18.2.4 KEY Partitioning

Partitioning by key is similar to partitioning by hash, except that where hash partitioning employs a user-defined expression, the hashing function for key partitioning is supplied by the MySQL server. MySQL Cluster uses MD5() for this purpose; for tables using other storage engines, the server employs its own internal hashing function which is based on the same algorithm as PASSWORD().

The syntax rules for CREATE TABLE ... PARTITION BY KEY are similar to those for creating a table that is partitioned by hash. The major differences are listed here:

It is also possible to partition a table by linear key. Here is a simple example:

CREATE TABLE tk (
    col1 INT NOT NULL,
    col2 CHAR(5),
    col3 DATE
)
PARTITION BY LINEAR KEY (col1)
PARTITIONS 3;

Using LINEAR has the same effect on KEY partitioning as it does on HASH partitioning, with the partition number being derived using a powers-of-two algorithm rather than modulo arithmetic. See Section 18.2.3.1, “LINEAR HASH Partitioning”, for a description of this algorithm and its implications.