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SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and is a cryptographic tool used to help secure communications across the Internet. An SSL Certificate consists of data that bind a cryptographic key to the details of a company or organization. When successfully installed on a server, the SSL certificate activates the HTTPS protocol. This secures the connections between the secured server and a visitor’s web browser. Normally, any transaction involving a credit card or sensitive information is secured via SSL.

There are a couple items required for SSL to work properly between browser and server:

  • A hostname, server name, or domain name.
  • The name and location of an organization or company.

Organizations install an SSL certiricate on its server which helps begin secure session with a web browser. There are multiple levels of SSL certificates available and each organization/company must determine which level of vetting and security they wish to utilize. A valid SSL certificate allows a visitor to use to connect to the web server they’re trying to reach. Once a secure connection is opened between browser and server, all communications between the two will be fully encrypted and secured.

If you wish to purchase an SSL certificate for your server Total Server Solutions offers a range of choices. Head over to our SSL page to choose what you need.

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Our technical team doesn’t only fix your issues and optimize your servers, they’re all about sharing knowledge.  This is the second article on our blog that was written by one of our expert technicians.  In this article, Kevin Quinn shows you how you can boost MySQL efficiency by adding an index.

MySQL tuning and optimization is a bit of an art form. There is no easy button for MySQL tuning. Every server and every application is unique and has different requirements. This article does not aim to go into the many facets of MySQL Performance Tuning. In this article, we will examine something that’s often overlooked when admins and developers attempt to improve performance — indexes.

What’s an index?
An index is a data structure stored on disk just like a standard mysql table. You can think of it just like the index in the back of a book. It creates a relationship between columns in a similar way. Let’s take a look at a very simple example in action and how it can speed up query execution plans.

The nitty-gritty.
First we’ll create a table called citizens with a social security number, and a name.

1 - MySQL Index Optimization

We populate 81920 rows via simple php script, with randomized “names”, and ss_nums up to 81920.  This will be our sample data.

2 - MySQL Index Optimization

So let’s get a baseline.  Use SQL_NO_CACHE to prevent mysql caching on this query.  Also, we are selecting NOW() to invalidate cache storage, as mysql will refuse to cache NOW() SELECTS.  This is just to make sure results are not skewed from mysql’s caching.

3 - MySQL Index Optimization

This took a little over a tenth of a second. Doesn’t seem long, but multiply the amount of rows times 10, and you have a significant slowdown. Also if there are a constant stream of these queries, you could have a bottleneck quickly.

So now let’s create an index on name and see what happens.

4 - MySQL Index Optimization

Wow!  A full tenth of a second faster.  Let’s see what mysql’s EXPLAIN shows for each.

5 - MySQL Index Optimization

We see there are only 3150 rows required with the index.  We should have expected this.  Let’s remove the index and try again.

6 - MySQL Index Optimization

Notice that mysql’s optimizer has to resort to a full table scan here. In this simple example, it was much slower without the index.
So are indexes the solution to every MySQL query? No. But they can be a simple solution to dramatically increase query performance. There are other factors to consider when profiling your application to increase efficiency. Keep in mind that indexes will slow down UPDATES and INSERTS. So if your table is write heavy and light on reads, this approach will likely not be the right one for you.

We encourage you to give this a try.  But, if you’d like some help optimizing your server, our technicians are always ready and willing to lend a hand.  Just give us a shout.

For more information on MySQL, we recommend going straight to the source:

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Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition, aka IRCE runs from June 10th to the 13th in Chicago.  It is perhaps the largest exhibition and conference devoted to e-commerce and all things relating to business on the Internet.  If you’re not yet considering going, you should.

We are co-sponsoring an event with our friends at X-Cart called the “Beer Meeting.”  Simply put, it’s a way to meet up with friends, peers, customers, and potential customers to sit down and have a good conversation over a glass of, you guessed it, BEER!  We always like our customers to be happy.  We keep our customers happy by providing top-flight hosting & e-commerce services.  Another way is by making sure everyone gets their fill of beer!

If you’re in the Chicago area, sign up to attend the event.  Stop by and tip back a glass with us.  We’d love to talk!

See you there!