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MySQL Administrator's Bible
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2009
Some background first: I've used MySQL for two decently-sized programming projects in the past, on the developer side. More recently I was hired to design, build and administer the back-end of a web application. MySQL seemed the natural choice. With background only in the developer's role, I had a huge amount to learn.

I started out by buying the MySQL Administrator's Guide and Reference:
http://www.amazon.com/MySQL-Administrators-Guide-Language-Reference/dp/0672328704/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1244855803&sr=8-4

and a more general book on Database Administration:
http://www.amazon.com/Database-Administration-Complete-Practices-Procedures/dp/0201741296/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1244855921&sr=8-1

The former was pretty terrible, and it's all available online anyways so there's absolutely no reason to buy it. Why is it so bad? Despite being written by MySQL, it is completely impractical and totally bogged down with details. I defy you to figure out how to efficiently back up your database by using that guide. I couldn't.

The latter was very useful for introducing concepts like data normalization and, while a little out of date, gives a quick sense of the products that are out there. I highly recommend it as a first read. but it's not MySQL specific - so where to go then?

Finally, I found this book. It took me about 1 minute to find the tools I would need to back up a database and another 10 seconds to find a detailed discussion of what's going on when you back up a database.

It's also very recent (as of 2009/06) - it really reflects the state of the tools out there and I was pleasantly surprised to find that all of the developments I had been reading about in my online research were reflected in the book. Instead of glossing over complex topics like MySQL Cluster, memcached, DRBD, Linux HA (see, I wasn't kidding about its coverage), it points you to external resources that are actually helpful.

I haven't yet read all of it but, to my knowledge, there is nothing comparable out there. If you have a good idea of the basics behind database administration and need a practical guide to how to actually administer a MySQL database, including the tools available to you, I'd seriously recommend that you take a look at this book.

LIMITATIONS:
- I was a bit concerned about the book's information on early-stage tools like MySQL Proxy and MySQL 6.0. They haven't been released for general use and are not certified as stable, but the book just lists them with other tools as if you could just drop them in. Be careful.
- As another reader pointed out, it's not the easiest read. But then, if you've never used SQL, never mind MySQL before, then trying to understand concepts like the difference between READ COMMITTED and SERIALIZABLE isolation levels will surely result in pain and death. This book is much better if you have a question like "How do I backup a MySQL database?", "How do I make a trigger", or "How do I set up replication?"
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2009
On the front cover of MySQL Administrator's Bible is a sentence that reads:

"The book you need to succeed!"

I must say, I do agree. Authored by two very experienced DBAs, Sheeri Cabral and Keith Murphy, they've combined their talents to cover what you really need to know to succeed. This book is very versatile. If you're new to MySQL, or experienced in another database and have to start administrating MySQL, you need this book. I can honestly say, even if you have years of MySQL experience, you will learn something new. I did. Divided into four parts, MySQL Administrator's Bible covers your First Steps with MySQL, Developing with MySQL, Core MySQL Administration and Extending Your Skills.

First Steps with MySQL starts with a gentle introduction to MySQL with company information, which seems to be changing annually, and most importantly, the MySQL community itself. What makes MySQL so fantastic is the community. After that, you'll be lead into installing and configuring MySQL on various platforms including Linux, Windows and Solaris while touching on post installation configuration too. Basic security is covered as well as some tips on troubleshooting and accessing your new MySQL installation using tools included with MySQL or using third party software.

Developing with MySQL covers the MySQL Language Structure and if you're coming from another RDBMS, it covers how MySQL deviates from the SQL standard by extending that standard to make MySQL the number one open source database used on the Internet. After that, this section covers the same type of topics covering just about any other mainstream databases such as using stored procedures, cursors, events, views and transactions.

The Core MySQL Administration is the heart of this book. It covers MySQL server tuning, covering all major storage engines including MyISAM, InnoDB, Falcon, PBXT, and NDB engines including the first time I've seen in print, the Maria storage engine. An entire chapter is devoted to implementing cache tables and using the query cache. Memcached is also mentioned, and mentioned again in the final section. Continuing on with what I consider the most important job of a DBA, backup and recovery. Databases are very central to running a business, any data loss could put a company out of business. Be prepared.

This section gives a solid introduction to the topic of dealing with users, and how they are managed within MySQL. Count on covering GRANT/REVOKE, using SHOW GRANTS and mk-show-grants MaatKit tool. Partitioning, logging and replication and measuring performance rounds out this section.

If you have experience with another RDBMS, plan on spending a significant amount of time in this section. Not that the other sections aren't important, they are, but this is the bread and butter of what a MySQL DBA does on a daily basis.

