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Mint Database - will it grow forever?

w-w-w
Minted
Posted on Mar 05, '08 at 06:38 am

Hi,

I’m running Mint for a site with lots of users. After 5 days of use, the size of the mysql database’s mint folder is 15M.

Does Mint combine and throw away old data after some time or will the database keep growing forever at the same rate of 3M/day?

Thanks,

Hanno

Sam Brown
Third-Party Pepper Developer
Posted on Mar 05, '08 at 06:51 am

Yes, Mint expires data according to your Advanced settings that can be found here /mint/?preferences&advanced.

w-w-w
Minted
Posted on Mar 05, '08 at 06:57 am

Ah, ok. Thanks.

What happens when the database hits the “Attempt to keep visit table size under” limit? Will it then just delete old data?

Sam Brown
Third-Party Pepper Developer
Posted on Mar 05, '08 at 08:09 am

“A Fresh Look at your Site” is more than a cute tagline. Mint expires older or excess data to keep the stats it provides fast and relevant for infrequently visited and highly trafficked sites alike.

By default, data is retained for 5 weeks or up to 25MB. This timespan does not apply to the aggregate Total hits and Unique visitors data of the Default Pepper’s Visits pane or other Pepper that store aggregate data.

Once your Mint installation fills out and begins rolling its data, the number of hits individual referrers, pages, searches, et al receive should level off with subsequent increases and decreases reflecting your current traffic patterns.

From haveamint.com/faqs/miscellaneous/ups_and_downs

How utterly stupid not telling such stuff more clearly upfront. I’m rather annoyed that:

1. Mint has only tracked the last 5 weeks. I need the last 3 months. They’re gone now.

2. These “advanced prefs” are so hard to find, I found them by accident searching this forum. Those few panes should just be in the normal preferences. How on earth can I as a user know that there are some extra preferences hidden from me???

Utterly stupid.

Google Analytics - a much better choice!

Goodbeirut.

Shaun Inman
Mint/Pepper Developer
Posted on Jul 13, '09 at 09:12 am

1 . Mint has only tracked the last 5 weeks.

Mint retains the past 5 weeks or up to 25 MB of data. If the past three months will fit in 25 MB you haven’t lost anything. Mint’s primary focus is immediate relevance. Trimming the database regularly ensures two things: Mint remains fast and unmuddied by ancient data. Aggregate information like total and unique hits are obviously exempted from this trimming.

2 . These “advanced prefs” are so hard to find

That is intentional as changing them will almost always negatively impact your experience with Mint as increasing the default limits will cause Mint to become less and less responsive. Their primary use is for reducing (not increasing) those defaults for very high traffic sites.

olivernielsen: with respect, i think you’re missing the point of mint. i think shaun described it best, the primary focus of mint is for immediate relevancy.

my team uses google analytics for specific long term tasks and mint for more of the “day to day” data. personally i refer to mint (via my iphone) at least thirty times a day. my client’s absolutely love the interface of mint compared to google analytics and this is another reason why we use mint.

faced with a client that is technically inept but still wanting to know what is happening with his/her website, mint is a fabulous choice. we “mine” far more data out of google analytics but using it together with mint is a great choice for certain clients.

mint represents live data and is very usable which makes it very attractive to certain individuals. as powerful as google analytics is, it’s interesting to me that my team refers to mint far more often and so do my clients.

from a usability standpoint, google could certainly learn a lot from the way mint operates in my opinion.

About this “Aggregate information like total and unique hits are obviously exempted from this trimming.

The word “like” implies that more than the two given examples will be exempted from this trimming.

I was unable to find what exactly will always be available. Can anyone tell me exactly what it is that will always stay available, and what will disappear after the 5 weeks have passed or the 25MB is reached?

Thanks.

Shaun Inman
Mint/Pepper Developer
Posted on Jul 22, '09 at 05:01 pm

It depends on what Pepper you have installed but generally any data that is presented like the Default Pepper’s Visits pane is usually aggregate. You would have to confer with each Pepper developer about each Pepper you have a question about individually.

So in the Pages-pane, which shows what pages on my site are popular, the numbers will never go down, and in say, a couple of years I would be able to see the total amount of visitors that have visited any specific page on my site spanning those years. Am I correct in stating the above?

And about the Visits-pane… There is a day, week, month and year view. The year view shows data from the past 12 months. If an entire year has passed, will the data from the year view still be available for more than 12 months ago? Or will maybe an extra view option appear displaying the total amount of visitors for an entire calendar year?

Thanks :)

Shaun Inman
Mint/Pepper Developer
Posted on Jul 22, '09 at 07:23 pm

Am I correct in stating the above?

No, See above. Pages are explicitly mentioned.

If an entire year has passed, will the data from the year view still be available for more than 12 months ago?

No. Once data moves beyond the range visible in the Visits pane (one year), that data is expired.

I’m curious what sort of negative impact I will see if I significantly increase the “Attempt to keep visit table size under” size.

A while back we had increased it from 25 to 35 MB (with no obvious negative consequences), but yesterday (an admittedly busy day for us at macobserver.com) we found that mint didn’t even store one day’s worth of data. I’ve moved that number up to 60MB, and now I’m curious as to what sort of performance degradation I should be looking for (and where I should be looking for it).

Thanks!

Shaun Inman
Mint/Pepper Developer
Posted on Oct 11, '10 at 09:10 am

Mint does not index non-integer incoming data to keep INSERTs as quick as possible since Mint INSERTs far more (and for far more people) than it SELECTs.

Most frequently queried columns have an integer checksum created that is indexed and queried against instead of the string column (this is why Mint doesn’t do real-time partial url filtering). If you have a high traffic site and insist on increasing the default window or database size you’re best bet is to just run a “Thin Mint” installation (only the Default and Backup/Restore Pepper).

As you increase the database size INSERTs (because integer columns are still reindexed with each hit) and especially SELECTs when viewing Mint will start to slow down and may have an adverse affect on your visitor’s and your own experience with the site and Mint. I know that the User Agent 007 Pepper suffers significantly as you increase this window since it GROUPs BY an unindexed string column.

It’s worth noting that this expiration window does not affect aggregate data like Visits.

We just (again) had an issue where traffic surges at macobserver.com caused us to not store more than about a day’s worth of traffic. Our mint database was already limited up to 175MB. I moved it to 500MB (years ago we added some of our own indexes just to help speed up queries… unsupported, I know, but we’re doing fine with it and will accept all negative consequences as our own!).

My question is: is there a way to tell how far back Mint’s data goes? i.e. based on the “Attempt to keep visit table size under” setting is there a way to know how old the oldest allowed data is at any point in time? I’m happy doing this from MySQL if there’s no way in the UI to see.

Thanks!

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