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Unlocking Magento's Performance Mystery: Decode the Impact of Search Term Cache on CPU Load

Unlocking Magento’s Performance Mystery: Decode the Impact of Search Term Cache on CPU Load

Unlocking Magento's Performance Mystery: Decode the Impact of Search Term Cache on CPU Load

In the dynamic world of e-commerce, the performance of online stores is critical to ensure optimal customer experience. Our exploration today revolves around an intriguing issue with Magento's performance, concerning the impact of the search term cache on database CPU load. We delve into the intricacies of this issue, revealing how specific queries, especially those related to the search_query table, profoundly influence Magento's performance, and how tweaking them could unlock substantial improvements.

The Hidden Culprit: Understanding the Search Query Impact on Magento's Performance

The powerhouse driving Magento's performance swings, the search_query table, is a hidden culprit of sorts. This seemingly innocuous element has been found to have a crucial impact on the database CPU load in Magento's eCommerce platform. The issue, as articulated by users, stems from an excessive load on the database CPU due to a query associated with the popular search term cache. This problem came to the fore following an upgrade to Magento 2.3, causing a notable spike in CPU load.

The undesired effect of the search_query table's size on Magento's performance becomes particularly pronounced when managing larger datasets. A stark example of this is a live site with a staggering 2.7 million search terms, where the search query operations put an extreme strain on the database, resulting in sluggish performance. The main culprit is the num_results > 0 condition, where larger the search_query table, the longer the query takes to finish, thus exacerbating the CPU load.

Interpreting the Issue: The Role of the Search_query Table and Its Influence on CPU Load

A deeper dive into the problem reveals that the search_query table, essentially the backbone of Magento's keyword search functionality, is the bottleneck affecting performance. The SELECT DISTINCT COUNT(*) query from the search_query table takes an inordinate amount of time to complete, causing high CPU usage and consequently, slower performance. It is relevant to note that the issue has been reproduced across multiple Magento versions, confirming the problem's persistence rather than it being a version-specific anomaly.

The issue of CPU load became notably grave in cases where the search_query table contained a substantial number of search terms, more alarmingly, mostly spam text. Resultantly, the search_query table query has been frequently recorded as a slow query, pointing towards a structural issue within Magento's search system.

Revealing the Solution: The Power of Removing the DISTINCT Operator from Queries

Efforts to rectify the issue have led to a critical discovery – the DISTINCT operator embedded within the queries of Magento's Search Model Resource Query Collection was adversely impacting performance. Practically, this operator does not offer any tangible benefits but hampers query execution speed. Removing this operator had a dramatic effect, with the query duration improving from a sluggish 23 seconds to a brisk 0.7 seconds. This finding was further validated when the removal of the DISTINCT operator from the search_query table resulted in a performance improvement from 700ms to 2ms.

However, addressing the issue isn’t as simple as removing the DISTINCT operator. While the operator's removal resulted in significant performance improvement, the matter of spam text within the search_query table remains unresolved. Furthermore, the problem's complexity is compounded by the fact that the performance issue is not entirely fixable with the current structure and caching. Therefore, even though the removal of the DISTINCT operator from queries sounds like a promising solution, it needs further evaluation to determine its efficacy and long-term impact on Magento's performance.

Innovative Alternatives: Exploring Asynchronous Insertion of Search Terms and Other Potential Solutions

It is undeniable that addressing this issue requires an innovative approach, one that moves beyond the bounds of conventional practices. As the search_query table is the epicenter of the performance conundrum, solutions should target the optimization of this table.

One such alternative is the asynchronous insertion of search terms in batches. This method mitigates the high CPU load that results from the current synchronous insertion of search terms, particularly for live sites with millions of search terms. Instead of inserting each search term immediately and one at a time, the asynchronous batch insertion allows grouping of several terms and inserts them collectively, thus minimizing the strain on the database.

Another potential solution is the reduction of search term cardinality. This can be achieved through the prevention of spam search texts, which often account for a considerable portion of the search_query table. By keeping these unnecessary data at bay, the number of rows in the search_query table can be significantly reduced, thereby improving performance.

Unresolved Enigmas: The Ongoing Investigation into Magento's Performance Conundrum

Despite the strides made in understanding the performance issue and potential solutions, several mysteries remain unresolved. The impact of the DISTINCT operator on the performance, the effect of its removal, and the evaluation of other suggested improvements have all been discussed. Yet, further investigation is necessary to comprehensively address this persistent challenge.

The question of whether adding an index on the search_query table could help resolve the performance issue has also been raised. Although touted as a potential solution, its efficacy remains to be examined in-depth. Furthermore, the complexity of the issue, as exhibited in its reproduction on the latest Magento branches, underscores the need for continuous exploration and experimentation.

The Continuing Challenge: Evaluating the Performance Issue's Persistence and Relevance

Finally, it is crucial to acknowledge that the performance issue, despite all efforts, continues to persist. Its relevance and impact are broad-reaching, resonating across various Magento versions and affecting stores with large datasets.

The issue remains present in the latest Magento versions, such as 2.4.5-p1 and 2.4.6-p2, causing an unexpected surge in traffic, high CPU usage, and slow keyword search performance. As such, the problem goes beyond mere academic interest and requires urgent solutions.

Furthermore, the performance issue is not fixable with Magento's current structure and caching, necessitating a reevaluation of its foundational aspects. The continuous presence of the issue in newer versions proves its persistence and underscores the importance of immediate and effective measures to ensure the performance and scalability of Magento.

In conclusion, the journey to fully decode the impact of the search term cache on Magento's CPU load remains ongoing. The road may be long and fraught with challenges, but every step brings us closer to the solution and the optimization of Magento's performance.

In conclusion, the persistent Magento performance mystery, deeply entwined with the search term cache, continues to be an intriguing puzzle for researchers and practitioners. It's evident that the size of the search_query table, coupled with the presence of the DISTINCT operator, significantly contributes to high CPU load, slow query execution, and ultimately, sluggish performance. However, potential solutions to this conundrum, such as the removal of the DISTINCT operator or the asynchronous insertion of search terms, provide a glimmer of hope for improved efficiency.

Key insights include:

  • The search_query table, a hidden culprit in Magento's performance issue, plays a significant role in CPU load and overall speed.
  • The DISTINCT operator, though perceived as an innocent element, has been found to negatively impact query execution speed and overall performance.
  • Potential solutions like the removal of the DISTINCT operator, asynchronous insertion of search terms in batches, and prevention of spam search text offer promising ways to optimize Magento's performance.
  • Despite these potential remedies, the problem persists in newer versions of Magento, demanding continuous exploration and innovative solutions.

Thus, the journey to unravel Magento's performance mystery is far from over. While it's a complex challenge that continues to confound experts and users alike, each new discovery brings us closer to a resolution. It's crucial that these insights not only be acknowledged but also shared widely, sparking further research and potentially leading to the ultimate solution that will enhance Magento's performance. This is not just a technological conundrum, but a call to action for anyone vested in the future of eCommerce. The Magento performance mystery, in all its enigmatic glory, begs for resolution – and the key may well lie in our collaborative efforts to share, innovate and optimize.