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Book review : Instant InnoDB

Instant InnoDB

Instant InnoDB – click picture to take you to the Packt page.




Instant InnoDB from Packt Publishing and written by Matt Reid is, as its title suggests, intended to be an easy to read and understand reference guide rather than a weighty tome covering every painful aspect of InnoDB in excruciating detail. Does it fit this description and aim? Read on to find out…






Chapter Summaries

Once you get past the table of contents, the book starts off with a Preface summarizing its aims, briefly describing each chapter, and tells you what you’ll require to have, to play around with the examples in the book.

The first chapter is all about getting started with InnoDB, and lists its basic features with helpfully short descriptions of each. Then tells you how to install MySQL with InnoDB, and verifying that the database engine is set up and running properly. It’s all very straightforward and easy to understand, and if  like me you weren’t knowledgeable on stuff like ACID compliance, for example, then you learn a great deal from the down to earth text. The chapter ends with creating your first InnoDB table, informing you of further considerations in database creation.

The second chapter takes you through the basic InnoDB configuration parameters – a topic important to understand and to get right. In my own dealings with InnoDB in the past, I’ve managed to inadvertently cause MySQL to either not start or to slow down – all because I wasn’t knowledgeable enough on the subject. This chapter gives you the ammunition you need to Get Things Right, explaining how MySQL allocates memory, what the different buffers are and do, and calculating if you have enough RAM for your configuration. It then goes through some of the basic parameters with helpful explanations on all.

Chapter 3 covers advanced configuration parameters, building on what you learned previously when you created a stable database configuration. It informs you of the pitfalls of incorrectly configuring the tuning parameters of InnoDB, how to measure the I/O performance of your storage system, and recommendations for what storage system to use. After this there are descriptions of the static and dynamic InnoDB variables and how you can use them to optimize your database.

Chapter 4 is all about load testing the InnoDB engine for performance, once again explaining in as simple way as possible how to go about such testing, and valuably walks you through an example of how to ask the right questions in the first place in order to achieve proper testing. You get to learn of the various MySQL load testing and benchmarking utilities/applications, filesystem benchmarking,  and InnoDB flush methods.

Chapter 5’s first topic is short but sweet, talking about maintenance procedures in the form of adding/resizing InnoDB log files, adding tablespaces, and using RAW tablespaces – a feature I didn’t know existed until now. After that comes equally valuable information on InnoDB Monitoring, with descriptions of various INFORMATION_SCHEMA database values, how to show the MySQL global status variables, details on third party monitoring resources, plus some handy equations for analyzing InnoDB stats.

Strangely enough arrives Chapter 6, and that’s all about digging yourself out of any trouble you might have with InnoDB, whether it be systems crashes, performance issues, and viewing the status variables, followed by explanations of various InnoDB error codes, ending with a list of troubleshooting and backup applications.

The final Chapter 7 is a brief listing of references and links to documentation, reference books, links to various terminology you should know when using MySQL and InnoDB, and handy links to articles on tuning InnoDB.


Instant InnoDB is an invaluable book if you plan to or are running MySQL with the InnoDB database engine. It doesn’t go in-depth into many subjects, but that’s not its purpose. As a quick reference guide it contains everything you need to know or remind yourself of running InnoDB at a glance, and for that purpose it fits the bill nicely, and should be part of the MySQL/InnoDB administrator’s bookshelf – real or virtual. It is well worth the very reasonable asking price.

Click this link to go to the Packt page for this book : http://bit.ly/VGm9o1

Rating : 10/10

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