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MySQL 8.0 Reference Manual  /  ...  /  Optimizing Performance Schema Queries

Pre-General Availability Draft: 2017-12-16

8.2.4 Optimizing Performance Schema Queries

Applications that monitor databases may make frequent use of Performance Schema tables. To write queries for these tables most efficiently, take advantage of their indexes. For example, include a WHERE clause that restricts retrieved rows based on comparison to specific values in an indexed column.

Most Performance Schema tables have indexes. Tables that do not are those that normally contain few rows or are unlikely to be queried frequently. Performance Schema indexes give the optimizer access to execution plans other than full table scans. These indexes also improve performance for related objects, such as sys schema views that use those tables.

To see whether a given Performance Schema table has indexes and what they are, use SHOW INDEX or SHOW CREATE TABLE:

mysql> SHOW INDEX FROM performance_schema.accounts\G
*************************** 1. row ***************************
        Table: accounts
   Non_unique: 0
     Key_name: ACCOUNT
 Seq_in_index: 1
  Column_name: USER
    Collation: NULL
  Cardinality: NULL
     Sub_part: NULL
       Packed: NULL
         Null: YES
   Index_type: HASH
      Comment: 
Index_comment: 
      Visible: YES
*************************** 2. row ***************************
        Table: accounts
   Non_unique: 0
     Key_name: ACCOUNT
 Seq_in_index: 2
  Column_name: HOST
    Collation: NULL
  Cardinality: NULL
     Sub_part: NULL
       Packed: NULL
         Null: YES
   Index_type: HASH
      Comment: 
Index_comment: 
      Visible: YES

mysql> SHOW CREATE TABLE performance_schema.rwlock_instances\G
*************************** 1. row ***************************
       Table: rwlock_instances
Create Table: CREATE TABLE `rwlock_instances` (
  `NAME` varchar(128) NOT NULL,
  `OBJECT_INSTANCE_BEGIN` bigint(20) unsigned NOT NULL,
  `WRITE_LOCKED_BY_THREAD_ID` bigint(20) unsigned DEFAULT NULL,
  `READ_LOCKED_BY_COUNT` int(10) unsigned NOT NULL,
  PRIMARY KEY (`OBJECT_INSTANCE_BEGIN`),
  KEY `NAME` (`NAME`),
  KEY `WRITE_LOCKED_BY_THREAD_ID` (`WRITE_LOCKED_BY_THREAD_ID`)
) ENGINE=PERFORMANCE_SCHEMA DEFAULT CHARSET=utf8

To see the execution plan for a Performance Schema query and whether it uses any indexes, use EXPLAIN:

mysql> EXPLAIN SELECT * FROM performance_schema.accounts
       WHERE (USER,HOST) = ('root','localhost')\G
*************************** 1. row ***************************
           id: 1
  select_type: SIMPLE
        table: accounts
   partitions: NULL
         type: const
possible_keys: ACCOUNT
          key: ACCOUNT
      key_len: 278
          ref: const,const
         rows: 1
     filtered: 100.00
        Extra: NULL

The EXPLAIN output indicates that the optimizer uses the accounts table ACCOUNT index that comprises the USER and HOST columns.

Performance Schema indexes are virtual: They are a construct of the Performance Schema storage engine and use no memory or disk storage. The Performance Schema reports index information to the optimizer so that it can construct efficient execution plans. The Performance Schema in turn uses optimizer information about what to look for (for example, a particular key value), so that it can perform efficient lookups without building actual index structures. This implementation provides two important benefits:

  • It entirely avoids the maintenance cost normally incurred for tables that undergo frequent updates.

  • It reduces at an early stage of query execution the amount of data retrieved. For conditions on the indexed columns, the Performance Schema efficiently returns only table rows that satisfy the query conditions. Without an index, the Performance Schema would return all rows in the table, requiring that the optimizer later evaluate the conditions against each row to produce the final result.

Performance Schema indexes are predefined and cannot be dropped, added, or altered.

Performance Schema indexes are similar to hash indexes. For example:

  • They are used only for equality comparisons that use the = or <=> operators.

  • They are unordered. If a query result must have specific row ordering characteristics, include an ORDER BY clause.

For additional information about hash indexes, see Section 8.3.9, “Comparison of B-Tree and Hash Indexes”.


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