Keeping track of database table size changes in MySQL

I don’t know how common is this problem, but it is good to know from time to time about which tables how many disk space needed at a certain time. For example, you can catch an amok running software part which writes your database full. Or, – as you will see so – you can catch up some code what doesn’t work as excepted.

So, let’s start at the beginning. You wanna to know how big are your tables, and you need to know how many data gets there day-by-day (or minute-by-minute. or whatever).

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MySQL connections listing

Currently, at Kinja we are in a middle of big architectural change on database servers, so I have run into a problem regarding this. Sometimes I have to check current connections on database servers, to see what schemas are in use, what servers using a given DB server, or even which users are connected to the database server.

Previously when I had to determine connected hosts, I just used a one-liner script in bash, what parse through the output of netstat and listed the number of connections from given servers like this:

[root@sql-slave1 banyek]# netstat | grep mysql | awk '{print $5}' | awk -F: '{print $1}' | sort | uniq -c
      1 app01.bfc.kinja-ops.c
     83 app05.bfc.kinja-ops.c
     84 app09.bfc.kinja-ops.c
      9 dbcacti.bfc.kinja-ops
      1 nagios.bfc.kinja-ops.
      1 sql-master1.bfc.kinja

This was enough to quickly see the connected hosts, but the output wasn’t too chatty, and there are a lot of information which were hidden.

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Free up space on mysql servers

First, I have to tell you, that the “fragmentation” is not the best word what I should use, but that was the closest to that what I wanted to say. The base of the fragmentation checker script is Peter Zaitsev’s 2008 article about Information_schema, I used that query to get that results what I needed.

Some background: a few weeks ago we got some free space related problems (well, they weren’t a real problem, but they could lead onto one, and we had to act fast.) The InnoDB is working on a bit strange way, it is not like to free up space what is deleted before, and because of this, the datafiles will grow to the end of the world. The first thing what we could do to reclaim free space is to use


configuration option, what will split up the database to a lot of .ibd datafiles, instead of one big ibdata file. If you got your data in different tables, you can run “OPTIMIZE TABLE” from mysql, what will compact the datafiles (creates a new one, copies the table contents onto this new table, deletes the old file, and renames the new) for you. It takes a lot of time to run, and you have to know, that the “optimize” command will also be replicated, so after you did this on master be aware that it will happen on slaves too. So, when you take some maintenance time, you have to calculate with this. It’s easy to determine what tables would be optimized, you can check the table size from the data dictionary, and you can see how big is that table on disk. If they differ, then you can reclaim the space what is the difference between the two sizes.

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