Nifty Link Roundup

Over the past week or so I’ve ended up bookmarking a lot of links that I thought would make good blog posts. (All are technical in nature.) I haven’t had the time, so I’ll just post them here as bullet points with brief comments:

  • I discovered the Prowl API today. It’s meant as a simple API for sending push notifications to iPhones. They call it Growl for the iPhone. And they have a lot of pre-written plugins, too. (Maybe Nagios can start sending Growl notifications instead of text messages!)
  • If you’re doing much with MySQL, you really owe it to yourself to check out Maatkit. It’s a set of tools written by people who say “I really wish I could…” even more often than I do. Some highlights:
    • Delayed replication. Set up a MySQL slave that runs an hour behind, and when you accidentally DROP DATABASE mission_critical, you’ve got an hour to STOP SLAVE and start recovery. (Sure, sure, you have backups. But having a live version in MySQL somewhere is extraordinarily handy, especially if you can just promote it to master for a while.)
    • There’s really no easy way to show all grants in MySQL, and I know that I’m far from the only person peeved by this. mk-show-grants does exactly that.
    • Some neat profilers on query stats and such.
    • An equivalent to UNIX “find” exists, allowing you to search tables by various criteria. Doing it by disk usage (data and index, split as you wish) is something any DBA should do often. Why in the world do we have an archive table with indexes turned out?
    • Xapbr builds on Maatkit a bit with this post on watching traffic via tcpdump instead of MySQL Proxy and showing errors; showing the queries with errors is just one idea.
    • The one tool that doesn’t exist and I’ve always wanted is a “tail -f”, both on a table’s data (to see new rows of data as they’re added), and just on binlogs. There are a lot of situations where this would be an unmanageable amount of traffic
  • Percona is probably a well-known name to anyone who does anything interesting with MySQL, but I have to admit that I hadn’t seen their Percona builds page before. They’ve added some nifty patches, and, because they’re totally awesome, released them under the GPL. (And I’m still eager to toy with XtraDB somewhere.)
  • VeriSign (whose name is really too confusingly similar with Verizon) has announced that DNSSEC for the root zones and .com and .net is coming proceeding. (The ability to spoof DNS is kind of scary, largely because it’s so easy to go unnoticed. Your browser will legitimately show that it’s connected to “” because it is, it’s just that the DNS server was tricked into giving some phisher’s IP instead of PayPal’s IP.)

One thought on “Nifty Link Roundup

  1. Ooh, and Maatkit’s mk-query-digest seems to do more than the name implies: besides doing stats on the MySQL protocol, it can analyze protocols like HTTP:

    And, apparently, memcache:

    The Percona patches get really good reviews:

    I also found Schooner Info Tech, which makes some pretty nifty memcache appliances:

    If you’ve got a sufficiently large site, memory for memcache becomes an issue. RAM gets extremely expensive when you try to get it in very dense capacity — 32GB in 1U is completely doable, but it means shelling out for 8x 4GB DIMMs… And the neat thing is that 64GB per appliance is just the beginning… That’s just in front of their 512GB of SSDs. I infer that they keep the “hottest” data in RAM, and use lightning-fast SSDs as a fallback. Nifty. (I bet they would also be amazing for very, very large varnish installs.)

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