Optimising MySQL/MariaDB Performance

3 min readAug 29, 2023


Photo by Rubaitul Azad on Unsplash

Database performance is a critical factor that can significantly impact user experience and overall system efficiency.

When it comes to relational databases, we’ve favoured MariaDB’s fork of MySQL for a long time. It stood out to us as a more robust, scalable and versatile relational database choice.

However, achieving optimal performance requires careful tuning, strategic architecture and an advanced understanding of the underlying principles.

In this article, we’ll explore essential strategies to how you can optimise MariaDB for better performance, helping you to unlock its full potential and deliver a seamless user experience.

Storage Engine 🫙

MariaDB offers multiple storage engines, each with unique characteristics. InnoDB is the default and provides robust ACID compliance and foreign key support. MyISAM, on the other hand, is known for its speed but lacks advanced features.

Recommendation: evaluate your application’s requirements and workload to select the most suitable storage engine.

Indexing 🗂️

Proper indexing is crucial for fast and efficient data retrieval. Analyse your queries to identify frequently accessed columns and create indexes accordingly.

Recommendation: be cautious not to over-index, as this can lead to unnecessary overhead during write operations.

Query Optimisation ❓

Poorly optimised queries can significantly impede database performance. Utilise the EXPLAIN statement to analyse query execution plans and identify possible bottlenecks.

Recommendation: consider using indexes, rewriting queries and avoiding unnecessary joins to enhance efficiency.

Memory Configuration ⚙️

MariaDB’s performance benefits from allocating an appropriate amount of memory. Configure the innodb_buffer_pool_size parameter to ensure that frequently accessed data is stored in memory, reducing the need for disk reads.

Recommendation: monitor metrics like buffer pool hit ratio and memory usage, increasing the size while conducting load tests to find the optimal configuration

Partitioning ➗

For large tables, consider using partitioning to divide data into smaller, manageable chunks. This can improve query performance by narrowing down the dataset that needs to be scanned.

Recommendation: strategically divide data based on relevant attributes like dates or numeric ranges to accelerate query responses.

Regular Maintenance ⚒️

Perform routine maintenance tasks, such as optimising tables, rebuilding indexes and analysing table statistics.

Recommendation: regularly defragmenting the database can help eliminate fragmentation and improve overall performance.

Caching ⚖️

Implement a caching mechanism to reduce the load on the database. Utilise solutions like Memcached or Redis to cache frequently accessed data and alleviate the strain on MariaDB.

Recommendation: adopting Redis can also be used for queuing in frameworks like Laravel, which may simplify your tech stack to combine database caching with application optimisation.

Hardware Considerations 🤔

Select appropriate hardware resources, including CPU, memory and storage, based on your application’s demands.

Recommendation: opt for solid-state drives (SSDs) with high IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second) for improved read and write speeds. Aim for SSDs with IOPS values exceeding 30,000 for read operations and 10,000 for write operations

Monitoring and Profiling 🔎

Implement a monitoring solution to track the database’s performance over time. Tools like Prometheus or Percona Monitoring and Management (PMM) can help identify performance degradation and bottlenecks.

Recommendation: regularly analyse collected data to appraise any ongoing optimisations you can make to guarantee a responsive and efficient environment.

Scaling Strategies 📈

As your application grows, consider implementing strategies such as sharding or replication to distribute the workload and improve performance. MariaDB supports primary-secondary replication and multi-master setups.

Recommendation: evaluate your application’s requirements and choose a scaling approach that aligns with your growth trajectory

Wrapping up 🎁

Optimising MariaDB performance is a multifaceted process that involves careful consideration of database design, query optimisation, resource allocation and monitoring.

By implementing the strategies outlined above, you can fine-tune your MariaDB setup to deliver faster query responses, improved user experiences, and a database system that scales effectively as your application evolves.

Time to Ascend 🚀

If you’re wanting to raise your database performance to new heights, Ascend has entered the chat.

The expert team at Ascend specialise in optimising database environments, including MariaDB, to ensure lightning-fast query responses, enhanced application speed and seamless scalability.

Whether it’s fine-tuning queries, configuring memory settings or implementing advanced caching strategies, we’ve got you covered.

Take the next step towards a high-performing database — reach out to Ascend today — and let us supercharge your application’s performance.




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