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14.7.2 Change Buffer

The change buffer is a special data structure that caches changes to secondary index pages when affected pages are not in the buffer pool. The buffered changes, which may result from INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE operations (DML), are merged later when the pages are loaded into the buffer pool by other read operations.

Unlike clustered indexes, secondary indexes are usually nonunique, and inserts into secondary indexes happen in a relatively random order. Similarly, deletes and updates may affect secondary index pages that are not adjacently located in an index tree. Merging cached changes at a later time, when affected pages are read into the buffer pool by other operations, avoids substantial random access I/O that would be required to read-in secondary index pages from disk.

Periodically, the purge operation that runs when the system is mostly idle, or during a slow shutdown, writes the updated index pages to disk. The purge operation can write disk blocks for a series of index values more efficiently than if each value were written to disk immediately.

Change buffer merging may take several hours when there are numerous secondary indexes to update and many affected rows. During this time, disk I/O is increased, which can cause a significant slowdown for disk-bound queries. Change buffer merging may also continue to occur after a transaction is committed. In fact, change buffer merging may continue to occur after a server shutdown and restart (see Section 14.23.2, “Forcing InnoDB Recovery” for more information).

In memory, the change buffer occupies part of the InnoDB buffer pool. On disk, the change buffer is part of the system tablespace, so that index changes remain buffered across database restarts.

The type of data cached in the change buffer is governed by the innodb_change_buffering configuration option. For more information, see Section 14.9.4, “Configuring InnoDB Change Buffering”.

Monitoring the Change Buffer

The following options are available for change buffer monitoring:

  • InnoDB Standard Monitor output includes status information for the change buffer. To view monitor data, issue the SHOW ENGINE INNODB STATUS command.


    Change buffer status information is located under the INSERT BUFFER AND ADAPTIVE HASH INDEX heading and appears similar to the following:

    Ibuf: size 1, free list len 0, seg size 2, 0 merges
    merged operations:
     insert 0, delete mark 0, delete 0
    discarded operations:
     insert 0, delete mark 0, delete 0
    Hash table size 276707, node heap has 1 buffer(s)
    15.81 hash searches/s, 46.33 non-hash searches/s

    For more information, see Section 14.20.3, “InnoDB Standard Monitor and Lock Monitor Output”.

  • The INFORMATION_SCHEMA.INNODB_BUFFER_PAGE table provides metadata about each page in the buffer pool, including change buffer index and change buffer bitmap pages. Change buffer pages are identified by PAGE_TYPE. IBUF_INDEX is the page type for change buffer index pages, and IBUF_BITMAP is the page type for change buffer bitmap pages.


    Querying the INNODB_BUFFER_PAGE table can introduce significant performance overhead. To avoid impacting performance, reproduce the issue you want to investigate on a test instance and run your queries on the test instance.

    For example, you can query the INNODB_BUFFER_PAGE table to determine the approximate number of IBUF_INDEX and IBUF_BITMAP pages as a percentage of total buffer pool pages.

           WHERE PAGE_TYPE LIKE 'IBUF%') AS change_buffer_pages, 
           (SELECT ((change_buffer_pages/total_pages)*100)) 
           AS change_buffer_page_percentage;
    | change_buffer_pages | total_pages | change_buffer_page_percentage |
    |                  25 |        8192 |                        0.3052 |

    For information about other data provided by the INNODB_BUFFER_PAGE table, see Section 21.29.1, “The INFORMATION_SCHEMA INNODB_BUFFER_PAGE Table”. For related usage information, see Section 14.18.3, “InnoDB INFORMATION_SCHEMA Buffer Pool Tables”.

  • Performance Schema provides change buffer mutex wait instrumentation for advanced performance monitoring. To view change buffer instrumentation, issue the following query (Performance Schema must be enabled):

    mysql> SELECT * FROM performance_schema.setup_instruments
           WHERE NAME LIKE '%wait/synch/mutex/innodb/ibuf%';
    | NAME                                                  | ENABLED | TIMED |
    | wait/synch/mutex/innodb/ibuf_bitmap_mutex             | YES     | YES   |
    | wait/synch/mutex/innodb/ibuf_mutex                    | YES     | YES   |
    | wait/synch/mutex/innodb/ibuf_pessimistic_insert_mutex | YES     | YES   |

    For information about monitoring InnoDB mutex waits, see Section 14.19.1, “Monitoring InnoDB Mutex Waits Using Performance Schema”.

User Comments
User comments in this section are, as the name implies, provided by MySQL users. The MySQL documentation team is not responsible for, nor do they endorse, any of the information provided here.
  Posted by Wagner Bianchi on May 27, 2015
Take care when executing the proposed SELECT ... INFORMATION_SCHEMA.INNODB_BUFFER_PAGE mentioned above on a heavy loaded production server. Besides it's going to take several minutes, it's going to impose some hard pressure on MySQL Instance.
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