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Thursday, October 13, 2011

When Does InnoDB Update Table Statistics? (And When It Can Bite)

When Does InnoDB Update Table Statistics? (And When It Can Bite):

An InnoDB table statistics is used for JOIN optimizations and helping the MySQL optimizer choose the appropriate index for a query. If a table’s statistics or index cardinality becomes outdated, you might see queries which previously performed well suddenly show up on slow query log until InnoDB again updates the statistics. But when does InnoDB perform the updates aside from the first opening of the table or manually running ANALYZE TABLE on it? The 2 instances below are documented from the MySQL and InnoDB plugin’s manual:

  1. Metadata commands like SHOW INDEX, SHOW TABLE STATUS and SHOW [FULL] TABLES (or their corresponding queries from INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES and INFORMATION_SCHEMA.STATISTICS)

  2. When 1 / 16th of the table or 2Billion rows has been modified, whichever comes first. ./row/row0mysql.c:row_update_statistics_if_needed

If you or an application constantly executes SHOW [FULL] TABLES or SHOW TABLE STATUS on many a large tables, this can affect your server especially if the random index dives had to be read from disk. Here is an example of SHOW TABLE STATUS FROM schema taking away a couple of seconds on execution time.

# Time: 110923 1:48:17
# User@Host: user1[user1] @ []
# Thread_id: 10140441 Schema: db1 Last_errno: 0 Killed: 0
# Query_time: 12.277786 Lock_time: 0.000068 Rows_sent: 294 Rows_examined: 294 Rows_affected: 0 Rows_read: 294
# Bytes_sent: 34187 Tmp_tables: 1 Tmp_disk_tables: 0 Tmp_table_sizes: 0
SET timestamp=1316767697;
show table status from `db1`;

As you can see db1 has about 294 tables and it took the server 12 seconds to update all the tables’ statistics.  Luckily, this can be controlled with Percona Server with the variable innodb_stats_auto_update (from MySQL Community 5.1.17 a similar variable exist called innodb_stats_on_metadata, for Percona Server where both variables exist, both should be 0 if you want to disable the feature). When set to 0, automatic updates to the table statistics (items 1 and 2 above) is disabled unless ANALYZE TABLE is ran or during first open of the table.

On my next post, I will discuss the effects of disabling the feature and how you or your application should compensate.

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