Thursday, July 30, 2015

MySQL replication monitoring 101


Replication is the process that transfers data from an active master to a slave server, which reproduces the data stream to achieve, as best as possible, a faithful copy of the data in the master.

To check replication health, you may start with sampling the service, i.e. committing some Sentinel value in the master and retrieving it from the slave.

Sentinel data: Tap tap… Is this thing on?


If you want to make sure that replication is working, the easiest test is using replication itself to see if data is being copied across from the master to the slaves. The method is easy:

  1. Make sure that the data you want to see is NOT in the master or in the slave. If you skip this step, you may think that replication is working, while in fact it may not.
  2. Either create a table in the master or use a table that you know exists both in the master and the slave.
  3. Insert several records in the master table.
  4. Check that they are replicated in the slave correctly.
  5. Update a record in the master.
  6. Watch it changing in the slave.
  7. Delete a record in the master.
  8. Watch it disappear in the slave.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

MySQL 5.7 : no more password column!

Maintaining a project like MySQL::Sandbox is sometimes tiring, but it has its advantages. One of them is that everything related to the server setup comes to my attention rather earlier than if I were an average DBA or developer.

I try to keep MySQL Sandbox up to date with every release of MySQL and (to a lesser extent) MariaDB [1]. For this reason, I am used to trying a new release with MySQL Sandbox, and … seeing it fail.

Of the latest changes in MySQL, probably the most disruptive was what happened in MySQL 5.7.6, where the mysql.user table lost the password column.

Yep. No ‘password’ column anymore. And just to make the setup procedure harder, the syntax of SET PASSWORD was changed, and deprecated.


Previously, I could run:


mysql [localhost] {msandbox} (mysql) > select version();  
+-----------+  
| version() |  
+-----------+  
| 5.6.25    |  
+-----------+  
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

mysql [localhost] {msandbox} (mysql) > select host,user,password from user;  
+-----------+-------------+-------------------------------------------+  
| host      | user        | password                                  |  
+-----------+-------------+-------------------------------------------+  
| localhost | root        | *6C387FC3893DBA1E3BA155E74754DA6682D04747 |  
| 127.%     | msandbox    | *6C387FC3893DBA1E3BA155E74754DA6682D04747 |  
| localhost | msandbox    | *6C387FC3893DBA1E3BA155E74754DA6682D04747 |  
| localhost | msandbox_rw | *6C387FC3893DBA1E3BA155E74754DA6682D04747 |  
| 127.%     | msandbox_rw | *6C387FC3893DBA1E3BA155E74754DA6682D04747 |  
| 127.%     | msandbox_ro | *6C387FC3893DBA1E3BA155E74754DA6682D04747 |  
| localhost | msandbox_ro | *6C387FC3893DBA1E3BA155E74754DA6682D04747 |  
| 127.%     | rsandbox    | *B07EB15A2E7BD9620DAE47B194D5B9DBA14377AD |  
+-----------+-------------+-------------------------------------------+  
8 rows in set (0.00 sec)

In the latest releases, though, this fails.


mysql [localhost] {msandbox} (mysql) > select version();  
+-----------+  
| version() |  
+-----------+  
| 5.7.8-rc  |  
+-----------+  
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

mysql [localhost] {msandbox} (mysql) > select host,user,password from user;  
ERROR 1054 (42S22): Unknown column 'password' in 'field list'

Instead of a password column (which was CHAR(41)), we have now an authentication_string column of type TEXT.


+-----------+-------------+-------------------------------------------+  
| host      | user        | authentication_string                     |  
+-----------+-------------+-------------------------------------------+  
| localhost | root        | *6C387FC3893DBA1E3BA155E74754DA6682D04747 |  
| 127.%     | msandbox    | *6C387FC3893DBA1E3BA155E74754DA6682D04747 |  
| localhost | msandbox    | *6C387FC3893DBA1E3BA155E74754DA6682D04747 |  
| localhost | msandbox_rw | *6C387FC3893DBA1E3BA155E74754DA6682D04747 |  
| 127.%     | msandbox_rw | *6C387FC3893DBA1E3BA155E74754DA6682D04747 |  
| 127.%     | msandbox_ro | *6C387FC3893DBA1E3BA155E74754DA6682D04747 |  
| localhost | msandbox_ro | *6C387FC3893DBA1E3BA155E74754DA6682D04747 |  
| 127.%     | rsandbox    | *B07EB15A2E7BD9620DAE47B194D5B9DBA14377AD |  
+-----------+-------------+-------------------------------------------+

Fixing MySQL Sandbox to handle this issue and to be at the same time compatible with previous releases was quite challenging, but in the end I did it. Recent versions of the sandbox can handle all the releases from Oracle, Percona, and MariaDB without showing hiccups.

So, for testing, the issue is solved. Now comes the hard part: when thousands of database administration procedures will break down for lack of the password column. To all the DBAs and database developers out there: good luck!




  1. It is my pleasure to disclose that MariaDB 10.1 runs in MySQL Sandbox 3.0.55+, with only minimal changes.  ↩


Sunday, July 19, 2015

MYSQL Sandbox 3.0.55 and new Github replication scripts


Both MySQL and MariaDB have been busy, each introducing new features, sometimes creating the same feature, often with different syntax.

This is sometimes good for users, who have a wide choice. And sometimes it is bad, as once you are used to the deployment and syntax of one flavor, it is hard to switch to a different one. This problem is enhanced if you are dealing with an application, MySQL Sandbox, that needs to work well with all flavors.

The latest releases of MySQL Sandbox (3.0.51 to 3.0.55) have been necessary to solve minor and major troublesome points with MySQL 5.7.8 and MariaDB 10.1.

The current version (3.0.55) can install all the newest releases, including replication with MySQL 5.7.8 which suffers from a compatibility bug (better explored in a separate article).

To make like easier for testers of newest versions, all replication deployments through MySQL Sandbox now include a test_replication script, which ensures that replication is working correctly. The new release also includes more tarball pattern tests, to check that known name patterns are recognized. In all, MySQL Sandbox has now about 100 tests more than before. Every time I release a new version, I run the suite with 10 or 12 versions of MySQL, Percona Server, MariaDB, for a grand total of about 5,000 tests.

And speaking of tests, there are features that require more attention than just installing a group of sandboxes, and are not easy to incorporate into MySQL Sandbox tools. For this reason, I have published on GitHub the sample scripts that I use to demonstrate multi-source replication for MySQL 5.7 and MariaDB 10. Since I was at it, I have also published the examples used for Pivot tables demos.

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