To minimize disk I/O, the
engine employs a strategy that is used by many database
management systems. It exploits a cache mechanism to keep the
most frequently accessed table blocks in memory:
For index blocks, a special structure called the key cache (key buffer) is maintained. The structure contains a number of block buffers where the most-used index blocks are placed.
For data blocks, MySQL uses no special cache. Instead it relies on the native operating system filesystem cache.
This section first describes the basic operation of the
MyISAM key cache. Then it discusses recent
changes (made in MySQL 4.1) that improve key cache performance
and that enable you to better control cache operation:
Access to the key cache no longer is serialized among threads. Multiple threads can access the cache concurrently.
You can set up multiple key caches and assign table indexes to specific caches.
You can control the size of the key cache by means of the
key_buffer_size system variable. If this
variable is set equal to zero, no key cache is used. The key
cache also is not used if the
value is too small to allocate the minimal number of block
When the key cache is not operational, index files are accessed using only the native filesystem buffering provided by the operating system. (In other words, table index blocks are accessed using the same strategy as that employed for table data blocks.)
An index block is a contiguous unit of access to the
MyISAM index files. Usually the size of an
index block is equal to the size of nodes of the index B-tree.
(Indexes are represented on disk using a B-tree data structure.
Nodes at the bottom of the tree are leaf nodes. Nodes above the
leaf nodes are non-leaf nodes.)
All block buffers in a key cache structure are the same size. This size can be equal to, greater than, or less than the size of a table index block. Usually one these two values is a multiple of the other.
When data from any table index block must be accessed, the server first checks whether it is available in some block buffer of the key cache. If it is, the server accesses data in the key cache rather than on disk. That is, it reads from the cache or writes into it rather than reading from or writing to disk. Otherwise, the server chooses a cache block buffer containing a different table index block (or blocks) and replaces the data there by a copy of required table index block. As soon as the new index block is in the cache, the index data can be accessed.
If it happens that a block selected for replacement has been modified, the block is considered “dirty”. In this case, prior to being replaced, its contents are flushed to the table index from which it came.
Usually the server follows an LRU (Least Recently Used) strategy: When choosing a block for replacement, the least recently used index block is selected. To make such a choice easier, the key cache module maintains a special queue (known as an LRU chain ) of all used blocks. When a block is accessed, it is placed at the end of the queue. When blocks need to be replaced, blocks at the beginning of the queue are the least recently used and become the first candidates for eviction.
Ésta es una traducción del manual de referencia de MySQL, que puede encontrarse en dev.mysql.com. El manual de referencia original de MySQL está escrito en inglés, y esta traducción no necesariamente está tan actualizada como la versión original. Para cualquier sugerencia sobre la traducción y para señalar errores de cualquier tipo, no dude en dirigirse a firstname.lastname@example.org.