How to Reduce MySQL Server Load

MySQL is one of the most widely used relational database management systems (RDMS), but it can also be responsible for placing a heavy load on your server if you do not manage it well. The more traffic you get coming to your site, the harder your database server will have to work. While you can improve performance simply by writing better code with more efficient queries, you can also make some adjustments to MySQL itself that will improve and optimize it.

To begin, you will need to backup and edit your my.cnf file, often found in /etc or /etc/mysql.

You should focus on improving MySQL’s caching using some of these parameters:

  • query_cache_size – This controls the size of the caching for any repeated queries of the same data
  • key_buffer – SQL commands run faster when the key buffer is larger, allowing the database to hold indexes
  • table_cache – Any tables MySQL accesses are placed in a cache. If your server is accessing many tables at once, a larger cache may help
  • thread_cache – Similarly, if you have multiple connections to MySQL, a higher thread cache will reduce server load

With better caching for MySQL, your server should use fewer CPU cycles and reduce overall load on the server.