Posts by Sheeri Cabral

Dependence on MySQL Documentation

I think many people truly realized how much they take the MySQL documentation for granted during the recent multi-hour outage from’s data center. Apparently there is a lot of FUD floating around about the legality of mirroring the documentation…

Sheeri Visiting Europe in Late August

OpenSQLCamp 2009 is happening “in parallel to the Free and Open Source Conference 2009 (FrOSCon) on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd August in St. Augustin, Germany …. close to Bonn and Cologne.” I plan on being at FrOSCon and OpenSQLCamp. Where I go before and after that is up to *you*. Yes, that is right, perhaps I will visit a user group, such as France’s MySQL User Group. Or perhaps your company needs the type of services Pythian can offer — we can do the “traditional consulting” model where we look over your systems for performance tuning and security gains, or fix problems in an emergency

Concerns and What Does Not Work in XtraDB Backup

A short time ago I posted how I was Using XtraDB Backup to backup InnoDB. Overall, the blog post was positive, but experiences that others have had (and commented to on that blog post) have made me want to put out another short article about using XtraDB backup. The first few points remain the same — the backup process is stable, we were able to use the binaries without compiling, and using Innobackupex as the wrapper script, analogous to However, we did figure out why Xtrabackup had to be run as the mysql user:

Trivial MySQL Variable of the Day

Today’s trivial MySQL system variable: (old_alter_table) The interesting bit is that this is a system variable, and shows up in SHOW GLOBAL VARIABLES, but is not documented on the Server System Variables manual page. Instead, it is documented on the manual page for Server options. Unfortunately, that documentation is very sparse.

Images in a database

About six months ago, the question of storing images in a database came up. This is one of my favorite topics, and has many database-agnostic parts. Personally, I think “tell me about storing images in a database” is actually a great interview question, because you will be able to see the difference between someone who has just memorized “what’s right” versus someone who is really thinking. It also helps you see how someone will communicate.

Using Xtradb Backup

As Baron points out, Percona’s Xtrabackup tool can be used just like InnoDB Hot Backup. Many are wondering, “is it good enough?” In fact, I wondered the same thing, and after a few weeks of using and testing Xtrabackup (on machines that have MyISAM and InnoDB tables), I can say…Currently, for clients who want a hot backup solution but do not want to pay for InnoDB Hot Backup, Pythian recommends Xtrabackup.

Contradiction for the Day

Today’s contradiction: MySQL has server variables named new and old. The new variable can be set per-session and globally, and is dynamic. The old variable is not dynamic, and only global in scope. Both default to FALSE in MySQL 5.1.

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