MySQL memory usage docs to get a face lift

Posted in: MySQL, Technical Track

The MySQL Documentation team recently gave these docs on how MySQL uses memory a much needed face-lift. The new page provides a much clearer overview on how MySQL allocates memory, and provides many helpful links to be able to dig deeper.

For instance, if you weren’t aware of how Performance Schema memory utilization changed in 5.7, there is this helpful paragraph (emphasis mine):

The MySQL Performance Schema is a feature for monitoring MySQL server execution at a low level. As of MySQL 5.7, the Performance Schema dynamically allocates memory incrementally, scaling its memory use to actual server load, instead of allocating required memory during server startup. Once memory is allocated, it is not freed until the server is restarted. For more information, see Section 22.14, “The Performance Schema Memory-Allocation Model”.

Therefore, if you are starting a new project on MySQL 5.7, or upgrading an existing environment, and you have Performance Schema enabled, you might see your memory footprint rising inexplicably. According to the linked Performance Schema Memory-Allocation Model documentation, one reason might because of auto-scaling Performance Schema variables:


performance_schema_accounts_size
performance_schema_hosts_size
performance_schema_max_cond_instances
performance_schema_max_file_instances
performance_schema_max_index_stat
performance_schema_max_metadata_locks
performance_schema_max_mutex_instances
performance_schema_max_prepared_statements_instances
performance_schema_max_program_instances
performance_schema_max_rwlock_instances
performance_schema_max_socket_instances
performance_schema_max_table_handles
performance_schema_max_table_instances
performance_schema_max_table_lock_stat
performance_schema_max_thread_instances
performance_schema_users_size

Of course, you can limit each variable by supplying a value to prevent autoscaling beyond a point.


There might me some areas missing, such as explicit MEMORY tables, but by-and-large it is a vast improvement.

Other honorable mentions that I’ve seen updates in the documentation include Limiting memory utilization of range optimizations and Configuring innodb_buffer_pool_size

Happy reading!

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Derek Downey is the Director of Managed Services for the OpenSource Database practice at Pythian, helping to align technical and business objectives for the company and for our clients. Derek loves automating MySQL, implementing visualization strategies and creating repeatable training environments.

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