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High Performance MySQL, 3rd Edition by Vadim Tkachenko, Peter Zaitsev, Baron Schwartz

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Chapter 8. Optimizing Server Settings

In this chapter, we’ll explain a process by which you can create a good configuration file for your MySQL server. It is a roundabout trip, with many points of interest and side trips to scenic overlooks. These are necessary, because determining the shortest path to a good configuration doesn’t start with studying configuration options and asking which ones you should set or how you should change them, nor does it start with examining server behavior and asking whether any configuration options can improve it. It’s best to begin with an understanding of MySQL’s internals and behavior. You can then use that knowledge as a guide for how MySQL should be configured. Finally, you can compare the desired configuration to the current configuration and correct any differences that are important and worthwhile.

People often ask, “What’s the optimal configuration file for my server with 32 GB of RAM and 12 CPU cores?” Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. The server should be configured for the workload, data, and application requirements, not just the hardware. MySQL has scores of settings that you can change—but you shouldn’t. It’s usually better to configure the basic settings correctly (and there are only a few that really matter in most cases) and spend more time on schema optimization, indexes, and query design. After you’ve set MySQL’s basic configuration options correctly, the potential gains from further changes are usually small.

On the other hand, ...

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