MySQL Engines

Engines
It is essential to understand the features of each table type in MySQL so that you can use them effectively to maximize the performance of your databases.. Each storage engine has its own advantages and disadvantages. It is crucial to understand each storage engine features and choose the most appropriate one for your tables to maximize the performance of the database. In the following sections we will discuss about each storage engine and its features so that you can decide which one to use.
MyISAM MyISAM extends the former ISAM storage engine. The MyISAM tables are optimized for compression an speed. MyISAM tables are also portable between platforms and Oss.. The original storage engine was ISAM, which managed non-transactional tables. This engine has been replaced by MyISAM and should no longer be used. It is deprecated in MySQL 4.1, and is removed in subsequent MySQL release series. . In MySQL 3.23.0, the MyISAM and HEAP storage engines were introduced. MyISAM is an improved replacement for ISAM. The HEAP storage engine provides in-memory tables. The MERGE storage engine was added in MySQL 3.23.25. It enables a collection of identical MyISAM tables to be handled as a single table. All three of these storage engines handle non-transactional tables, and all are included in MySQL by default. Note that the HEAP storage engine has been renamed the MEMORY engine. The size of MyISAM table can be up to 256TB, which is huge. In addition, MyISAM tables can be compressed into read-only tables to save space. At startup, MySQL checks MyISAM tables for corruption and even repair them in case of errors. The MyISAM tables are not transaction-safe. Before MySQL version 5.5, MyISAM is the default storage engine when you create a table without explicitly specify the storage engine. From version 5.5, MySQL uses InnoDB as the default storage engine.
InnoDB The InnoDB and BDB storage engines that handle transaction-safe tables were introduced in later versions of MySQL 3.23. Both are available in source distributions as of MySQL 3.23.34a. BDB is included in MySQL-Max binary distributions on those operating systems that support it. InnoDB also is included in MySQL-Max binary distributions for MySQL 3.23. Beginning with MySQL 4.0, InnoDB is included by default in all MySQL binary distributions. In source distributions, you can enable or disable either engine by configuring MySQL as you like. The InnoDB tables fully support ACID-compliant and transactions. They are also very optimal for performance. InnoDB table supports foreign keys, commit, rollback, roll-and forward operations. The size of the InnoDB table can be up to 64TB. Like MyISAM, the InnoDB tables are portable between different platforms and OSs. MySQL also checks and repair InnoDB tables, if necessary, at startup.
EXAMPLE The EXAMPLE storage engine was added in MySQL 4.1.3. It is a “stub” engine that does nothing. You can create tables with this engine, but no data can be stored in them or retrieved from them. The purpose of this engine is to serve as an example in the MySQL source code that illustrates how to begin writing new storage engines. As such, it is primarily of interest to developers.
http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/4.1/en/mysql-cluster.html is the storage engine used by MySQL Cluster to implement tables that are partitioned over many computers. It is available in source code distributions as of MySQL 4.1.2 and binary distributions as of MySQL-Max 4.1.3.
ARCHIVE The ARCHIVE storage engine was added in MySQL 4.1.3. It is used for storing large amounts of data without indexes in a very small footprint. The archive storage engine allows you to store a large number of records, which for archiving purpose, into a compressed format to save disk space. The archive storage engine compresses a record when it is inserted and decompress it using zlib library as it is read. The archive tables only allow INSERT and SELECT commands. The archive tables do not support indexes, so reading records requires a full table scanning.
CSV The CSV storage engine was added in MySQL 4.1.4. This engine stores data in text files using comma-separated values format. The CSV storage engine stores data in comma-separated values file format. A CSV table brings a convenient way to migrate data into non-SQL applications such as spreadsheet software. CSV table does not support NULL data type and read operation requires a full table scan.
BLACKHOLE The BLACKHOLE storage engine was added in MySQL 4.1.11. This engine accepts but does not store data and retrievals always return an empty set.
MERGE MERGE- A MERGE table is a virtual table that combines multiple MyISAM tables, which has similar structure, into one table. The MERGE storage engine is also known as the MRG_MyISAM engine. The MERGE table does not have its own indexes; it uses indexes of the component tables instead. Using MERGE table, you can speed up performance in joining multiple tables. MySQL only allows you to perform SELECT, DELTE, UPDTATE and INSERT operations on the MERGE tables. If you use DROP TABLE statement on a MERGE table, only MERGE specification is removed. The underlying tables will not be affected.
FEDERATED The FEDERATED storage engine allows you to manage data from a remote MySQL server without using cluster or replication technology. The local federated table stores no data. When you query data from a local federated table, the data is pull automatically from the remote federated tables.
Memory The memory tables are stored in memory and used hash indexes so that they are faster than MyISAM tables. The lifetime of the data of the memory tables depends on the up time of the database server. The memory storage engine is formerly known as HEAP.

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