Tag: scalability
Using Sphinx for Non-Fulltext Queries
19 May2008

How often do you think about the reasons why your favorite RDBMS sucks? 🙂 Last few months I was doing this quite often and yes, my favorite RDBMS is MySQL. The reason why I was thinking so because one of my recent tasks at Scribd was fixing scalability problems in documents browsing.

The problem with browsing was pretty simple to describe and as hard to fix – we have large data set which consists of a few tables with many fields with really bad selectivity (flag fields like is_deleted, is_private, etc; file_type, language_id , category_id and others). As the result of this situation it becomes really hard (if possible at all) to display documents lists like “most popular 1-10 pages PDF documents in Italian language from the category “Business” (of course, non-deleted, non-private, etc). If you’ll try to create appropriate indexes for each possible filters combination, you’ll end up having tens or hundreds of indexes and every INSERT query in your tables will take ages.

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Dog-pile Effect and How to Avoid it with Ruby on Rails memcache-client Patch
10 Mar2008

We were using memcache in our application for a long time and it helped a lot to reduce DB servers load on some huge queries. But there was a problem (sometimes called a “dog-pile effect”) – when some cached value was expired and we had a huge traffic, sometimes too many threads in our application were trying to calculate new value to cache it.

For example, if you have some simple but really bad query like

SELECT COUNT(*) FROM some_table WHERE some_flag = X

which could be really slow on a huge tables, and your cache expires, then ALL your clients calling a page with this counter will end up waiting for this counter to be updated. Sometimes there could be tens or even hundreds of such a queries running on your DB killing your server and breaking an entire application (number of application instances is constant, but more and more instances are locked waiting for a counter).

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FastSessions Rails Plugin Released
6 Feb2008

How often do we think about our http sessions implementation? I mean, do you know, how your currently used sessions-related code will behave when sessions number in your database will grow up to millions (or, even, hundreds of millions) of records? This is one of the things we do not think about. But if you’ll think about it, you’ll notice, that 99% of your session-related operations are read-only and 99% of your sessions writes are not needed. Almost all your sessions table records have the same information: session_id and serialized empty session in the data field.

Looking at this sessions-related situation we have created really simple (and, at the same time, really useful for large Rails projects) plugin, which replaces ActiveRecord-based session store and makes sessions much more effective. Below you can find some information about implementation details and decisions we’ve made in this plugin, but if you just want to try it, then check out our project site.

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Innodb Locks, ActiveRecord and acts_as_ferret Problem
1 Dec2007

Last few days one of our customers (one of the largest Ruby on Rails sites on the Net) was struggling to solve some really strange problem – once upon a time they were getting an error from ActiveRecord on their site:

(ActiveRecord::StatementInvalid) "Mysql::Error: Lock wait timeout exceeded; try restarting transaction: UPDATE some_table.....

They have innodb_lock_wait_timeout set to 20 seconds. After a few hours of looking for strange transactions we were decided to create s script to dump SHOW INNODB STATUS and SHOW FULL PROCESSLIST commands output to a file every 10 seconds to catch one of those moments when this error occurred.

Today we’ve got next error and started digging in our logs…

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MySQL UC 2007 Videos are Available!
25 May2007

Thanks to MySQL community members we’ve got really great collection of media files from the recent mysqluc. Thanks to Seeri for all that work he’s done to collect everything in one place so we could watch/listen/read information from this great event.

So, if you did not attended mysqluc07, then you definitely should visit Technocation page, dedicated to this conference.

P.S. I’m going to post links to these videos and descriptions for the sessions on the Best Tech Videos soon, so If you are not sure to watch some video or not, just wait while I’m merging these links with information from mysqluc site.