14.10.3 InnoDB Checkpoints

Making your log files very large may reduce disk I/O during checkpointing. It often makes sense to set the total size of the log files as large as the buffer pool or even larger. Although in the past large log files could make crash recovery take excessive time, starting with MySQL 5.5, performance enhancements to crash recovery make it possible to use large log files with fast startup after a crash. (Strictly speaking, this performance improvement is available for MySQL 5.1 with the InnoDB Plugin 1.0.7 and higher. It is with MySQL 5.5 that this improvement is available in the default InnoDB storage engine.)

How Checkpoint Processing Works

InnoDB implements a checkpoint mechanism known as fuzzy checkpointing. InnoDB flushes modified database pages from the buffer pool in small batches. There is no need to flush the buffer pool in one single batch, which would disrupt processing of user SQL statements during the checkpointing process.

During crash recovery, InnoDB looks for a checkpoint label written to the log files. It knows that all modifications to the database before the label are present in the disk image of the database. Then InnoDB scans the log files forward from the checkpoint, applying the logged modifications to the database.