MySQL 8.0 Reference Manual Including MySQL NDB Cluster 8.0

Chapter 18 Alternative Storage Engines

Storage engines are MySQL components that handle the SQL operations for different table types. InnoDB is the default and most general-purpose storage engine, and Oracle recommends using it for tables except for specialized use cases. (The CREATE TABLE statement in MySQL 8.0 creates InnoDB tables by default.)

MySQL Server uses a pluggable storage engine architecture that enables storage engines to be loaded into and unloaded from a running MySQL server.

To determine which storage engines your server supports, use the SHOW ENGINES statement. The value in the Support column indicates whether an engine can be used. A value of YES, NO, or DEFAULT indicates that an engine is available, not available, or available and currently set as the default storage engine.

*************************** 1. row ***************************
     Support: YES
     Comment: Performance Schema
Transactions: NO
          XA: NO
  Savepoints: NO
*************************** 2. row ***************************
      Engine: InnoDB
     Support: DEFAULT
     Comment: Supports transactions, row-level locking, and foreign keys
Transactions: YES
          XA: YES
  Savepoints: YES
*************************** 3. row ***************************
      Engine: MRG_MYISAM
     Support: YES
     Comment: Collection of identical MyISAM tables
Transactions: NO
          XA: NO
  Savepoints: NO
*************************** 4. row ***************************
      Engine: BLACKHOLE
     Support: YES
     Comment: /dev/null storage engine (anything you write to it disappears)
Transactions: NO
          XA: NO
  Savepoints: NO
*************************** 5. row ***************************
      Engine: MyISAM
     Support: YES
     Comment: MyISAM storage engine
Transactions: NO
          XA: NO
  Savepoints: NO

This chapter covers use cases for special-purpose MySQL storage engines. It does not cover the default InnoDB storage engine or the NDB storage engine which are covered in Chapter 17, The InnoDB Storage Engine and Chapter 25, MySQL NDB Cluster 8.0. For advanced users, it also contains a description of the pluggable storage engine architecture (see Section 18.11, “Overview of MySQL Storage Engine Architecture”).

For information about features offered in commercial MySQL Server binaries, see MySQL Editions, on the MySQL website. The storage engines available might depend on which edition of MySQL you are using.

For answers to commonly asked questions about MySQL storage engines, see Section A.2, “MySQL 8.0 FAQ: Storage Engines”.

MySQL 8.0 Supported Storage Engines

You are not restricted to using the same storage engine for an entire server or schema. You can specify the storage engine for any table. For example, an application might use mostly InnoDB tables, with one CSV table for exporting data to a spreadsheet and a few MEMORY tables for temporary workspaces.

Choosing a Storage Engine

The various storage engines provided with MySQL are designed with different use cases in mind. The following table provides an overview of some storage engines provided with MySQL, with clarifying notes following the table.

Table 18.1 Storage Engines Feature Summary

Feature MyISAM Memory InnoDB Archive NDB
B-tree indexes Yes Yes Yes No No
Backup/point-in-time recovery (note 1) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cluster database support No No No No Yes
Clustered indexes No No Yes No No
Compressed data Yes (note 2) No Yes Yes No
Data caches No N/A Yes No Yes
Encrypted data Yes (note 3) Yes (note 3) Yes (note 4) Yes (note 3) Yes (note 5)
Foreign key support No No Yes No Yes
Full-text search indexes Yes No Yes (note 6) No No
Geospatial data type support Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Geospatial indexing support Yes No Yes (note 7) No No
Hash indexes No Yes No (note 8) No Yes
Index caches Yes N/A Yes No Yes
Locking granularity Table Table Row Row Row
MVCC No No Yes No No
Replication support (note 1) Yes Limited (note 9) Yes Yes Yes
Storage limits 256TB RAM 64TB None 384EB
T-tree indexes No No No No Yes
Transactions No No Yes No Yes
Update statistics for data dictionary Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes


1. Implemented in the server, rather than in the storage engine.

2. Compressed MyISAM tables are supported only when using the compressed row format. Tables using the compressed row format with MyISAM are read only.

3. Implemented in the server via encryption functions.

4. Implemented in the server via encryption functions; In MySQL 5.7 and later, data-at-rest encryption is supported.

5. Implemented in the server via encryption functions; encrypted NDB backups as of NDB 8.0.22; transparent NDB file system encryption supported in NDB 8.0.29 and later.

6. Support for FULLTEXT indexes is available in MySQL 5.6 and later.

7. Support for geospatial indexing is available in MySQL 5.7 and later.

8. InnoDB utilizes hash indexes internally for its Adaptive Hash Index feature.

9. See the discussion later in this section.