About 30 high-end gifts were handed out.

Some nice prizes contributed by exhibitors, including Nexus 7 tablets, $250 AWS gift certificates, SQLyog and Monyog licenses, and a quad drone!

Facebook Debuts Web-Scale Variant Of MySQL

Facebook’s Yoshinori Matsunobu on MySQL, WebScaleSQL & Percona Live
Twitter’s Calvin Sun on WebScaleSQL, Percona Live
Tweets about PerconaLive

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: Failed Aerobatics Experiment?

I guess it’s time for me to speculate on what happened to Flight 370 …

After following the news for the past 2 weeks, I’m going with this:

One or more of the pilots disabled the transponder and tried aerobatics maneuvers in the plane – and broke the plane, causing mechanical and pressurization failures. The pilots were too embarrassed to radio a Mayday and eventually lost control of the plane.

(Barrel rolls in airliners like the Boeing 367-80 have been done before.)

Southeast-asian airlines still lack operational maturity, and it’s entirely possible this happened.

I was on the sister ship of the Indonesian Adam Air Flight 574 that was lost for 10 days in 2007, so it’s unfortunate to see a repeat this soon.

Restaurant Review: Shalala Japanese Ramen

Shalala is an extremely popular Japanese Ramen restaurant off Castro in Mountain View.

It serves spicy ramen, ranked from 1 (least spicy) to 3 (most spicy) and has 3 sizes of ramen bowl from small (plenty) to large (super-sized.)

The hostesses all speak Japanese.

There are not that many tables, so expect a waiting list from noon to 1 pm.

698 W. Dana Street
Mountain View, CA 94041
650 965 8001

Monday–Friday 11:15am–2:00pm
Saturday–Sunday 11:15am–2:30pm

Monday–Thursday 5:30pm–9:30pm
Friday–Saturday 5:30pm–11:30pm
Sunday 5:30pm–9:00pm

Kotetsu Ramen is a sister restaurant located at 2089 El Camino Real, Santa Clara (408) 557 0822.

Restaurant Review: Pho Nam Sunnyvale

Pho Nam Sunnyvale is a very popular Vietnamese restaurant on El Camino Real.

They serve over 100 varieties of Vietnamese soup called pho (my favorite is #15), and also have delicious side dishes like lumpia.

Lunch is under $10 per person, cash or credit-card only. No ATM. Service is quick, making it ideal for work lunches.

Pho Nam is a chain of 4 restaurants in the Bay Area and Fort Worth, TX.

Pho Nam Sunnyvale
844 W. El Camino Real
Sunnyvale, CA 94087
(at Hollenbeck Ave.)
408 737 1086
yelp: Pho Nam Sunnyvale Building a Web Crawler with Perl

Perl LogoTonite at Silicon Valley Perl Mongers Group (, Lambert Lum gave a talk on “Building a Web Crawler with Perl.”

Largely he talked about the following Perl modules:

Joe McMahon, a CPAN maintainer of 30 modules including WWW::Mechanize::Plugin, was available to answer detailed questions.

Afterwards, several members made very interesting comments on their search projects, including using HTML Tidy to fix broken pages before parsing, and to pay attention to site maps.

There was a lot of interest in what to do with JavaScript in crawled web pages.

Thanks to Plug and Play Tech Center for hosting the meeting again.

Silicon Valley Perl Mongers Wiki
Sauce Labs