14.13.8 Configuring the InnoDB Master Thread I/O Rate

The master thread in InnoDB is a thread that performs various tasks in the background. Most of these tasks are I/O related, such as flushing dirty pages from the buffer pool or writing changes from the insert buffer to the appropriate secondary indexes. The master thread attempts to perform these tasks in a way that does not adversely affect the normal working of the server. It tries to estimate the free I/O bandwidth available and tune its activities to take advantage of this free capacity. Historically, InnoDB has used a hard coded value of 100 IOPs (input/output operations per second) as the total I/O capacity of the server.

The parameter innodb_io_capacity indicates the overall I/O capacity available to InnoDB. This parameter should be set to approximately the number of I/O operations that the system can perform per second. The value depends on your system configuration. When innodb_io_capacity is set, the master threads estimates the I/O bandwidth available for background tasks based on the set value. Setting the value to 100 reverts to the old behavior.

You can set the value of innodb_io_capacity to any number 100 or greater. The default value is 200, reflecting that the performance of typical modern I/O devices is higher than in the early days of MySQL. Typically, values around the previous default of 100 are appropriate for consumer-level storage devices, such as hard drives up to 7200 RPMs. Faster hard drives, RAID configurations, and SSDs benefit from higher values.

The innodb_io_capacity setting is a total limit for all buffer pool instances. When dirty pages are flushed, the innodb_io_capacity limit is divided equally among buffer pool instances. For more information, see the innodb_io_capacity system variable description.

You can set the value of this parameter in the MySQL option file (my.cnf or my.ini) or change it dynamically with the SET GLOBAL command, which requires the SUPER privilege.

Formerly, the InnoDB master thread also performed any needed purge operations. In MySQL 5.6.5 and higher, those I/O operations are moved to other background threads, whose number is controlled by the innodb_purge_threads configuration option.

For more information about InnoDB I/O performance, see Section 8.5.7, “Optimizing InnoDB Disk I/O”.