Narendra Dhami

My Site

InnoDB Configuration and Optimization

Posted by Narendra Dhami on September 24, 2009

Just thought i should have a quick guide for configuring an optimized for innodb my.cnf

use innodb_data_home_dir & innodb_data_file_path to specify the location and size of the tablespace.

innodb_data_home_dir = /path/to/data
innodb_data_file_path = ibdata1:50M;ibdata2:50M:autoextend:max:10G
innodb_autoextend_increment = 10

This asks innodb to create two files ibdata1 & ibdata2 (as tablespace) and keep them in the /path/to/data directory. Both would be of 50 MB initially, but ibdata2 would expand automatically by innodb_autoextend_increment MBs (yes the value is in MB) till the max size of 10 GB. InnoDB forms the directory path for each data file by textually concatenating the value of innodb_data_home_dir to the data file name, adding a path name separator (slash or backslash) between values if necessary.

By default innodb creates all its tables in the tablespace specified by the innodb_data_file_path directory – in a single file – as specified. But there is another option using which you can ask innodb to create tablespace for each table.


Innodb would now store each newly created table in its own table_name.ibd file – which would contain both the data and the index.

Lets look at some optimization and performance settings for innodb


If you have a large number of innodb tables, you will need to increase this value. It is used to store data dictionary information and other internal data structures. If the value is low, you might see warning messages in the mysql error log.


Innodb uses some table level locking for generating auto increment values – which is configurable. If the value is set to 0 (traditional mode), for all insert statements, a table level auto_inc lock is obtained and maintained till the end of the insert statement. If the value is set to 1(consecutive lock mode), all bulk insert-like statements obtain and maintain the auto_inc lock on the whole table. But simple inserts use a new locking method where a lightweight mutex is used during the allocation of auto-increment values, and no table-level AUTO-INC lock is used. If the value is set to 2 (interleaved lock mode), no insert-like statements use the table-level AUTO-INC lock, and multiple statements can execute at the same time. This is the fastest and most scalable lock mode, but it is not safe when using statement-based replication or recovery scenarios when SQL statements are replayed from the binary log. Here auto-increment values are guaranteed to be unique and monotonically increasing across all concurrently executing insert-like statements. However, because multiple statements can be generating numbers at the same time (that is, allocation of numbers is interleaved across statements), the values generated for the rows inserted by any given statement may not be consecutive.


The larger the buffer pool the less disk I/O would be needed to access data in tables. Generally buffer pool should be around 50% of available memory size. Very large values can result in paging and slow down the system.


The number of threads that can commit at the same time. Should be equal to the number of available cpus or cores.


If the value is 0, the log buffer is written out to the log file once per second and the flush to disk operation is performed on the log file, but nothing is done at a transaction commit. When the value is 1 (the default), the log buffer is written out to the log file at each transaction commit and the flush to disk operation is performed on the log file. When the value is 2, the log buffer is written out to the file at each commit, but the flush to disk operation is not performed on it. However, the flushing on the log file takes place once per second also when the value is 2. Note that the once-per-second flushing is not 100% guaranteed to happen every second, due to process scheduling issues.

The default value of 1 is the value required for ACID compliance. Better performance can be achieved by setting the value different from 1, but then you can lose at most one second worth of transactions in a crash. With a value of 0, any mysqld process crash can erase the last second of transactions. With a value of 2, then only an operating system crash or a power outage can erase the last second of transactions.


The size of buffer that innodb uses to write log files on disk. A large buffer allows large transactions to run without a need to write the log to disk before the transactions commit.


The size of each log file in a log group. The combined size of log files must be less than 4GB. Sensible values range from 1MB to 1/N-th of the size of the buffer pool, where N is the number of log files in the group. The larger the value, the less checkpoint flush activity is needed in the buffer pool, saving disk I/O. But larger log files also mean that recovery is slower in case of a crash.


The number of log files in the log group.


The maximum no of tablespaces that innodb can keep open at one time.


If this is enabled, InnoDB support for two-phase commit in XA transactions is enabled, which causes an extra disk flush for transaction preparation. If you do not wish to use XA transactions, you can disable this variable to reduce the number of disk flushes and get better InnoDB performance.


InnoDB tries to keep the number of operating system threads concurrently inside the engine less than or equal to the limit given by this variable. Once the number of threads reaches this limit, additional threads are placed into a wait state within a FIFO queue for execution. Threads waiting for locks are not counted in the number of concurrently executing threads. By default this value should be twice the number of available cpus/cores.

Using some of the data here, you can easily setup a machine to perform better using innodb. You will always have to choose between performance and reliability as both are inversely proportional. As performance increases the reliability of data would decrease. The variables that i have set here are for high performance only.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: