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MySQL Troubleshooting by Sveta Smirnova

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Solving a system problem can be one of the most frustrating experiences a systems expert can encounter. Repair of the problem or the execution of the solution is typically the easy part. Diagnosing the cause of the problem is the real challenge.

Experienced administrators have learned—some by doing and others by trial and error—that the best way to solve a problem is to use a standardized process for defining the problem, forming a list of possible causes, and then testing each until the solution is found. This may sound naïve, but it generally works (although it is not sufficient for specialized systems).

MySQL is a specialized, complex, mature, and powerful database system capable of meeting the needs of a vast number of organizations. MySQL is also very easy to install and configure. Indeed, most default installations do not need to be configured or tuned at all. However, MySQL is also a system with many layers of functionality that can sometimes go awry and produce a warning or error.

Sometimes the warning or error is specific enough (or has been seen and documented enough) that a solution can be implemented immediately. Other times, and thankfully infrequently, a problem is encountered that does not have a known solution or is specific to your application, database, or environment. Finding a solution for such a warning, error, or other problem with MySQL can be a daunting task.

When encountering such an issue, database professionals typically search various resources looking for clues or at least documentation that describes a similar problem and solution. Most will find that there are simply too many references to problems that are somewhat similar or that contain suggested solutions that simply don’t work or don’t apply to your situation.

A fine example of this is searching the Internet using the error message as search criteria. More often than not, you will find all manner of hits, varying from archived email logs to blogs and similar commentary that may or may not refer to the error message. This often leads to a lot of wasted time and frustration. What is needed is a reference guide for how to solve problems with MySQL.

Not only does this book fulfill that need, it also establishes a protocol for solving problems that can be applied to almost any system. The methods presented are well structured, thorough, and repeatable. Combined with real-world examples, the text becomes a watershed work that defines the proper way to diagnose and repair MySQL.

Sveta uses her firsthand experiences and in-depth knowledge of MySQL and diagnostic skills to teach the reader fundamental skills to diagnose and repair almost any problem you may encounter with MySQL—making this book a must have for any MySQL professional.

I consider myself a MySQL expert, and while my skills are backed by much experience, I won’t claim to know everything there is to know about MySQL. After reading this book, I can say that I’ve broadened my skills even further. If a seasoned professional like myself can benefit from reading this book, every MySQL user should read this book. More to the point, it should be considered required reading for all MySQL database administrators, consultants, and database developers.

Dr. Charles Bell, Oracle Corporation, Author of MySQL High Availability (O’Reilly) and Expert MySQL (Apress)

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