Statistics counters for Multi Range Read

MariaDB 5.3 has now three statistics counters for Multi Range Read optimization:

MariaDB [test]> show status like 'Handler_mrr%';
| Variable_name                 | Value |
| Handler_mrr_extra_key_sorts   | 0     |
| Handler_mrr_extra_rowid_sorts | 0     |
| Handler_mrr_init              | 0     |
3 rows in set (0.08 sec)

I’ve just added the first two. The reason for having them is as follows: the point of MRR is to provide speedup over regular execution by doing reads in disk order. In order to make reads in disk order, MRR needs buffer space where it accumulates and sorts read requests. If there are too many read requests to fit into the buffer, MRR will make multiple accumulate-sort-read passes.

Doing multiple passes allows MRR to operate when having limited buffer space, but the speedup will be not as great as with one big disk-ordered read sweep. The purpose of Handler_mrr_extra_key_sorts and Handler_mrr_extra_rowid_sorts is to count the additional accumulate-sort-read passes, so you’re able to tell if you will benefit from increasing your @@mrr_buffer_size and @@join_buffer_size settings.

There are two counters, _extra_key_sorts and _extra_rowid_sorts, because MariaDB has two places where it will do sorting:

  1. sort rowids before reading table records
  2. sort key values before making a bunch of index lookups

MRR code will try to distribute buffer space between them in an optimal way. The decision is a guess based on the available statistics, and can be wrong. Having both counters will allow us to check how the guess will work in practice.

p.s. if you could not make any sense of anything above, try reading Multi Range Read page in our knowlegebase. We have just put there a hopefully-readable explanation of what MRR is.

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