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High Performance MySQL, 3rd Edition by Vadim Tkachenko, Peter Zaitsev, Baron Schwartz

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Foreword

Mark Callaghan, Software Engineer, Facebook

I’ve been a fan of this book for years, and the third edition makes a great book even better. Not only do world-class experts share that expertise, but they have taken the time to update and add chapters with high-quality writing. While the book has many details on getting high performance from MySQL, the focus of the book is on the process of improvement rather than facts and trivia. This book will help you figure out how to make things better, regardless of changes in MySQL’s behavior over time.

The authors are uniquely qualified to write this book, based on their experience, principled approach, focus on efficiency, and commitment to improvement. By experience, I mean that the authors have been working on MySQL performance from the days when it didn’t scale and had no instrumentation to the current period where things are much better. By principled approach, I mean that they treat this like a science, first defining problems to be solved and then using reason and measurement to solve those problems.

I am most impressed by their focus on efficiency. As consultants, they don’t have the luxury of time. Clients getting billed by the hour want problems solved quickly. So the authors have defined processes and built tools to get things done correctly and efficiently. They describe the processes in this book and publish source code for the tools.

Finally, they continue to get better at what they do. This includes a shift in concern from throughput to response time, a commitment to understanding the performance of MySQL on new hardware, and a pursuit of new skills like queueing theory that can be used to understand performance.

I believe this book augurs a bright future for MySQL. As MySQL has evolved to support demanding workloads, the authors have led a similar effort to improve the understanding of MySQL performance within the community. They have also contributed directly to that improvement via XtraDB and XtraBackup. I continue to learn from them and hope you take the time to do so as well.

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