A MySQL Health Check Can Benefit Everyone

As the most popular open source database system in the world, Oracle MySQL is well proven and mature in its performance, reliability, ease of use, and troubleshooting support. It is particularly popular with web applications and is used by companies such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

 

So what’s the problem?

In choosing MySQL, the journey doesn’t end there for the customer. There are common inefficiencies and errors in usage that occur with MySQL users. It can be a good tactic, therefore, for you to perform a health check or audit of your customer’s setup and use of MySQL to examine ways that they can achieve better performance and value from it.

 

For you, it also is a great exercise and conversation to have with your customer to open up areas of value and opportunity.

 

What to look out for

Common mistakes with MySQL users include the following:

  • Not updating to the latest versions of MySQL.

  • Not using MySQL Tuning Primer Script.

  • Not monitoring for slow queries.

  • Not enough indexing — reducing performance speeds.

  • Not backing up the database — often overlooked, leading to huge potential problems later!

  • Security ‘blind spots’ — including data files, log files, application files, access control, protocols and network security of MySQL.

The consequences of mistakes in the above areas can generally have a significant impact on application (and therefore business) performance, costs and customer satisfaction. The good news is that some input from a partner can provide HUGE benefits for the customer.

 

What to include in a MySQL health check

Many partners are offering audits or health checks for MySQL users. These generally include the below areas and check for mistakes or flaws such as those listed above, and also other areas.

 

Areas to include in a MySQL health check:

  • Database performance analysis, including analysing operation logs, performance metrics, schema performance, query optimisation, detection of areas of poor performance, bottlenecks, stalls and other issues.

  • Hardware resourcing, including utilisation analysis, workload demand, processor, physical memory size, storage type, configuration and system capacity analysis.

  • Configuration.

  • Security testing.

  • Skill gaps analysis, which can lead to training or service opportunities.

  • Health check report, including recommended fixes or areas for improvement.

Conclusion

Health check reports are an ‘initial scan’ type service, made to provide an overview for customers, rather than a ‘deep dive’. Therefore, you may not wish to include all of the above areas in the initial health scan and instead provide a graded service. The advantage is that you can offer different levels of investigation, analysis and consultation. These audits provide a high value to customers, and also strong areas of opportunity that arise for partners from them.