Extending You Skills section can be considered getting your Masters in Database Administration. Just about every DBA will have to tackle improving queries and the tuning of indexes. The second most important job of a DBA is monitoring performance of your MySQL server. Don't let your users be your first line of monitoring! Be proactive, there are plenty of open source monitoring tools available. The most popular are discussed, as well as MySQL Enterprise and third party companies too. MySQL Data Dictionary is covered in in detail over 58 pages. This is the most I've read in any book about the data dictionary.

Last but not least, most high performance MySQL systems involve scaling up or out. It covers the usual suspects of replication, MySQL Cluster, and memcached. MySQL Proxy is initially covered and has an appendix to expand on that information. MySQL Proxy itself is worthy of its own book. (hint, hint :) ) Two more appendices cover MySQL Functions and Operators, and additional resources.

Even though this book targets MySQL 5.1/6.0, there is plenty of information that will apply to 5.0. If you're still on 5.0, don't hesitate to pick up a copy. This will be a book that can stay with you as your upgrade to 5.1 and beyond. The companion website - [...]contains all the code from the book too, rounding out this fine tome.

What didn't I like about the book? There are only a couple of things, all personal I'm sure. First, I really don't care too much for tables of options from the various tools. Most open source tools are developed rather quickly and options change. This could render portions of the book out of date quickly.

The other thing I noticed that wasn't mentioned in the book was the community versions of MySQL supported by Open Query and Percona. The latter has their own storage engine, XtraDB and backup solution, XtraBackup.

All in all, this is a very solid book on administering MySQL. This book digs deeper, the experience of the authors really show. Well done Sheeri and Keith!

Disclaimer: The publisher provided me with a copy of MySQL Administrator's Bible.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2009
This is a comprehensive reference guide to MySQL that's accessible to beginning DBAs or DBAs familiar with another database. It has enough detail to be a useful companion throughout a DBA's career. It also covers many related technologies, such as memcached, at a moderate-but-useful level of detail. This isn't exactly a how-to book, and it isn't exactly a reference manual; it's more of a blend of the two.

The audience will depend on personal preferences. Some of the reference material is the type of thing I would look up with command-line --help options or the MySQL manual. But there are times when the reference aspect of the book is uniquely valuable. For example, the online documentation tends to list things alphabetically; the book might break them down into groups by function. An example is the sql_mode parameters, which it groups into categories like "Getting rid of silent failures, silent conversions, and silently allowing invalid data."

The book is divided into four parts: first steps, developing with MySQL, core administration, and a set of chapters and appendixes grouped under extending your skills. I think this organization works well.

Coverage is for MySQL 5.1 and 6.0. As far as I know, this book contains the most complete coverage of MySQL 5.1 in print.

By the way, I'm the lead author of High Performance MySQL: Optimization, Backups, Replication, and More and I think the two books are very complementary. If you're new to MySQL, then start with this book, and later you might consider reading mine as well.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2009
I have work as a DBA since 1993 and with Mysql for the last 9 years, and I have to say of all the DBA books that I have read, this is the best on the market at this time. The book is well written, Sheeri Cabal has hands-on experience working with Mysql, and it shows. Sherri is also no stranger to the Mysql community. My hat off to the authors for a job well done. In regard to the lone negative review of this book, if you have good experience working on other RDBMS but is new to Mysql, you should be able to make use of this book, if you have no experience with RDBMS, this is not the right book for you.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2009
I am currently a Microsoft SQL Server developer that is considering switching to MySQL for a few of our production systems.

This book is an absolute help to me in learning the ins and outs of MySQL. I would highly recommend this to anyone that is interested in or works with MySQL!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2010
I have several books on MySQL on my desk at work, but I have learned to go to this one first when I need an answer to a specific problem. It covers everything from from syntax to concepts. It is thorough and gives enough information to get the job done, but not so much as to be overwhelming. I think this is one of the better technical books I have encountered in many years, and highly recommend it to anyone who needs to actually get into the inner working of a MySQL database.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is a great reference manual for admins and new admins to navigate MySQL databases. right out of the box I was able to get problems solved.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2013
Says MyISAM uses red-black trees for indices...they even add the word "technically" into it, as a matter of fact.

No... MySQL Internals says it uses either B-tress or R-trees, not red-black trees.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2012
This book is makeing my new job easier. Answers questions I needed answered. Well done. Also in E-BOOK!!
If you work in MYSQL try this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2013
The content of the book is excellent and very complete, not the best printing quality but its ok acording to the price
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