Archive for the ‘High Availability’ tag
It’s been a while since I’ve written about progress on the book. I actually stopped working on it as much at the beginning of the month, because on October 31st I managed to finish a first draft of the last big chapter (Scaling and High Availability)! Now I’m back to full-time work at my employer, and I’m working on the book in the evenings and weekends only.
This doesn’t mean the book is close to being done, though. The editor is sending out some chapters for technical review, and there’s still a lot more writing and revising to be done.
Last weekend I revised the Security chapter from the first edition, which I think will be the only chapter that we’ll just revise and update, rather than completely rewriting (well, maybe the Architecture chapter could be considered a revision instead of a rewrite, but it’s a stretch; we changed it a lot). I removed a lot of the material that repeated the MySQL manual, and added a lot of information and best practices on grants, new privileges and objects in MySQL 5, common tasks, common mistakes, and so on. The chapter ended up being nearly as long, even though I stripped out all the code listings and so on from the first edition (in fact, I reduced the first edition’s material to a few paragraphs).
Beyond that, though, there are little details to finish out in many of the chapters. Examples that need to be finished, figures that need to be re-drawn, material that doesn’t quite fit and needs to be re-arranged or even moved to another chapter; it’s a lot of work. Peter Zaitsev has been reviewing some of the core chapters on query and schema optimization etc, and I’m revising them in response to his comments. That’s what I spent today doing.
I think the biggest chunks of work that remain are going to be making chapters 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 (benchmarking, profiling, schema, indexing, query optimization, advanced features, and server tuning) flow together well. The challenge here is how to organize the vast amount of material so it reads well, without too many forward references, and still be useful as a reference work. The detail we’ve gone into is incredible. It makes it very hard to find the single best place to mention each little bit of wisdom, because all of this material is completely inter-related. It’s tough to flatten the graph of knowledge into a one-dimensional narrative.
It’s not just these chapters that have a lot of inter-related material, of course. It’s hard to talk about tuning the server settings (chapter 7) without bringing the OS and hardware (chapter 8) into it, and whenever you do this you also need to think about measuring and monitoring status information (chapter 14). Of course, you need to do that for benchmarking and profiling, too (chapter 3). I’m sure you see the dilemma!
The good news is, if we succeed in doing this well, you will find the book enormously useful. Stay tuned!
Continuing in the tradition, which I hope has been as helpful to you as it has been to me, I’m opening the floor for suggestions on chapter 9 of the upcoming High Performance MySQL, Second Edition. Unlike the other chapters for which I’ve listed outlines, this one isn’t substantially written yet. It’s in detailed outline form at this point (a tactic that has worked very well for us so far — I’ll write about that someday).
I’m trying to get feedback much earlier in this chapter’s lifecycle, for several reasons. Two of the most important are that this is one of the first chapters I’ve had a chance to really take from scratch, and the chapters I haven’t written from scratch have been harder to organize, as you’ve probably seen from the last few outlines I posted. There’s a lot of value in working top-down on this deep encyclopedia-style material.
The outline, as it stands now, is basically headings with bulleted lists of important details. Here are the top-level headings:
[Intro] Scaling and High Availability Requirements Replication Overview Configuring Replication Under the Hood of Replication Replication Topologies Replication Administration and Maintenance Replication Problems and Solutions The Future of MySQL Replication Scaling MySQL Horizontally Clustering with MySQL MySQL Cluster Other Clustering Solutions Load Balancing
Just a few notes. These sections are top-level, and will likely be split into many sub-sections like other chapter outlines I’ve posted. A typical section has a couple dozen bullet-points in it, at a high level of granularity, such as “Using DRBD for log replication only.” I think we’ll also add in a separate section on fail-over and fail-back, but that’s not in the outline as of right now (what do you think belongs in it?).
I don’t know what it’s like for you to read outlines and see little bits of the book being assembled, but the process of writing this book is just fascinating to me. It’s endlessly interesting and educational — just the process of writing, let alone the subject matter! This is a really fun project. A heck of a lot of work, but fun nonetheless, and the openness of the project makes it even more fun for me. I’ve learned a lot of surprising and interesting things about writing. I keep wishing I had time to write about this process, but I really need to keep my eye on the deadlines and put that off for later.
Anyway, the usual requests apply: what’s missing, what do you think is cool and should be included, etc etc? Thanks, as usual, for your time and feedback.