16.4.1.21 Replication and MEMORY Tables

When a master server shuts down and restarts, its MEMORY tables become empty. To replicate this effect to slaves, the first time that the master uses a given MEMORY table after startup, it logs an event that notifies slaves that the table must to be emptied by writing a DELETE statement for that table to the binary log.

When a slave server shuts down and restarts, its MEMORY tables become empty. This causes the slave to be out of synchrony with the master and may lead to other failures or cause the slave to stop:

The safe way to restart a slave that is replicating MEMORY tables is to first drop or delete all rows from the MEMORY tables on the master and wait until those changes have replicated to the slave. Then it is safe to restart the slave.

An alternative restart method may apply in some cases. When binlog_format=ROW, you can prevent the slave from stopping if you set slave_exec_mode=IDEMPOTENT before you start the slave again. This allows the slave to continue to replicate, but its MEMORY tables will still be different from those on the master. This can be okay if the application logic is such that the contents of MEMORY tables can be safely lost (for example, if the MEMORY tables are used for caching). slave_exec_mode=IDEMPOTENT applies globally to all tables, so it may hide other replication errors in non-MEMORY tables.

(The method just described is not applicable in MySQL Cluster, where slave_exec_mode is always IDEMPOTENT, and cannot be changed.)

The size of MEMORY tables is limited by the value of the max_heap_table_size system variable, which is not replicated (see Section 16.4.1.36, “Replication and Variables”). A change in max_heap_table_size takes effect for MEMORY tables that are created or updated using ALTER TABLE ... ENGINE = MEMORY or TRUNCATE TABLE following the change, or for all MEMORY tables following a server restart. If you increase the value of this variable on the master without doing so on the slave, it becomes possible for a table on the master to grow larger than its counterpart on the slave, leading to inserts that succeed on the master but fail on the slave with Table is full errors. This is a known issue (Bug #48666). In such cases, you must set the global value of max_heap_table_size on the slave as well as on the master, then restart replication. It is also recommended that you restart both the master and slave MySQL servers, to insure that the new value takes complete (global) effect on each of them.

See Section 14.9, “The MEMORY Storage Engine”, for more information about MEMORY tables.