14.6.1 Introduction to InnoDB

Key Advantages of InnoDB

InnoDB is a high-reliability and high-performance storage engine for MySQL. Key advantages of InnoDB include:

To determine whether your server supports InnoDB use the SHOW ENGINES statement. See Section 13.7.5.17, “SHOW ENGINES Syntax”.

Table 14.4 InnoDB Storage Engine Features

Storage limits64TBTransactionsYesLocking granularityRow
MVCCYesGeospatial data type supportYesGeospatial indexing supportYes[a]
B-tree indexesYesT-tree indexesNoHash indexesNo[b]
Full-text search indexesYes[c]Clustered indexesYesData cachesYes
Index cachesYesCompressed dataYes[d]Encrypted data[e]Yes
Cluster database supportNoReplication support[f]YesForeign key supportYes
Backup / point-in-time recovery[g]YesQuery cache supportYesUpdate statistics for data dictionaryYes

[a] InnoDB support for geospatial indexing is available in MySQL 5.7.5 and higher.

[b] InnoDB utilizes hash indexes internally for its Adaptive Hash Index feature.

[c] InnoDB support for FULLTEXT indexes is available in MySQL 5.6.4 and higher.

[d] Compressed InnoDB tables require the InnoDB Barracuda file format.

[e] Implemented in the server (via encryption functions), rather than in the storage engine.

[f] Implemented in the server, rather than in the storage engine.

[g] Implemented in the server, rather than in the storage engine.


The InnoDB storage engine maintains its own buffer pool for caching data and indexes in main memory. InnoDB stores its tables and indexes in a tablespace, which may consist of several files (or raw disk partitions). This is different from, for example, MyISAM tables where each table is stored using separate files. InnoDB tables can be very large even on operating systems where file size is limited to 2GB.

The Windows Essentials installer makes InnoDB the MySQL default storage engine on Windows, if the server being installed supports InnoDB.

To compare the features of InnoDB with other storage engines provided with MySQL, see the Storage Engine Features table in Chapter 14, Storage Engines.

The InnoDB Plugin for MySQL

MySQL Enterprise Backup and InnoDB

The MySQL Enterprise Backup product lets you back up a running MySQL database, including InnoDB and MyISAM tables, with minimal disruption to operations while producing a consistent snapshot of the database. When MySQL Enterprise Backup is copying InnoDB tables, reads and writes to both InnoDB and MyISAM tables can continue. During the copying of MyISAM and other non-InnoDB tables, reads (but not writes) to those tables are permitted. In addition, MySQL Enterprise Backup can create compressed backup files, and back up subsets of InnoDB tables. In conjunction with the MySQL binary log, you can perform point-in-time recovery. MySQL Enterprise Backup is included as part of the MySQL Enterprise subscription.

For a more complete description of MySQL Enterprise Backup, see Section 23.2, “MySQL Enterprise Backup”.

Additional Resources