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As I mentioned in the interview with @enked on his website Chidimar.com, I had serious problems with MySQL database optimization on the Foller.me project. The current public stable version (beta-1) is using the MyISAM engine and it’s not holding much data – profiles, locations, geo points for the followers geography.
In the new version (currently dev-1 and hopefully beta-2 in a few days) I changed most of the old tables and added new ones, and using InnoDB this time. You see, it’s not very easy to scan through ~1,000,000 relations for the @mashable account ;) and I bumped into a ~10 second delay before the @mashable profile showed up at Foller.me. Slow query showed that one of the simplest queries caused that slow-mo – it took 6 seconds to execute! The guys at Stack Overflow helped me optimize the query and the two tables I was having problems with, so I came down to ~2 seconds for that query, neat!
Digging further I managed to tune the MySQL server up a little bit (caching, all sorts of buffers, etc – you should definitely take a look at MySQLTuner, it’s a perl script that helps you tune pretty much all the MySQL config) which decreased the query execution time to 1 s. The peeps at Stack Overflow said it’s pretty okay for that kind of query to execute for 3 seconds on over 2 million rows, so I thought that 1 second is final. Phew! :)
Now, think about the MySQL query cache. It doesn’t work in my situation, simply because I shoot UPDATEs and INSERTs at the relations table every five minutes or so (via a cron job), so there actually is a way to perform even higher. Thought of temporary tables, views and triggers (and even stored procedures). Nah.. Simply caching that query would be good, right? I mean if I cache the whole profile for an hour, why wouldn’t I cache the relations result set? Cache the query.. Aha, but I thought slightly further. Why not cache the whole page with memcached? I’ll keep you updated with the results.