Hotsos Symposium Speaker – Baron Schwartz

Baron Schwartz is a returning Hotsos Symposium presenter.


Baron SchwartzBaron Schwartz is CEO and co-founder of VividCortex, a startup focusing on database performance management through measurement and analysis of server workload. He's the lead author of High Performance MySQL, an Oracle ACE , and speaks and writes widely on system and database performance, scalability, and capacity analysis.

Presentation Title

Knowing the Unknowable


What if you'd like to know something about your SQL statements, but it's not possible to measure it? Consider, for example, the relationship between a statement's execution and something external to the database server, which can't be measured inside the server; or something that that just isn't instrumented. In this talk, Baron will demonstrate how to infer these relationships with statistical techniques. Baron's problem domain is MySQL, which instruments many fewer things than Oracle, but the technique is applicable anywhere. An obvious example is inferring CPU consumption for classes of queries, which isn't possible to measure in MySQL.

Although accuracy is important, an even more crucial factor is performance of the analysis technique itself. For example, executing a multiple linear regression over a million samples of 500,000 independent variables (classes of queries, in this case) is not feasible, and won't produce good results even if it does run to completion. A much higher-performance approach is necessary.

Finally, this general technique is interesting and valuable because it not only allows one to estimate what can't be measured, it can let you avoid measuring altogether. You might want to avoid measuring because you don't want to (or can't) deal with the resulting volume of measurement data, or because the process of measuring has unacceptable performance overhead or intrudes on the measured process.

Baron will discuss the statistical background for his work, the classic approaches and why they don't work well, and exactly how my technique works. Baron will also discuss some techniques that he tried which don't work well for solving this problem.

Presentation Materials

Presentation materials are available online to attendees only.


The speaker schedule is as follows: