10 essential MySQL tools for admins

The MySQL community is a hotbed of free, open source tools to enhance the performance and health of your MySQL systems

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MySQL is a complex system that requires many tools to repair, diagnose, and optimize it. Fortunately for admins, MySQL has attracted a vibrant community of developers who have put out high-quality open source tools to help with the complexity, performance, and health of MySQL systems, most of which are available for free.

The following 10 open source tools are valuable resources for anyone using MySQL, from a stand-alone instance to a multiple-node environment. The list has been compiled with variety in mind. You will find tools to help back up MySQL data, increase performance, guard against data drift, and log pertinent troubleshooting data when problems arise.

There are several reasons why you should consider these tools instead of creating your own in-house tools. First, thanks to their wide use, they’re mature and field-tested. Second, because they are free and open source, they have benefited from the knowledge and experience of the MySQL community.

Many of these tools are actively maintained by Percona, a provider of MySQL and other open source database solutions, so they continue to improve and adapt with the evolving MySQL industry. Note that two of the tools—mycheckpoint and oak-security-audit—are no longer maintained. However, you may still find them useful.  

Keep in mind that there are many more tools worthy of your attention. I have chosen to emphasize free and open source, and to err on the side of usefulness and usability. Also note that all are Unix command-line programs but one, in large part because MySQL is more widely deployed and developed on Unix systems. 

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