The sliding door effect
Written by Marco Tusa   


The sliding door effect …

Every day we take thousands decisions, some of them are minor like what to drink tea or coffee? Others are more relevant and involve our interactions with other human being. For every decision our brain is presenting us millions, billions of relevant facts store I our memory, some times the facts have a consolidated history some other times they don’t.


I know I like coffee more than tea, this is also confirmed by the number of them I had enjoy in the past, a number that is significantly higher than the teas I had. But I know as well that I prefer a good tea to a mediocre coffee.

As such when I choose what to drink, my brain presents me all the information regarding my taste, my past experiences, my geographic location (am I in a place where the coffee is god or not), finally it analyzes the information related to that specific moment. Is the guy at the coffee machine doing good or he looks not really on the subject?


As said, billions on information to recover, analyze and present in seconds or less than that. For a coffee!!!


Guess what, in our day we have to take decisions that are much more complex than that, and unless you are totally nuts, you do not use a coin to decide what to do.


To make things even worse, the more you grow, the more your data bank expand, the more your brain has material to choose coffee or tea.

In some case that will make the decision faster, in other it will make it much, much longer.


On top of that there are millions of decisions that, let say it, do not count.

Nothing will change in your life if you choose the tea instead of coffee, unless … Well unless that is one of the “sliding door” moment.


What is a “sliding door” moment? If you have seen the movie with Gwyneth Paltrow in 1998, you already know, if not I will explain in a second.


There are few moments in our life where a series of possible events converge, they normally converge in very simple day by day action, but the context is not the usual.

Something sounds strange, something is different. Most of the time when this happens we do not realize it right away, we do after.

Those are the moment where we say to ourselves, “What if?”.


What if instead decide to prune a small branch of that tree I had decided to … don’t do it.

Well I would not injury my neck with the risk to remain paraplegic for the rest of my life, and I would not marry my first wife, and … So on and on and on.

In short, my life would had been totally different, ONLY IF.


Why I am saying all this? Because recently I had found myself in front of three of the most difficult questions I had to answer. That in combination with a series of events that bring me to raise my old antennas, and perceive, more then see that I was going to hit one “sliding door” moment.

The questions in discussion are something that in one or another moment in our life we had already face.

Well at least I did.

But all together in this specific moment of my life, they had a totally different impact and meaning.


The questions are:

  • Do you know who you are?
  • Do you understand what has happened to you?
  • Do you want to live this way?

What was interesting for me was and still is, that those questions, raise in the exact moment in which I was in front of my “sliding door” moment. In that exact moment I realized that my brain, who was filling me with information and driving me to take one decision or another, simply stops. It stops to push, stop to provide suggestions, it focus on NOT to give an answer. It focuses on NOT making that moment, a “sliding door” one.


I could stay days, or seconds now analyzing the data and try to make a better decision. That moment is gone, and this is good.


It is good because I can now first answer to more important and relevant questions.

Who am I (now, after X years)?

How it can be that I am here, what really happened to ME ( I mean the “ME”)

Is this the life I had choose to live, or I had left it to bring me in a different place?


Not the first time I raise these questions to myself, but I have to say, this time is different. As mentioned before, we often raise one of them to our attention, and we provide an answer. Evaluate what to do and so on.

It also may happen that we ask all three of them, in a moment that is a moment, but not a “sliding door” moment.


I had hit that special situation, and my “sliding door” moment become, not to choose A or B, but between ignore the questions or take them, accept that they will, once more, oblige me to change the direction of my life.


I know what to do, and in many ways I am scare, because in order to DO IT, I have to go to the longer road, I need to have a lot of courage, and once more be ready for the difficult moments that for sure will come.

But this is life.


The only thing I can say, is life is courage, and there is more courage in being honest when answering the above questions, than in performing any scaring or extreme activity.


I am writing all this, to share, share an important moment, and take the opportunity to raise to all of you my friends three simple questions:

  • Do you know who you are?
  • Do you understand what has happened to you?
  • Do you want to live this way?
Last Updated on Monday, 29 February 2016 01:32
About Percona conference in Santa Clara 2016
Written by Marco Tusa   


As most of us know, we will have the chance to attend to the MySQL conference in April (from 18 to 21).

For the ones like me that had being there from long, this is a moment of reunion with colleagues and friend. It is also a moment of confrontation and sharing.

In the years this conference had be the moment for the ones surfing the MySQL sea in which things can be put on the table and discuss. Very few matter if it was call MySQL conference or, as it is now Percona Live. What matter is the spirit with which the people participate, and the desire to share.

One of the important aspects was and is, to be able to learn from others experience, innovation and experimentations.

The past year had be a very difficult for me, thankfully only work wise, but I had also be able to be in some interesting exercises, that had allow me to come with a list of proposal that I consider quite interesting, some more some less as usual, depending from the angle you perform your work.

Anyhow given this year Percona had invite the community to express an opinion on the submissions, I decide to share mine and explain a bit each of them.


