Mastering MySQL Performance: A Deep Dive into Monitoring Redo Log Activity

Unlocking MySQL Performance: A Deep Dive into Redo Log Monitoring and Optimization


In the world of MySQL database administration, performance is paramount. There are many facets to ensuring that your MySQL server runs smoothly, and one of the most significant elements is the management of the Redo Log – a key component of InnoDB’s durability and crash recovery. Understanding and monitoring the activity of the Redo Log can often be the key to identifying and resolving performance issues before they impact your application’s operation.

The SQL query provided below can help you monitor the I/O waits on the redo log files. Excessive I/O waits could indicate a performance issue with your MySQL database. The redo log is a crucial component of InnoDB’s durability and crash recovery. Here’s how you can use this query to troubleshoot performance:

The query above returns the number of waits (COUNT_STAR) and total wait time (SUM_TIMER_WAIT) for I/O events related to InnoDB redo log files. The SUM_TIMER_WAIT is represented in picoseconds (trillionths of a second), and you may divide it by 1,000,000,000,000 to convert it to seconds.

Identifying High I/O Waits:

  • Run the SQL query during periods of normal operation and during periods of perceived performance issues.
  • Compare the COUNT_STAR and SUM_TIMER_WAIT results.
  • If the count and wait times are significantly higher during periods of performance issues, this could be an indicator of an I/O bottleneck.

Frequent Disk Writes:

  • If the MySQL server is writing to the disk frequently, it might be due to small redo log files.
  • A lot of disk I/O operations can slow down the database’s response time, thus affecting its performance.
  • If the wait time (SUM_TIMER_WAIT) is high, consider increasing the innodb_log_file_size to reduce the number of disk writes.

Improper Hardware Usage:

  • If your hardware is not being used efficiently, it could lead to increased wait times.
  • Compare the I/O wait times with your disk’s I/O capabilities.
  • If your disk I/O is not a bottleneck, then you might need to look at other components like CPU, memory, network, etc.

Large Transactions:

  • Large transactions generate more redo logs.
  • If you have a high count of waits and a high total wait time, this could indicate large transactions are taking place.
  • You might need to break down large transactions into smaller ones.

Redo Log Checkpointing:

  • InnoDB periodically writes to the redo log files as part of the checkpointing process.
  • If this process is slow due to high I/O waits, it could slow down the overall performance.
  • Increasing innodb_log_file_size or moving your redo logs to faster storage could help.


Monitoring the Redo Log’s I/O waits in MySQL is an essential part of maintaining a high-performance database system. While interpreting the results of the provided SQL query requires some understanding of the underlying systems, it can provide invaluable insight into possible performance issues. However, always remember that these metrics should be considered in conjunction with other system performance indicators, and any changes to configurations should be carefully considered and tested. After all, performance troubleshooting is a holistic task, and the goal should be to strike the right balance to maintain the optimal running of your MySQL server.

About Shiv Iyer 455 Articles
Open Source Database Systems Engineer with a deep understanding of Optimizer Internals, Performance Engineering, Scalability and Data SRE. Shiv currently is the Founder, Investor, Board Member and CEO of multiple Database Systems Infrastructure Operations companies in the Transaction Processing Computing and ColumnStores ecosystem. He is also a frequent speaker in open source software conferences globally.