What changed from the first to second edition of High Performance MySQL?

A pretty frequent comment I get is “I’m thinking about buying the second edition. What’s the difference from the first edition?” I’ll try to answer that question here.

  • A lot more content.  684 pages instead of 230, plus it’s compactly written.  You can count on about 3 or 4 times as much real information.
  • Much deeper insight into server internals.  If you found the first edition’s coverage of indexing, schema optimization and query optimization a bit superficial, you will not be disappointed by the second edition.  It probably tells you more than you want to know, really.
  • InnoDB, InnoDB, InnoDB.  InnoDB is the leading storage engine for MySQL, and for good reason: it’s fast, stable, robust and has lots of advanced features.  We cover it like nothing you’ve ever read before.  If you’re having trouble with InnoDB tuning or if it’s giving you problems under extreme load, this book is for you.
  • A changed focus.  We wrote the book for people who have “real money” in their servers and need to rely on MySQL.  Default installations of MySQL are fine for lightweight forums or something, but we’ve built some of the largest and most heavily trafficked sites in the world on MySQL.  The second edition shows you how to build a MySQL installation that you can really count on.
  • A lot of details on operating system and hardware tuning, plus how to choose hardware for your server.
  • Much more information on replication. You can get setup guides from anywhere.  What you can’t get from anywhere is how to make replication rock-solid.
  • Real insight into how you can scale your systems big.  We give specific advice, not generic “oh, you might consider this and that.” We’ve been through a lot of projects building MySQL out to really really big sizes, and we’ve seen dozens of different ways to do it.  If you ever think your systems won’t fit on a single server, buy the book and save a ton of time and money.  Scaling big is no simple matter.
  • Much more useful advice on benchmarking and profiling.
  • Tons of “hacks” that get around MySQL’s weaknesses, with advice on when to use them.
  • A thorough guide to tuning MySQL.  Again this is an area where the first edition was not very comprehensive.  Special attention is given to InnoDB and MyISAM tuning.
  • Deep dives into advanced topics: the query cache, views, character sets, partitioning, and so on.  Most of these were not mentioned in the first edition, and certainly not in any depth.
  • Advice on how to optimize your applications.  Three of the authors are full-stack performance consulting experts — we know a lot more than just MySQL.
  • Backup advice that actually works.  Backing up MySQL is non-trivial, especially in mixed environments (common these days).  If you do it the first edition’s way, you are likely to be doing it wrong.  The first edition’s advice was pretty much good only for MyISAM tables.
  • The best information anywhere on SHOW INNODB STATUS and many other advanced topics.
  • Four appendixes about essential topics.

You can download the sample table of contents from the Download tab above to browse the topic list in more detail.


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