Here we go:

The first element is a tutorial on Performance schema. I know that a lot of people are talking about it, presenting in various way the usage of it, and some of the presentations are really really good. So why I should spend time to prepare a tutorial, and why anyone should attend?
My answer is simple, because I am approaching it from a different angle. Most of the presentations look to it as something isolated, auto reference to MySQL space. I am looking to it as part of a larger design and vision, connecting Performance schema to the USE methodology (see other proposal about it).

What I want to achieve during the tutorial is not only to provide instruction on how to access PS or what is there, but how to contextualize the information in the context of the Server(s) behavior.

Here the tutorial title and link for you to vote :

Learn how to use Performance Schema in MySQL 5.7 the basics and not only.





The next one is a presentation that is linked to an article I wrote about the cloud, Galera, Aurora and other solutions.

If you had missed it I suggest you to read it (http://www.tusacentral.net/joomla/index.php/mysql-blogs/175-aws-aurora-benchmarking-blast-or-splash.html).

I had a lot of feedback about that article, from colleagues and from Amazon as well. Given the topic, and given the active evolution that a new product like Aurora is subject to, numbers and conclusion may change in short time.

As such I had plan to perform additional testing during the year (2016), collecting data and present results in articles and presentations.

As mentioned I had a very productive conversation with Amazon about Aurora, and given we all love to have new productive platform, able to perform at the best, I will be more than happy to run those tests with them to help them identify bottlenecks and possible solutions. As usual I will maintain my independence, transparence and impartiality, such that everyone can validate my numbers, and let us see what it will be.


The presentation title and link for you to vote:

Comparing synchronous replication solutions in the cloud





I cannot say or count at how many presentations I had attended, talking about Performance, and how to analyze, check or improve it. Most focus on this or that aspect of the specific storage engine, or the new feature deliver in the X MySQL release.
But so far I had NOT attend to a presentation that would help me in define a methodology, an organic approach that I can use and reuse for such analysis.

As such I decide to do two things, first was to write an extensive document to be used by my teams in my ex-company (Pythian), something like an endowment for them to follow and relay on to do what is needed to perform a good performance review.

Second to start to talk about it and present the approach. What is important to understand, is that I am not inventing anything new, but using what had be already well defined and apply to the MySQL world.

In short I will present the USE methodology (utilization, saturation, and errors), should be used early in a performance investigation, to identify systemic bottlenecks.
USE can be summarized this way, for every resource, check utilization, saturation, and errors.

My presentation will explain the USE methodology, and how it can help any administrator during the analysis of performance issues. It will also extend the approach for the MySQL specifics, taking advantage of Performance Schema instruments.

Presentation title and link for you to vote below:

The USE Method and how to boost the way you perform performance tuning on your (MySQL) environment





When MySQL 5.6 comes out, I had cover with articles and presentations how to use at the best the new features related to table space managements. Covering how use the features that allow an administrator to play with them, and what kind of issues he may encounter.

You can review them here:




Old presentation here:


My next presentation is an update to it; I will also release articles about this topic during the next year, with more instructions and details for DBA to follow, also covering General table space and compression.

Presentation title, description and link for you to vote below:

MySQL 5.7 Tablespace management and optimization





Finally I had submitted a proposal for a topic that I personally love, which is related to Java development.

Despite most nasty, and often erroneous, comments, Java is not only a very powerful programming language, but also it is used so often and in so many ways that you can easily state that every day you use several applications develop using it.

What I had often found, and what I had fight against, is the very misuse of several abstraction layers, that developers often use, without understanding what they are doing.

Unfortunately this is a cultural issue that had be push and reinforce in years mostly by bad developers, who do not get how important is keep in mind a very basic concept: “Scaling scenario and huge data, are not present in your laptop”.

The basic meaning is, that whenever you develop code, you need to think to the big numbers, not if that functionality works now, but if it will work on a deployment of 200 application servers, and how it will impact the data layer while scaling.

I will produce a series of articles about this in the future, but the first step is to explain how use and how to use correctly one of the most powerful tool we have at the moment, the MySQL Java connector.

Too often I had see application relay on crazy solutions, or even crazier customize code; ignoring what is already available, able to provide quite efficient out of the box  solution.

This presentation, that you need to see as a first step, has the scope to start a journey, in which we will free good developers, able to think and plan application for the future, from the dumb approach often used by dull abstraction tools.

The title and link for you to vote:

Empower your application with sophisticate High Availability features using MySQL Connector/j





I had wait a bit before asking you to vote, this because I want to explain why I had submitted what I had submit.

I was also collecting information, comments and feedback about few topics; to be sure I could provide the time to my submission.

What I would like now, is have YOU spend few minutes and think if any of the topic I had describe above may be of your interest.

If so please follow the link and vote for the presentation, if not do not worry I am not tracing your IP and I am NOT going to send you some Italian Friends to convince you to vote for me.

Thanks in advance anyhow!!!


Stay tuned!

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 December 2015 23:54

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